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Voice Over IP Goes WiFi

Techstination feature for Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Voice over IP, goes WiFi. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Phone services that let you make and receive calls over the Internet….continue to gain in popularity. They're typically a lot cheaper than traditional phone lines. But to get it, you do have to have high speed cable or DSL Internet service. For people who have wireless networks at home and in the office, or who travel to places where wireless Internet service is available….a company called Zyxel is out with a Voice over IP phone…that is wireless. Product manager David Thompson….

"We expected it to be used in residential, for customers who are replacing their traditional phone service or accentuating their traditional phone service with a voice over IP plan who already have a wireless network and don't want to be tied to a cord on the wall. Also…for small, medium businesses, warehouse and hospital and hospitality type markets, where they can use the WiFi phone in their corporate wireless network and take advantage of the mobility that grants them within their building. A third market would be mobile travelers, professionals on the road who can hook up to WiFi networks that they find here and there such as being able to make and receive calls from their hotel room."

. Eventually some wireless carriers may introduce cell phones that will allow you to make voice over IP calls without using up cell minutes. While the Zyxel phone uses what is called the SIP standard…making it compatible with a number of Voice Over IP service providers. One provider, BroadVoice, offers the phone to subscribers for 99 dollars. An unlimited international calling plan costs about 20 dollars a month. Unlike other voice over IP systems that typically plug into a router on a home network, users may have to tinker with settings on the WiFi phone to get it to work.