The sad life of an old Nortel phone system

by Jeff Wiener on September 30, 2009

Picture 9They are brought into our office and thrown onto the floor like garbage. Our technicians certainly don’t have the time to sort through, label, and re-package the old Nortel phones, so, they pile them up, stuff all of them into big boxes, and bring them back to the office. Many times they leave the common equipment (phone system cabinet, and voice mail system) at the customer’s office for them to dispose. Unfortunately, the old Nortel Meridian phone isn’t given the respect it deserves.

What respect is it due ?

20 years of solid, hard work, thousands of hours of phone calls, a slightly cracked display, a reliable voice mail light that still works, and – it now finds itself stacked like garbage waiting to find a new home (don’t worry, we don’t throw them in the garbage). More on that in a moment.

But, I am having fun reminiscing in the mean time.

I started in the Telecom business in 1990. 19 years ago. Way before I got married, and way way before I had my first kid (Jordan, who is now 11, Jessica who is now 9). At the time the Norstar was THE phone system in the market. Nortel had the number one market share in the phone system business with their Meridian Norstar and Option 11 (and previously SL-1) phone system. They maintained that number ONE market position for many years.

And quite the fall from glory.

One of the folks in my office pointed out the irony of the picture. The old garbage Nortel phone is sitting in an Avaya box (take a close look at the picture) – looks like the Nortel phone has been taken over by the box.

And where do we send those old Nortel phones ?

Avaya gives us some amazing credits for the old Nortel hardware. We pack it up, call Fedex, and say good-bye to our old faithful friend who finds it’s way to an e-waste processing plant.

Written by: Jeff Wiener. Follow by: RSS, Twitter,, or Friendfeed


(Mr) Kim Chaisson October 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Reading your Nostar sets post with keen interest. I have pet peeve for seeing all that cast-off plastic and technology laying in discard bins. Having a large installed fleet, I engage regularly in the local rebuild market. Picked up in person, rebuilt with all replacement parts needed, fully tested and delivered back to my loading dock, for about $75 CDN / set. A caveat is don’t try it with the T- series phones, they’re not tough enough to make it to rebuild shop.
Yes, out-of-date KSU’s eventually wind up as shredded plastic and picked over circuit boards, but not before we get our 10 million minutes out of them. ( about 20 years of use). Dwindling supply for parts and salvage units will eventually kill off Norstar all together, but it won’t be because it was a bad product.

Jeff Wiener October 9, 2009 at 10:07 pm

but it won’t be because it was a bad product.

Kim, you are absolutely right. Norstar was the best phone system in the market.


Angel Rodriguez ( i need your help please ) September 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

There is somebody can donated to us the Norstar telephones M7324 and the M7310 for we can still using them in our business in Tampa Florida, i live in Tampa Florida, and i do have 3 Norstar Meridian telephones in used but i have one doesn’t work good, and i have the system Norstar system 6×16, so if somebody having the Norstar Meridian M7324 and the M7310 telephones and have the Norstar system 616 in you live in Tampa or near to Tampa please call me for i can go get it, i know that Norstar systems and the Norstar telephones is now disscontinued at all, but i was a Technical Support for Nortel Networks since almost 7 years, and i wanted still using my Norstar system and my Norstar telephones, so if there somebody can donated to us those telephones and maybe you having the Norstar systems like the Norstar 6×16 and the Norstar 3×8 phone systems and you don’t wanted anymore and wanted trow it away please call me at 1-813-264-9452 or E-mail me at and tell me where we can met for you can let me have your Norstar equipments system and telephones, i live in Tampa Fl, near to University Mall in Fowler ave. contact to me for i can go ahead and get it, thank you so much for your donation to us, my name is Angel Rodriguez. thank you so much. i will be available 24 hours and 7 days of weeks thank you soooooooooooooooooo much for your help and support to us.

Angel Rodriguez ( i need your help please ) September 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

hi again its me Angel Rodriguez, i forgot the telling you, the telephones and the systems that i looking for is the M7310 M7324 and the T7316e and the Norstar system 6×16 and 3×8 so if you still having this equipments with you and you doesn’t wanted at all and if you can donated to us beside throw it in the garbage please im begging you contact to me at 1-813-264-9452 or E-mail me at for i can go right away and get it, because we wanted still using the Norstar system 6×16 and the Norstar Meridian telephones for a longer time, thank you so so so so so so so much for your help and support and for your donation to us, i live in Tampa Florida. so if you live here in Tampa or near to Tampa tell me where you at, for we can go and get it
if you are going to e-mail me. PLEASE NOTE:
1.Please leave me your name.
2.Your telephone number for we can contacting to you right away
3.And the place where you at for we can go get it.
Thank you so much for your help for your support and donation to us.

United we stand. September 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm

well well well, i see the new technology is coming very, so i am voluntary employee, i live in Tampa Florida and i always go a lot of places and i looking for people who wants to throw it away all those oldest Norstar Meridian telephones and systems away, because is too old eww, so if you decide eleiminates completly all that trash and wanted give it away and you live in Tampa Florida or closest to Tampa Florida call me, don’t bother find the way how to figuerout how you can eliminates your Norstar Meridian telephones and your Norstar Meridian systems just call me at (813) 264-9452 and i will go personal where you are and taking with all the oldest Norstar Meridian telephones and Norstar Meridian system and don’t worried i taking my time and pack my self all that oldest equipments and simply i giving away to the near FedEx next to my apartment, so if you live in Tampa call me and will help you. and i also speak spanish in case you need a spanish instructions. My number is (813) 246-9452
So get ready for the new world United we Stand. My name is Angel L. McCallister

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