UMBC Networking and Communications maintains its own voice network and provides full service dial tone to the desktop on campus equipment. Every employee has some type of digital telephone instrument, collectively referred to as ROLM phones. All installations, wiring and maintenance are handled in-house and a direct email link to the staff is available at or by calling extension 54357.

UMBC Telephones

There are numerous models of ROLM phones in use on campus and, typically, the model name and number is listed on the underside of the phone.  The instruments plug into wall outlets which, if accessible, are usually tagged with an alpha/numeric identifier.  In the typical UMBC wiring configuration, a wall jack has two voice outlets on top and one or two data outlets on the bottom.  Digital voice lines are typically placed in the left insert and analog lines, if present for fax or special applications, in the right (when facing the wall outlet).  Phone requests or troubles should be sent to the above noted email address or, if more appropriate, called into 5-HELP (54357). Discussion of options or the need for training and reference materials are readily available and should be made to the Applications Unit at extension 52100.

UMBC Telephone Numbers

A common source of initial confusion among users is the presence of DID and phantom telephone numbers. DID stands for “Direct Inward Dial” and is the kind of number that can be “dialed into” from an off-campus location. Phantom numbers exist in the campus system and can be used to make calls, but can not be reached from the outside and, accordingly, should never be published or given out for external use.  Many campus multi-line instruments have a phantom number as the primary line (the line that is active when the handset is lifted) so that the DID line is never busy when an outbound call is in progress.  All UMBC telephone numbers are 5 digits and use two different Catonsville exchanges: (410)-455 and (443)-612, as well as, an Arbutus exchange, (443)-543 for the South Campus. The campus extension includes the last digit of the exchange, 410-455; 443-612; 443-543.  Remember, even though phantom numbers are 5 digits and begin with a 5, only DID numbers can be dialed into from the outside using these exchanges. While there are 15,069 of these, they fall mostly into larger ranges, specifically: 410-455: 1000-3999, 5500-5999, 6230-6277, 6279-6399, 6421, 6500-6599, 6700-6899, 8000-8199, 8400-8499, 8600-8999; 443-612: 0000-1211, 1213-1399, 1500-8999; 443-543: 3500-3999, 5000-5999.

Internal on-campus dialing should always be done using the five-digit campus extension. Loop back dialing – calling out with a “9” to come back in using the 410-455 or 443-612 exchanges – is not permitted and attempted calls of this type will produce an error tone.  Long distance (1+) calls require the entry of a Force Authorization Code (FAC) number obtainable through your department FAC coordinator.

The Communications Services Applications Unit is responsible for voice services including PhoneMail, Call Processing, telephone features, CDR (call billing) and user training.  The campus voice systems offer an extensive variety of features and capabilities designed to assist the user.  Applications staff will work with individuals or groups to see that all needs are served. A direct email link to the staff is available at or by calling ext. 52100.

PhoneMail (Voicemail)

A popular and widely used campus application is voicemail. With a PhoneMail box in place, calls automatically go to the mailbox if the line is in use or not answered. If desired, a subscriber may also activate PhoneMail for immediate answering. There is a visual indicator, a LED marked MSGWT, on the phone, as well as an audio indicator, broken dial tone on the line, to signal the presence of new messages. A PhoneMail box may be shared among users since it can hold up to six extensions, but it must be noted that only one entry password is allowed.  The security of a mailbox is the user’s responsibility and appropriate care should be exercised in setting and maintaining a confidential password. A system security feature “locks” the mailbox should multiple attempts be made to enter it with an incorrect password. The message, “your mailbox is protected”, indicates that this has happened and it will be necessary to call Applications to have the box “unlocked”. The PhoneMail System is designed as an answering and information exchange application. It is most important not to use it as a long-term storage medium. PhoneMail sessions should always be completed by entering *76. Calling Processing is a special application that allows users to set up menu and information boxes to assist callers with routine inquiries and offer greater caller interaction and routing capabilities.

Phone Features

Campus digital telephones (ROLMphones) are versatile instruments offering dozens of features and various capabilities to support general and specific needs in the daily work environment. Users are encouraged to review the provided telephone use information, or call Applications with specific questions, to take advantage of the phone system’s capabilities.

Call Detail Recording

Telephones are provided as part of the campus environment to support the business needs of UMBC in completing the legitimate and sanctioned activities of the daily operation. As such, telephone use should be restricted to those activities directly related to University business or those of an essential nature and importance to the well being and productivity of an individual.  Summary and detail call information for every UMBC extension is collected by campus software and provided to each department on a monthly basis.  For those having display phones, Call-ID exists for inbound calls.