Home » Technology » Internet/Web » 2010 Bargain of the Year: Nortel 1535 Color SIP Videophone

The Most Versatile VoIP Provider: FREE PORTING

2010 Bargain of the Year: Nortel 1535 Color SIP Videophone

We try not to get overly excited by new discoveries, but once in a while there comes along a VoIP deal that probably never will be repeated. Now’s the time. Here are a Baker’s Dozen reasons why you should buy a boatload of these Nortel IP 1535 phones before they’re all gone. Just make a bid of ~$60. We’ve given you a hint below on the going rate. πŸ˜‰

WARNING: There are reports that some of the phones from various merchants do NOT include WiFi even though the ad may say otherwise. If you need WiFi, be sure to carefully read the merchant’s ad AND verify that the phone you are ordering has WiFi before purchasing.

  • Nortel’s top-of-the-line $700 phone can be had for about $60
  • SIP-compatible and works with Asterisk® and sip2sip.info among others
  • H.263-compatible color videophone works flawlessly
  • Wired and 802.11 b/g WiFi is easily configured
  • Supports both U.S. and European power cords out of the box
  • Speakerphone rivals the best speakerphones on the market
  • Integrated apps include browser, email, calendar
  • Music and video storage supported using SD/MMC cards
  • Configurable voicemail button for easy access to any mailbox
  • Language support for English, French, Spanish, German and more
  • Tons of integrated multimedia capabilities
  • Robust STUN and proxy support so they work from anywhere
  • One year warranty on the phones from the eBay merchant

Connectivity Options. Once you have your phones, there are almost limitless SIP connectivity options including direct connections to many of our favorite providers: Vitelity, voip.ms, Future Nine, and Axvoice. But today we want to address two other connectivity options: sip2sip.info or as an Asterisk extension on your PBX in a Flash system, both of which give you color videoconferencing out of the box.

Using sip2sip.info with the Nortel 1535. If you haven’t discovered sip2sip.info, it’s one of the few VoIP freebies left in the universe. By simply providing your name and email address, sip2sip.info will give you a free SIP a URI that lets anyone on the planet call you via SIP at no cost. In addition, all calls to numbers registered with ENUM are free as well. For example, to call numbers in the U.S. listed with e164.org, just dial 001NXXNXXXXXX. You can talk as long and as often as you like. The call can be pure audio, or it can be an H.263 video call. It’s simple to set up and use. And, once you have your phone configured with sip2sip.info, it’s incredibly easy to add a free DID from IPkall and then a free local DID from Google Voice. Then, presto, you have a local phone number for inbound calls that will never cost you a dime. If you make most of your outbound calls from a cellphone, then this is a perfect solution for a free home telephone number where anyone can reach you. And it includes a free voicemail account that will deliver the voicemails to your registered email address whenever you miss a call. We actually travel with one of these phones preconfigured with a local number in our favorite towns. When we go to a different place, it’s easy to change the local phone number. Update: You also can obtain a free SIP URI from GetOnSIP.

There’s only one trick to the sip2sip.info setup. Once your credentials are emailed to you, log into your account and change your password to a very secure but all-numeric password.

Using Asterisk with the Nortel 1535. We have a personal preference for Asterisk, and it’s a perfect fit with these phones. Just add these entries to sip_general_custom.conf in /etc/asterisk, and video support comes to life in all versions of PBX in a Flash once you restart Asterisk:


Then you’re ready to set up your extensions to support the Nortel 1535. Here are the settings we use, and they work equally well with the X-Lite 4 client if you’d like to try some test video calls on your server:


Configuring the Nortel 1535. All of the manuals for these phones still can be downloaded from Nortel’s web site. With the exception of the early phones which were configured for Turkey, here is the setup that works for us with sip2sip.info and Asterisk. Our special thanks to the dozens of gurus on the PBX in a Flash Forum who assisted with sorting all of this out. If you get stumped on any of this, the thread link provided has loads of additional information.

The two buttons at the top of the phone do most of the heavy lifting. The left one is the equivalent of the Enter key on a keyboard. The right one is the Back key. The other two keys of importance are * and #. * is used to enter special characters such as the period, slash, etc. # is used to change the keyboard type: ABC, Abc, 123, etc. Be sure you always have the correct keyboard type for the type of data you are entering. Pressing the Green button twice redials the last number called. The function key to the right of the number 3 connects you to voicemail. The function key to the right of the number 6 accesses the web browser.

Before you can configure the phone, you have to log in as Admin (Menu, Settings, System Settings, Admin, Login). The password is 1234. Then back out one level and set your Date/Time preferences. The most important one is to enable Network Time. For the Server Setting, enter time.nist.gov for a reliable NTP server. Then back out a level and choose Enable.

You’ve got to set up network connectivity before the phones will work obviously. They come preconfigured for a wired connection with DHCP support. That’s a good way to begin. Once everything is working reliably, you can switch to WiFi if desired. The only trick to WiFi is that you need to set your WiFi Type (Menu, Settings, Profile, WiFi, Settings, Wireless Settings, Authentication, Type) and then the WiFi Password for the chosen type before choosing your WiFi network (Menu, Settings, Profile, WiFi, Settings, Wireless Settings, WiFi Scanning). Once you have those set up, back out one level and choose Apply. Then back out one more level and choose Enable. You’ll be prompted to confirm you wish to restart the WiFi network. Then you’re all set.

Now you’re ready to configure your VoIP settings (Menu, Settings, VoIP Settings). Start with the domain of your server: sip2sip.info or the FQDN of your Asterisk server (Menu, Settings, VoIP Settings, Misc., Domain Name). While still in Misc., adjust the Codec Priority for video (Menu, Settings, VoIP Settings, Misc., Codec priority, Video). Choose First and change it to None. Choose Second and change it to H.264. Then choose First again and change it to H.263. Asterisk only supports H.263 so it has to be the first priority, or video won’t work. Then back out until the top left of the screen shows VoIP Settings. Choose User Information and enter your username for Username, Display Name, and Authentication name. For Asterisk, it’s your extension number. For sip2sip.info, it’s your 10-digit number beginning with 223. Enter your account password for Authentication pwd. Back out to VoIP Settings and enter the IP address of your server for Proxy, Proxy Address. For sip2sip.info, it’s For Asterisk, it’s the public IP address of your server. While still in Proxy, choose STUN. For STUN Server IP Address, enter Then Enable the STUN Server. Finally, back out to VoIP Settings again and choose Registration. Set the Expiry Timer to 3600. Then choose Register to connect your phone to your desired server. Done!

Using sip2sip.info with Asterisk. We were so impressed with the simplicity and functionality of sip2sip.info that we decided to also set up a sip2sip.info trunk on our Asterisk server. This is a very secure way to enable a SIP URI on your Asterisk server without exposing your server to SIP vulnerability. The only additional step with PBX in a Flash is to lock down external SIP access to the IP address of sip2sip.info. For setup instructions, see this thread on the PBX in a Flash Forums.

Configuring Voicemail Access. It’s easy to configure these phones to access any existing voicemail system. The only trick is that the number to call for voicemail access must be all numeric. On Asterisk systems, this means *98 won’t work! So, in FreePBX, first set up a Misc. Destination called Voicemail-Read and use *98 as the Dial String. Then set up a Misc. Application called VoiceMailRead and enter 86245 as the Feature Code. Then choose Misc Destination: Voicemail-Read as the Destination.

On the phone, choose Menu, Settings, VoIP Settings, Misc., Voice Mail, Voicemail Number and enter 86245. You can leave the Mailbox ID and password blank on Asterisk-based systems, and you’ll be prompted for them. Or you can fill in either the mailbox number or both the mailbox number and password, and your entries will be passed to Asterisk to access the desired voicemail box.

To access Voicemail from the phone, press the function key just to the right of the number 3 on the phone.

Using the Nortel 1535 Browser. While it’s not the best browser on the planet, these Nortel phones do have a decent web browser that can be used to retrieve current content such as news, weather, and sports scores. To set up a web link, choose Menu, Services, Web Browser, and choose one of the four links. Here are a couple entries to get you started. Others can be found in this thread on the PBX in a Flash Forums. Remember to use the Top Left function key as the Enter key in browser links! HINT: While in one of your four preconfigured web sites, if you press the Right Button just above the directional arrow keys, you can navigate to additional web sites.

  • mundy.org/news.php – Latest Yahoo! News
  • google.com/m – Google Mobile

To access the Browser, press the function key just to the right of the number 6 on the phone.

Accessing Email on the Nortel 1535. Both POP3 and IMAP email access are supported on the phone. And a number of boilerplate email messages already are preconfigured for sending using your chosen email provider. You can set up additional ones using the Template option. To set up email, go to Setup, Messages, Account Settings.

Nortel 1535 Organizer. These phones also include a very capable Address Book and Calendar. Entries can be imported using a standard SD/MMC card. We’ll leave the rest for you to sort out. Or take the guess work out of the experiment and read Nortel’s excellent documentation. Enjoy!

Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.
Or Try the New, Free PBX in a Flash Conference Bridge.

whos.amung.us If you’re wondering what your fellow man is reading on Nerd Vittles these days, wonder no more. Visit our new whos.amung.us statistical web site and check out what’s happening. It’s a terrific resource both for us and for you.


Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

BOGO Bonaza: Enjoy state-of-the-art VoIP service with a $10 credit and half-price SIP service on up to $500 of Skyetel trunking with free number porting when you fund your Skyetel account. No limits on number of simultaneous calls. Quadruple data center redundancy. $25 monthly minimum spend required. Tutorial and sign up details are here.

The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!

Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.

Some Recent Nerd Vittles Articles of Interest…


  1. So… My mommy told me that if it’s too good to be true…
    So what is the catch? There has to be a reason a phone with this many features would be going for so cheap (other sites online are selling them for $60 straight up) Did the manufacture stop making them because of widespread issues? Is there a bad batch that came off the line and are being sold cheap? Are they trying to take over the world?

    [WM: Nortel went bankrupt. Someone bought the phones cheap. We’ve got over a dozen of them. Haven’t had a single problem. You can pay the $60 or you can make an offer. Your choice. πŸ™‚ ]

  2. Either the seller got wind of this post, or due to the influx of buyers, he’s raised the price of the offers he’s accepting. Not sure what he’s set it to, but it’s higher than $43.

  3. Thanks! You had to post this and ruin it for those of us who had not got in at the lower price. Seller has shot up the price.

    [WM: Heh. This was posted on the PIAF Forums for three weeks before we published this article. U Snooze, U Lose πŸ™„ ]

  4. Well, so far the Buy It Now price has been ~$60 for the past 8 hours. I just submitted an Offer for 2 of the phones so I’ll see if he accepts it or not.

    Looking forward to getting these setup at home and at my sister’s house. πŸ™‚

  5. For some of you trying to make offers, I had it as much as $47 and it was still declined. Someone is bound to find right price and hope this helps someone else as you only get 3 tries on offers.

  6. Just to let you know, my Offer of $50 per phone was accepted for two phones. I should be getting them sometime this week. πŸ™‚

  7. I called them directly from the phone number that was provided on ebay and was able to get 2 phones for $50 each with $11 shipping. You can probably go a little lower than that since they are avoiding ebay ad costs and Paypal costs.

  8. Hey guys, nice deal!


    How does this phone work with The Incredible PBX?

    I need a quick answer before the phones are gone.

    [WM: Works great, and you get full color video with Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8 which will be released on November 1.]

  9. I see in the forums that this phone is "one line only" ? How can a SIP phone be one line only? Our office has two POTS lines into the PIAF box.

    [WM: It just means you have to dedicate an Asterisk extension number to each phone. Not a big deal.]

  10. I have PBX in a Flash Version:
    Regarding β€œβ€¦works great, and you get full color video with Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8” I am hesitant to upgrade since I have a very stable version in our office. What kind of video will I get if I stick with what I have: PBX in a Flash Version:

    [WM: No problem at all. Just visit the forums for setup info. We use several on an old Asterisk 1.4 system with no difficulties at all.]

  11. Thanks. I just received 15 of them to replace our ESI phone system. We use PBXIAF at our two remote locations, and absolutely love it. Great work! My only concern is that our people realy like the ability to push an extension, and the phone on the other end automaticaly answers and goes to speakerphone (I don’t really know what this feature is called, or I would google it). Will these phones support auto-answer for internal calls? Thanks for your time.

    [WM: Thanks. No one has figured out auto-answer yet. Sorry.]

  12. quick question. also to let everyone know it seems $50 is accepted price online.

    I am trying to setup with trixbox ce

    I see your document. I have setup the extension with mac as generic. I modified the sip_general_custom.conf. I am stuck at the last part with setting up the extension.


    where do I put this information? It almost seems like it is in the trunk section? If it goes in a config file in tftp do we create it from scratch with these settings?

    I am a new user still learning. any help would be appreciated. thank you. and thanks for the heads up on the phone and info for setup.

    [WM: Those are actually the extension settings. You won’t see most of them until you create the extension and then edit it. Good luck!]

  13. You may want to modify your proxy statement above. I am on asterisk and I tried using the external address (public IP) and the phone is inside my network. When I changed it back to my private ip of the server it came right up.

    [WM: It needs to be the network address on which your phone and Asterisk server reside. Behind a firewall, that would be your private IP address. If the phone is outside the firewall, then it needs to be the public IP address. With some routers (such as dLink), you can always use the public IP address.]

  14. Hello Ward,
    Thanks for the great work….
    Can you help me here with a situation. I have the incredible pbx installed with everything working ok. Using a sip softphone, I was able to log in from outside (public wifi in a cafe shop)here in the US.
    But my relative overseas tried unsuccessful to log in, using the same extension, same credentials and softphone. Their internet connection goes through satellite (V-SAT or satellite broadband).
    I don’t know the extension works fine here from outside in the US but when connected from overseas, it does not work…
    Would you have a solution ?
    Is it due to latency ?

    [WM: Latency is not your friend when it comes to VoIP. Probably always going to be hit-and-miss via satellite.]

  15. Price increase! The link now is $77 or "best offer" I called in and was told by Renee that the 3 phones I wanted would be $56 each. She would do $50 for 10 phones only. There is another seller but he wants $59. I ordered the 3 for $56 each and $14 shipping. Maybe others are better bargainers. Good luck everyone!

  16. Informed by colleague that price is up to $70/phone for even a multiple purchase now. Reason given by seller is a higher cost to them for a new lot they purchased to offer for sale. I’m leery to purchase now. Might not get the same mileage out of this "new lot" of the phones.

  17. Great tip today on the forums:

    "Has anyone else left video voicemails? I had no idea that if you make a video call and leave a voicemail, Asterisk will record a video voicemail. All you need to do to view it is make a video call when you check your voicemail. Very cool."

  18. Too Bad went up to 60$ on the offers and no go, really dont want to pay over that and then there is shipping, if any one wants to sell theres cheaper then that let me know

  19. $70 each even for multiple purchase? These are $75 shipped from another non-ebay seller, so there’s really no reason to deal with the FiveStarTelecom folks any longer. I was ready to impulse buy 4-5 of these things at the price mentioned in the original post, but now I’m just getting one.

  20. Do these phones support configuration via a file in the tftp directory? Can they be added to the endpoint manager? Just bought two to see if I want to replace the Cisco 79x1s we have now.

    [WM: See this thread on the forums. It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about these phones.]

  21. Does anyone know of a GOOD video softphone that will work with these? I bought 2 for my kids while I am in Thailand but want to use a softphone here. I did get mine for $49 + 11 shipping too

    [WM: X-Lite works great, and it’s free!]

  22. Just got mine yesterday. It is a cute little phone, managed to get it working with the video on pbxiaf, but there is only one thing missing on this phone, a real hold button. In order to put a call on hold you need to press "options" and then press three times to get to the "call hold" option and then press "OK".
    Even though the phone was a great deal for its many features but no hold button?

  23. Oops, I just saw that this articles mentions "With the exception of the early phones which were configured for Turkey." I see that I bought a Turkish model. What does this mean? Did I just waste GBP110? πŸ™

    [WM: No. They’re fine. Just follow these simple steps to convert everything to English.]

  24. No Hold button ? — No problem…

    If you follow the instructions for programming the ‘Voicemail’ button (located beside the #3 key), you can just as easily re-program this button to send ‘##70’ (or, whatever your feature code shows for a Blind Transfer). The icon shown on this particular button is somewhat cryptic anyways, so using it as a Hold or Park function might just be the solution.

    See: http://pbxinaflash.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8273&page=24

  25. Hi All, I saw this kinda late and went to buy 16 on ebay. I called 5 star and tried to haggle but they said $64 plus shipping each for 16 of them. I called the next day to purchase and it was magically $69 each now. Not too pleased with that service, google lead me to metroline direct, who set me up for $54 each plus shipping. I got the phones today and I’m setting them up. Interesting enough, they were purchased from Ireland I’m told, but they have the Brazilian National Telecommunications logo on the back (Anatel). All seem well so far :). Thanks for finding this great deal!

  26. I received mine from 1-stop-accessories yesterday. It’s Turkey special with hardware version 1.0 and software version 0.2.93. I changed the language to English already but I didn’t see "Profile" in the Settings after logging in as Admin. I am stuck trying to enable WIFI. Any hints? Thanks.

    [WM: We haven’t purchased a phone from 1-stop-accessories; however, their ad reads as shown below. If there is no Menu, Settings, Profile option, then the phone you received doesn’t have WiFi. Either use a network cable of return the phone.]

    "Flexible connectivity options with traditional LAN wired Ethernet (10/100 Base-T Fast Ethernet) or Wireless LAN access with an integrated IEEE 802.11b/g (Wi-Fi) radio"

  27. I order one and can’t find the wifi settings anywhere, it’s from the 1-stop-accessories store on ebay, do I have to do something like enter the admin password to get to the wifi settings?

  28. i bought 2 Nortel 1535 and looks i have a very strange problem.
    Using a Sip account with portaone switch phones are working ok as voice call. but not video calls. When make video call from Grandstream GVX3000 to Nortel 1535 , it is ok, but when make video call the device did not pass digest credentials in the video call.Is there any known limitation for digest authorization in the video calls for Nortel 1535 or someone knows to clarify Nortel 1535 behavior?

  29. After getting PBXIAF setup again and seemingly more stable, now I’m looking at these SIP phones. Can’t believe I glossed over the 1535 so much. Now I’m considering one… dangerous as my wife won’t be happy with more gadgets. Anyway, it would be nice to have a ‘desk phone’ at home in my den. I picked up a SPA-2102 to convert to my analog wireless phones and that has worked out well. But the video functionality is very tempting. Just wondering – can it interface with Google Video Chat? If so that would be really neat.

    [WM: Doesn’t support jabber/jingle/Gchat at least yet. Works with X-Lite 4 extensions on Asterisk, however.]

  30. Can you make outgoing calls on the 1535 via GV without a PBX? I have incoming calls working through my GV number and can make outgoing calls via the SIP number.. but how can I call regular numbers without a PBX? There is a new iphone app (talkatone) that I use to make and receive calls from GV.. so I am hoping I can do it on the 1535 too!

    [WM: You can buy some minutes for any one of numerous SIP providers.]

  31. What type of features or options will we be missing out on by not being able to upgrade firmware on the turkish model? Anyone know?

    [WM: Have a look at this thread on the PIAF Forums.]

  32. Just set two of these phones up on my PBXiaF system, my first experience with Asterisk. Great articles. As I was playing with the phone’s web browser, I thought it would be handy to have the weather as an option. It’s a little time consuming the key in, but works great.

    Enter this url into the phone’s bookmarks, http://m.wund.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?brand=mobile&query=zipcode

    Make sure to substitute your 5 digit zip for the zipcode at the end. Makes for a nice, quick, easy way to look at the current conditions. Even has animated weather radar, all formatted perfectly for this tiny screen.

    Hope someone finds this useful….

  33. I just got one from OEM solutions for $60 plus shipping. The power supply barrel connector was very loose in the phone, and the slightest touch would reset the phone. Has anyone else experienced this?

  34. Yep. If you install the deskmount then you can just wrap the power cable around it. There’s a picture in the thread Ward keeps linking to. Somewhere. But it’s pretty obvious once you think about it.

  35. I’ve been trying to set up gmail on the nortel 1535 but i can’t get it to work. Is there a trick to getting it to work?

  36. I wonder if this new amazon merchant is selling legit gear at $75


    [WM: The two questions we’d want answered are (1) are these the Turkish model or the U.S. model and (2) do the phones include WiFi support. There’s no firmware update for the Turkish models to get the VPN software working. And, if the WiFi NIC isn’t in the phones, there’s no way to add it.]

  37. I purchased five of these awesome phones last year. Accidentally purchased a few "wired only" ones, but oh well. They are really cool!

    One question though, I’m having issues with phones saying they aren’t registered. They work fine for months and then randomly stop. I have to go to the phone and select "register" from the phone menu. Then they start working again. Any thoughts?

  38. I purchased five of these phones off of eBay and I am using them with PIAF Purple. Is there anyway to add a dialplan to the phone so that you do not have to wait 4 seconds or hit the green button for the call to start? Is this something I’m missing in Asterisk?

  39. Neat write up. The phone I bought ended up with what forums describe as turkish firmware with the claim the firmware can never be upgraded πŸ™ No wifi but then I don’t believe in competing for frequency at home

    Since the device can resolve the FQDN of NTP why must we enter: " IP address of your server for Proxy, Proxy Address" ??

    sip2sip claims video call capability. Would you please offer an example setup for placing video calls

    to other nortel 1535

    suggest win/osx/ubuntu software that can receive such a call

    Can any of these VSP facilitate video calls: voipMS, lesNET, vitelity, anveo?

    are there recommended alternative/3rd party firmware(s) for the turkish device or non-turkish device?

  40. Thanks Ward (and everyone) for you help contained in this set of posts.

    I have 2 Nortel 1535s, now connected through sip2sip.

    They work fine for audio…
    when I switch to video on the phones (Even after 10 min of audio conversation) – consistently after 30 seconds, they hang up with the message "Video Call Terminated".

    Any Ideas?


Comments are closed.