• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

The cordless option

Nov 12, 20032 mins

* Maybe all we need is just a cordless phone

We’re wrapping up (for now) our discussion of the various options for integrating voice over IP and wireless LAN technology.

There’s the longstanding option of using a traditional cordless (as opposed to wireless, which implies cellular) phone with campus-wide roaming rather than reinventing the wheel with a cordless/wireless IP phone. The argument here is that the older technology is well established and does not generally compete for the same wireless spectrum as the 802.11 devices. Products of this type are supplied by Nortel, among others.

A recent paper by Cambridge Technologies makes a particularly strong argument for taking this approach and, if VoIP capabilities are desired, putting the conversion to VoIP in the wireless phone base station rather than in the phone itself. The phones are simpler, and many of the problems associated with developing yet another new product are avoided.

It’s going to be tricky to avoid duplication of efforts and general chaos in the market.

So, in summary, a short list of the options you have are (at least):

* Desktop IP phones with 802.11

* Portable IP Phones with 802.11

* Phone clients on your 802.11-enabled notebook

* Phone clients on your 802.11-enabled PDA

* Combination cell phone/802.11 IP phone

* Traditional cordless phone with a VoIP-enabled base station

Let us hear from you concerning how you’re muddling through these many choices, and we’ll let you know what we see as trends.