Immediate dialing. Cisco SIP pgones

Hi -

Very new to asterisk. I searched the Wiki and these forums but I’m not exactly what I would be searching for to find this…

I have a couple Cisco 7940 SIP phones working with asterisk and I am experimenting with dialplans. I want each phone to have a 4 digit number (extension). This works. The way its dialed is to pick “NewCall”, dial the number, and then press “dial” to make it happen immediately. If one waits awhile without pressing dial the phone will then try to dial. Is there any way to set the phone or asterisk (not sure who controls this) to process the dialed digits as they are dialed? In my system I want 4 digit numbers for internal phones. It would be nice to simply dial 4 digits and after pressing the fourth, the call would be placed versus what it seems to do now – collect all the digits first, then evaluate it when you press dial or it times out.

Thoughts? Also, what would the nature of this type of dialing be called?


Unfortunately, Cisco is controlling your dialing from the phones.

Pressing # after dialing the digits sends out the signal as well if you want faster response times

Is this unique to Cisco or is this the case with all SIP phones?

I’ve run SCCP Cisco 7960s with Asterisk and the dialplan seems to be handled by chan_sccp (from From what I can tell after 30 seconds of Googling, the SIP firmware for the Cisco phones needs an .xml file to define the dial plan. Here’s the link to the doc I found -

Looks to me like you can make them work just like any of the other phones on the market.


Thanks Tom… infact I had just found that same dialplan xml reference myself a few minutes ago… seems they are quite flexible!

Technically, all forms of phones will have to time out, even PSTN phones have the same logic somewhat, the only thing is you can set your time out to be shorter like 2 or 3 secs for example which seems to be the same length of time PSTN phones have. Remember IP phones deal with IP packets so they cannot process each digit out as you dial, they have to collect the complete set of digits to be dialed and create the packet to be sent out, this system is designed to collate the complete phone number and transmit it. The only scenario where each digit can be processed is the IVR where you set your dialplan to accept incoming entries such as; for sales press 1, for customer service press 2 etc. The logic is, as soon as it processes any digit or set of digits it assumes you have fully entered all the necessary digits to be dialed and will not accept any thing further. So in the case of what you are looking for, in the process of trying to process each digit, once it processes the first digit it will assume thats all you want to dial and will not receive any other digits entered. I hope this sheds more light on the IP dial process :smile: