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So you’re thinking of buying a new phone and with all the multi-handset phones on the market, you decide its time to buy two or three handsets. But does that mean you need a phone point for each handset?

In short, no. One of the attractions of digital cordless phones is that only the base unit of the phone needs to be plugged into the phone point. The additional handsets (or slaves as sometimes referred) get their signal from the base unit, wirelessly. How far you can place the additional handsets from the base unit is dependant on the range of the phones and the type of property you are installing the phones into. For example in an old property with thick walls, range of cordless phones will usually be more limited. If you are suffering from range issues than there may be a solution for you – click here.

If you have purchased a multi handset set of phones, all the handsets will usually be already pre registered to the base of the phone. So there will be minimal installation time and will usually just involve unpacking the units and plugging them in the desired locations.  However, if the handsets are not registered to the base unit, you will need to spend a couple of minutes registering each one. This is usually a very simple process (similar to pairing a blue tooth headset with a phone).

We now know that the base unit is responsible for sending the signal to all the handsets, but does it do anything else. Depending on the model of phone, it may also:

- Record all the voicemail, which will be again sent to and available for play back from all handsets

- Include a page button

- It may have a numeric keypad to allow you to do all the things you would do using your handset

- Include answering machine control buttons

The base unit is the brain of any phone system. Most base units will also have a slot for one handset to sit on it and charge. However, the Siemens Gigaset range of cordless phones are quite unique in that the base  is a separate black box which can be hidden away if necessary and is ideal for those who’s phone point is in an awkward position.

Here are a couple of examples.

The Siemens Gigaset E455 ruggedised phone with a seperate base

The new Panasonic 7341 with a multifunction base unit



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