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NEC Electronic Hookswitch for Wireless Headsets now Available


Many office employees who are "heavy" phone users are already using Headsets as a more comfortable way of talking on the phone. The vast majority of these headsets are now wireless which simply enhances the comfort and convenience that much more.

So when it comes to the configuration and operation of wireless headsets they are typically deployed in one of two methods. Anwering via a programmed key on the telephone

  • This method utilizes a preprogrammed "Headset" key on the telephone to answer and disconnect phone calls similar to that of lifting and replacing the handset in the cradle.
  • For users who are always at their desks this is (in my opinion) the most efficient method of using a wireless headset.

Answering via the "Link" button on the actual Headset.

  • This method is used in conjunction with a mechanical "Headset lifter" which, when activated, mechanically lifts the telephone handset which in turn provides a connection to the Headset.
  • This method is required for users who are not always at their desks and need the ability to both answer and disconnect telephone calls while they are away from their desk.

Up until not that long ago the mechanical lifter was the only way for a wireless headset to answer a call remotely. The lifters do work however they have always added an extra layer of cost and complexity. Being a mechanical device the lifters have a finite number of times that they will "lift" the handset before they start to wear out. When they do begin to fail it is typically frusturating for the user as a typical end result is prematurely dropped calls! Plantronics (and other manufacturers) have been working on a device called an "Electronic Hookswitch". This is essentially a specially designed communications cable that when installed and programmed uses electronics to imitate the lifting of the handset. End result is users can still answer calls remotely and there is no mechanical device to fail.

Of course nothing is simple these days with technology and the case in point here is that all Business Telephone Systems operate a little differently and as such most systems will require a "brand specific" cable.

However Headset companies are in the business of selling headsets so as of today most telephone systems are supported. NEC for some strange reason was one of the last but the "EHS" cable as it is known has now been fully tested by Okanagan Telephone and is stocked and available.

So for those of you who have no need to answer calls remotely disregard this post but for those who are currently needing and using lifters I would plan on upgrading to an EHS cable when it makes sense to do so.