The present key telephone system comprises cordless telephone stations (FIGS. 6 and 7) which communicate over a line-of-sight transmission end link (276 or 277). The system further comprises a central controller (101) for switching communications between the cordless stations and to the message network. The central controller does not provide any station to transmission channel concentration. Concentration occurs in the bidding by a cordless station for access to a channel provided by the line-of-sight transmission end link. A particular number of transmission channels are provided by the line-of-sight end link which are bid for by any practical number of cordless stations. Subsystem controllers (104) are provided in a large cordless key telephone system. The subsystem controller reformats data for transmission between the central controller (101) and a cordless station. A unique code identifies a cordless station so that the allocation of a new channel to a cordless station may occur automatically when a cordless station is detected within the boundaries of a new subsystem.