Dont Put Voice over Wi-Fi on Hold

Tech analysis: Although voice over wireless is not quite ready prime time-because of underdeveloped wireless networks and a limited number of wireless devices-now is the time for IT managers to begin planning for it.

The promise of increased user mobility and productivity has driven wider corporate adoption of WLANs, and one of the most alluring—yet most elusive—uses of the technology is voice over wireless.

Because VOW clients will quickly expose flaws in underdeveloped wireless networks—and because of the relatively limited number of client devices available—eWEEK Labs believes VOW deployments are not quite ready for prime time. However, administrators should begin to add VOW-specific criteria to their plans for both wireless and voice networks.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here for suggested questions to ask before evaluating voice over wireless.

One of the biggest hurdles to wide adoption of VOW is the current dearth of Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

During the next year, we expect to see a sharp increase in the number of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based VOW devices available in the United States. We also expect to see broader standards support: The current batch of devices supports only the slower IEEE 802.11b wireless standard.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead more here about SIPs expected impact.

An uptick in the number of available devices will increase choice for users and IT administrators, but implementers must take care to establish a core requirement of telephony features that any device must support. They must also ensure that devices can provide acceptable performance for their organizations mobile users.

Next Page: Voicing support.