Introducing 3CX V18 Update 6 and New Phone Firmwares

The other day we presented the final release of the 3CX V18 Update 6 server. The main focus of this update is to further simplify the implementation of the system and optimize the working environment of the PBX user. This release adds support for the SBC service on IP phones, new user group capabilities, seven user roles/privileges in the system, and new firmware that makes previously “unsupported” IP phones “supported”. Let’s look at all the new items in more detail.

Firmware for phones with 3CX SBC for the cloud

Update 6 introduces firmware for phones with SBC support for the first time. This eliminates the need for a separate SBC device (Raspberry Pis are now expensive and not readily available) and makes it easier to set up phones to connect to a cloud PBX. The SBC router phone in the connected office can proxy at least 10 regular IP phones through itself.

How does an SBC phone router work? It combines (proxies) traffic from ordinary phones in the local network and directs it to the cloud PBX. In this case, the traffic, firstly, is encrypted, and secondly, it becomes “invisible” for firewalls (they often create problems for regular VoIP). This solution perfectly copes with the peculiarities of intermediate networks, while at the same time providing good communication security. Connecting to the cloud through an SBC can be trusted, while a “direct” connection with a SIP account is quite insecure, because both the SIP account on the server and the IP phone itself can be hacked.

The following models currently support router phone mode:

New features for user groups

Update 6 has expanded the functionality of user groups. Previously, groups allowed to unite users, giving them the right to call in one direction or another. Now for each group you can specify your own time zone, voice menu language and individual working hours. Note that when a user is added to a group, he enters it with his own role. For example, if the user role is “Manager”, he will be a manager in all groups to which he will be added (more on roles below).

In large organizations, it is now possible to divide users into groups, assigning each its own voice menu language, time zone, and administrator. If the organization has several offices, connect your own SIP trunks to the groups and configure the appropriate call routing – simply and conveniently.

For example, the configuration of 3CX in our own office has become too complicated, given the presence of branches around the world. The system required constant “tuning”. And now we have created separate groups for 3CX affiliates in each region and indicated their own time zones, voice menus in the local language and hours of operation in accordance with local traditions. We also granted rights group administrator to the heads of these branches. This optimization reduced the load on our system administrator three times!

User roles – 7 levels of rights in the system

In Update 6, we have simplified the assignment of rights in the system by introducing the “Roles” of users. The role of the user roughly corresponds to the position in the organization. Roles are configured in the Admin section of the 3CX web client (but the familiar 3CX management interface is preserved, and the rights assigned here do not change).

New roles in 3CX

  • user

  • Receptionist (Secretary)

    • Designed for secretaries of the organization

    • Allows you to set hours of operation

    • Can see user statuses and perform operations on calls:

      • Switching, transferring, intercepting, parking, intercom

  • Group Administrator

    • Admin Tab in 3CX Web Client

    • Can’t see call reports, call records, and can’t eavesdrop/peep into a conversation (default).

    • Setting up call routing, SIP trunks, WhatsApp, website chat, etc.

  • Manager (Head)

    • Admin Tab in 3CX Web Client

    • Customizing user settings, such as forwarding rules

    • Creating users and setting their roles in the system

    • View reports and call recordings

    • Can see user statuses and perform operations on calls:

      • Switching, transferring, intercepting, parking and intercom

      • Eavesdropping/jamming into a conversation

  • Owner (Owner)

    • All rights of Administrator and Manager

    • Standard role for directors of companies or heads of departments

    • Listening in, intervening and prompting group members (in addition to administrative capabilities)

    • Can promote a user in a group to Supervisor or Administrator (within their own group)

  • System Administrator – only on dedicated 3CX systems (Dedicated)

    • Configures the system – users, groups, SIP trunks, even without being a member of groups

    • Cannot eavesdrop/peep into conversation

    • Cannot make another user a System Administrator or System Owner

  • System Owner – only on dedicated 3CX systems (Dedicated)

    • All the rights of the Administrator of the group, as well as

    • Listening / tapping into a conversation, viewing call recordings and call reports

    • The only role that can make another user a System Administrator or System Owner.

User role applies to all groups in which he is a member. The System Administrator and System Owner roles apply to the entire system.

Restoring support for some IP phones

In previous releases of 3CX, we made several changes to improve overall system security and simplify device configuration. The fact is that some previously supported IP phones have been transferred by the manufacturer to the EOL status. That is, without updating the firmware, these phones could no longer maintain the required level of PBX security. Therefore, 3CX has dropped support for these devices. But in Update 6, most of these models are supported again. At the same time, all the features of 3CX are realized, including connection to the local network and to the cloud.

But be careful when buying these phones new or used. They no longer receive firmware updates from the manufacturer! If a new vulnerability is discovered, they will be removed from support immediately. In a word, this is a temporary solution for existing devices.

Yealink T27P, T29G, T41P, T42G, T46G, T48G

Currently, Yealink has released updated firmware for T29G, T46G, T48G, T41P and T42G phones. Before connecting phones, be sure to update the firmware to the latest version! Yealink T27P is also supported, but since the vendor hasn’t provided us with new firmware yet, the phone can only be configured to work on a local network.

Snom D120, D305, D375, D745, 710, 720, 760

These Snom models are now also supported and can securely connect to 3CX (some restrictions apply). Before setting up, be sure update the firmware to the latest version! Also check out the updated manuals for other Snom models.

EOL phones with manual configuration

Many organizations still use rather outdated phones that can only be configured manually. For Update 6, we updated the corresponding setup guides so that you can continue to use these phones in Update 6. In general, setup comes down to specifying the IP address of the SIP server or SBC, SIP login and password in the web interface of the phone. Again we warn you – do not buy such phones – this is a temporary solution for those who already have them.


So, let’s briefly list all the new features in this update, which can be compared to the release of a new version!

IP phones

  • Yealink and Fanvil models with integrated SBC are introduced (phone and SBC functions are combined in one device).

  • It’s cheaper to buy a $125 phone than a Raspberry Pi (up to 10 phones can run through such a phone).

  • The SBC is required when 3CX is installed in the cloud and the phones are on the local network (one phone with SBC must be set up first, other phones connect through it).

Group of users

  • The group has its own number that you can call (at the same time, the direction of calls depending on the time is specified in the settings).

  • The user inherits the group’s work hours, but they can be individually changed.

  • In new 3CX installations, users first fall into the Default group.

User roles

  • There is a new, advanced, way to assign rights in the 3CX system.

  • Different positions of employees in the company can correspond to 7 roles in 3CX.

  • At least one user must have the System Owner role (an extension number must be created for a user with the System Administrator / Owner role).

If you want to know about all the technical details of Update 6, register to our free webinars. You will be able to ask technical questions directly to the 3CX developers! And if you want to launch 3CX right now, here are the direct links: Windows And Linux Debian 10.

But the easiest way is to create new test system hosted by 3CX.

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