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WiFi Phones


Initially just a device. A wireless SIP phone that could make use of WiFi networks. Increasingly a WiFi Phone is a device and a service. How much independence these phones retain remains to be seen. Of course in one sense this is nothing new. Any SIP phone can be used through a WiFi network provided an appropriate interface is available. The focus of this page is self contained WiFi SIP Phones and services. This may be important because it may help to create a business model that will drive ubiquitous WiFi access.

Note: Updates to this article will appear periodically.

Unlicenced Mobile Access ( UMA ) Phones

Nokia's Take on UMA
"That's the basic idea behind UMA. It connects your mobile device to your GSM/GPRS services through WLAN (802.11) and allows you to handle calls, send and receive messages, check your email - basically, it lets you do what you already do with your mobile phone, this time through a wireless broadband Internet connection. When you're not in range of such a connection, of course, the cellular network takes over. The automatic switch from cellular to broadband is as simple as walking in your front door - you won't even notice it happening."
Nokia 6136
Nokia, Finland.

Wi-Fi Phones

ZyXEL P-2000W v.2: 802,11b/g Wireless Sip Phone
"It allows users to make or receive phone calls as long as they are in the coverage of IEEE 802.11b or 11g wireless Access Points. … It is not only an ideal alternative for ITSPs (IP Telephony Service Providers) to deploy their VoIP services; it can also be the wireless handset, which is applied in corporate IP-PBX centric VoIP environment. … By configuring a remote IP address in the built-in phone book, the Prestige 2000W provides a direct IP-to-IP call feature when there is no intermediate SIP proxy server available in the network. The Prestige 2000W can also establish an 802.11 ad-hoc network (computer-to-computer network without Access Point), which allows users to use the handsets as wireless intercoms. "
ZyXEL Communications Co. Based in Hsin-chu, 300 Taiwan

Cisco CP-7920: 802.11b:
"The Cisco Wireless IP Phone 7920 is an easy-to-use IEEE 802.11b wireless IP phone thatÊprovides comprehensive voice communications in conjunction with Cisco CallManager and Cisco CallManager Express. Increased security and faster roaming, plus eXtensible Markup Language (XML) applications to the display, are several of the enhancements to the Cisco Wireless IP Phone 7920 Version 2.0. … Compatible with Cisco Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) Version 2.0 and later"
Based in Tokyo 105-7123 Japan

Pulver Innovations:
The WiSIP Mobile IP Phone has been optimized for use with Free World Dialup. It can also be used with SIP based IP-PBXs. Also great for IP Communication service providers, Enterprises and/or Multi-Branch offices as well as SoHo and Hot Spot applications. Targeted to the consumer marketplace
Based in Melville, NY, USA

Nortel: Improving Customer Responsiveness With Nortel Voice Over WLAN Solution (pdf)
"Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) represents the coming together of two important and rapidly growing tech-nologies — WLAN and IP Telephony. By seamlessly integrating the IP Telephony system with WLAN infrastructure, users are provided with high-quality mobile voice and data communications throughout the workplace. "
Based in Ontario, Canada

Standards

Unlicenced Mobile Access ( UMA ) now part of Generic Access to A/Gb Interfaces ( 3GPP )
"Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology provides access to GSM and GPRS mobile services over unlicensed spectrum technologies, including Bluetooth and 802.11.   By deploying UMA technology, service providers can enable subscribers to roam and handover between cellular networks and unlicensed wireless networks..."

Kinento Wireless
"...with UMA, mobile operators maintain control of their subscribers and services when connected via Wi-Fi. With UMA, a secure, managed IP connection is established between the mobile handset and the operator's core network. All of an operator's mobile services (voice, data, and IMS) are available to the subscriber when connected via Wi-Fi. In addition, with UMA active voice calls and data sessions are automatically handed over between networks as subscribers come in and out of range of WLANs."

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)
"The original scope of 3GPP was to produce globally applicable Technical Specifications and Technical Reports for a 3rd Generation Mobile System based on evolved GSM core networks and the radio access technologies that they support (i.e., Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes).  The scope was subsequently amended to include the maintenance and development of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) Technical Specifications and Technical Reports including evolved radio access technologies (e.g. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE))."

3GSM
"Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is one of the third-generation (3G) mobile phone technologies. It uses W-CDMA as the underlying standard, is standardized by the 3GPP, and represents the European/Japanese answer to the ITU IMT-2000 requirements for 3G Cellular radio systems."

Supporting Infrastructure

FON: Funded by Google & eBay/Skype
"FON is a Global Community of people who share WiFi. Share your WiFi broadband access at home/work and enjoy WiFi all over the world! FON: small cost, great benefit!… If you'd like to join the FON Community, register with us at www.fon.com. You can select the user profile that most suits you. FON is now working in a Beta phase and is only available for Linus. A Linus is any user who shares his/her WiFi in exchange for free access throughout the Community wherever there is coverage. In the future, FON will also be available for Bills. Instead of roaming for free, Bills are users who prefer to keep a percentage of the fees that FON charges to Aliens. And Aliens are those guys who pay to connect."

Voice Interoperability for Enterprise Wireless (VIEW) Certification Program
"Voice Interoperability for Enterprise Wireless (VIEW) Certification Program"
SpectraLink Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA

Azimuth Systems: Interoperability Test Environments
"Azimuth's W-Series WLAN Analysis Platform is the first solution that delivers to vendors and users repeatable, scalable and automated test capability."
>Based in Acton, MA 01720, USA

Aruba: The Mobile Edge Company
"Aruba's Mobile Edge System enables a new type of edge for the enterprise network — the mobile edge. The mobile edge allows users and devices to connect over the air and across any network, to securely gain access to enterprise resources."
Aruba Based in Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Symbol: The Enterprise Mobility Company
"The Symbol WS5000 and WS5100 Wireless Switch, and AP300 Access Port were thoroughly tested in SpectraLink's lab to validate interoperability, call capacity and voice quality with SpectraLink’s NetLink Wireless Telephones."
Based in Holtsville, NY, USA

Avaya: WiFi solutions 3.0DT - Factsheet (pdf)
"Avaya Wi-Fi Mobility Solutions provide businesses with a range of next-generation options for taking advantage of Wi-Fi"
Based in Holtsville, NY, USA

Centillium Communications
"Our award-winning VoIP ICs are among the lowest-power, highest-density chips on the market, carrying up to 1,008 PCM VoIP channels on a single SoC. Our highly sophisticated architectures “future-proof” your designs – allowing for easy software-based upgrades to new bandwidth intensive features your customers will require in the future. And no other company can match our highly scalable, efficient and low-cost systems. "
Based in Fremont, CA 94539-7828, USA

Converge Access
"Converged Access solutions optimize total cost of ownership while asuring Quality of Experience for business critical IP voice, video and data applications."
Based in Billerica, MA 01821-5729, USA

Vocera Communications (pdf)
"Vocera Communications® has developed a wireless voice communication system to enhance customer service, productivity, and teamwork throughout organizations including hospitals, retail stores, hospitality, as well as manufacturing and service organizations. The Vocera Communications System consists of two key components: the Vocera System Software which controls and manages call activity and the Vocera Communications Badge, a wearable voice-controlled communication device. Together, the Vocera System Software and Badge allow users to instantly communicate with others throughout a building or campus environment by using simple voice commands."
Based in Cupertino, CA 95014, USA

Wi-Fi & WiMax Phones in Development

SamSung: WiBro: H1000 & M8000 Mobile Phones:
"Samsung will demonstrate WiBro (Wireless Broadband; Korean brand name of Mobile WiMAX) mobile phones. … As WiBro gets prepared to be fully implemented and utilized in the market next year, Samsung will put on display both the mobile phone-typed H1000 and the PDA-typed M8000. … The H1000 is a clamshell designed phone that can be opened both horizontally and vertically with a QWERTY key pad. It has 2.2 inch LCD screen to enhance email and internet capabilities. The H1000 also has dual cameras (2 megapixel and VGA level) and TV Output function. The M8000 is a smart phone equipped with a QWERTY key pad for easy email usage. Additionally, Samsung will feature a WiBro PCMCIA card that can be used in laptops and Tablet PCs. " WiBro is a homegrown South Korean technology jointly developed by Samsung Electronics and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) based on Intel Corp's WiMAX high-speed Internet standard.

Motorola, Intel team on mobile WiMax:
"WiMax is considered a promising next-generation wireless technology because it supports high data rates and has a long transmission reach. The technology supports data speeds from 1 megabit per second to 5mbps, and it can be transmitted over a 20-mile radius. This is much farther than Wi-Fi technology based on 802.11 standards, which typically transmits signals only up to 50 feet. WiMax is also believed to be cheaper than comparable cellular technology because it requires fewer network elements. Motorola sees WiMax as a key piece of its mobility strategy and plans to introduce an 802.16e WiMax phone in early 2007. The company also plans to build a dual-mode phone that supports WiMax and cellular to allow people to roam in and out of the two networks for maximum wireless coverage. Motorola already sells a dual-mode Wi-Fi and cellular phone."

Net-2Com and Fujitsu:
Newly developed IP Handset Prototype "Net-2Com and Fujitsu Develop World's First Wireless IP Handset Enabling Seamless Switching Between Wireless Networks"
Based in Tokyo 105-7123 Japan

Beyond WiMax. Food for Thought

xG Technology: xMax:
"…a new low power, long range broadband technology called xMax. xMax is a novel modulation and encoding technology that boosts the range and power efficiency of all wired and wireless communications. xMax is not a compression technique, but rather a synergistic mix of two well-established communication approaches that dramatically improves spectrum utilization. … xMax delivers broadband data rates orders of magnitude farther than other technologies operating at the same frequency and power level. Conversely, xMax achieves equal range with far less power, thereby improving battery life. Because product designed to operate using xMax show improved range, significantly less infrastructure is required to cover a given service area. "
Based in Sarasota, Florida, USA

WiFi Phone Service Offerings

FWD
Vonage
IDT

Commentary

Skype and Vonage: thank you, and goodnight:
"3GSM It's small, it's boring and won't turn any heads - but it probably spells the end of the road for Skype, Vonage and any other hopeful independent VoIP companies. It's Nokia's 6136 phone, which allows you to make calls over your home or office Wi-Fi network, as well as on a regular cellular network. UMA, or unlicensed mobile access, is the mobile operators' answer to the threat of VoIP - and now it's reality."

VON: Voice Over WiFi: A Work In Progress:
"You can buy VoFI today, for use in your home, on the road, or in your office, that’s clear. You can see it in use, in hospitals and other places. Given the still-in-progress standards, hacks to jigger bandwidth availability, QoS, seamless roaming, and handset rollouts, it all seems still in the “needs experts” stage."

VoWLAN Business Models: How the wireless VoIP market catalyses fixed-mobile convergence:
"The study provides rigorous argument and detailed quantitative forecasts of the future of VoWLAN. It assesses residential and corporate usage cases, both standalone and in “dual-mode” form with cellular telephony. The report examines the role of VoWLAN in driving forward various fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) business models."

Folkstone Haron Photo


Updated: Monday, May 1, 2006 - V0N 1V1
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