We have done a migration from an aging cisco wifi deployment to Meraki and have had no end of trouble with our Ascom i62 voice over Wifi phones.
Just in case someone else is considering this move I thought I would post what our experience has been and what we have learnt and the work arounds we found to make our phones work again....
We migrated to a mixed fleet of MR42 MR74 and MR45 access points, we initially tested on 25.9 as per the Meraki-Ascom interop document and after that when we deployed the ap's moved to 25.13
The issues we have seen are as follows:
1 RTP breakup and connection issues
2 Phones going to sleep and then ending up in a coma (never waking for a call)
3 Phones dropping off the phone system with "no channel available", we narrowed this down to being an issue on the MR45's. Interestingly the client (phone) will connect to these access points ok but they randomly drop out (every 5-15 mins) and have to be manually reconnected.
Resolutions/workarounds to the above
As per a suggestion found here and subsequently discussed with support we moved to 26.4 and this cleaned up the RTP issues
We worked out that the sleep time on the i62 is about 9-10 seconds.... so I wrote a little python script to ping the whole fleet (/24 subnet) every 7 seconds. (the script doesn’t wait for ping replys so manages to smash out a /24 in about 2 seconds) This has managed to keep the clients alive but the down side is reduced battery life... on cisco we got about 18-24 hours of active usage from a full charge on a handset, now we get 7-8 hours but if the staff doc them in the charger when they are at their desk then it gets them thru the day. the script is below.... not I'm not a programmer and its more an assemblage of stuff I found online....
3 we swapped out the MR45's and the problem with “the channel disappearing” instantly went away.... it was amazing... one minute phones are complaining about "no channel" with an audible alarm which was going off every few minutes (high density office) and the next minute they just stopped losing the network! what changed.... I swapped out the AP's.
I still stand by our decision to move to Meraki Wireless, others have questioned it but I believe we will resolve this eventually and with a work around in place we can live with the phones till then. The benefits to the other wifi networks we are running has been well worth a bit of pain.
My absolute 100% recommendation on this is that you involve your channel partner and especially work with your Meraki rep. The support team have been very supportive 😀 however it’s been through the additional efforts of our fantastic rep that we have made the most traction.
The magic python script follows…. Pls don’t laugh 😀
We did turn off all the 802.11ax it made no difference at all, honestly we spent alot of time working on getting the 45's to work and for us especially with the i62's. We also saw heaps of failures on windows10 clients trying to connect to the MR45's but it was less of an issue than the i62.... for the record tho the clients that could access them loved them.