Toshiba to Add Wireless VOIP

The company announces two wireless VOIP phones and a combination phone/PDA, all designed to work with Toshiba's Strata CIX PBX system.

Toshiba America will start selling wireless voice-over-IP phones and a wireless PDA to work with its Strata CIX series of IP PBX equipment, the company said.

The products, two wireless phones and a wireless combination phone/PDA using Windows Mobile, are available through Toshiba dealers starting May 18. The company did not release pricing for the devices.

The phones are the Hitachi IP5000 and the SpectraLink Link 6020. The Hitachi phone will use a companys existing 802.11b Wi-Fi network, while the SpectraLink phone uses a private wireless network operating in the 900MHz band. The third device is the MC50 PDA, which runs Toshibas SoftIPT softphone software and also uses Wi-Fi.

"Its the next evolution in communications," said Toshiba America Product Manager Greg Portis. "You can move without being tethered to a specific location." Portis said that at Toshiba, "wireless" refers to anything you can use to communicate and conduct dialogue through without being restricted to "a certain space."

Portis said the phones are designed to work with Toshibas Strata CIX, a PBX designed for SMBs (small and midsize businesses). "Its our converged system," he said.


Portis noted that no special software was required for the Strata CIX, although he did say that some settings needed to be optimized. He declined to say exactly what form of optimization was required, except that it was needed to work properly with customers WLANs (wireless LANs). The Strata CIX and the wireless devices use SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as their standard means of VOIP signaling.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Toshibas Strata CIX PBX.

Portis said the SpectraLink phone has built-in security, while the other two devices use standard Wi-Fi security, making them more appropriate when sensitive communications are required. Portis also said Toshiba would be adding more wireless products in the near future.

The SpectraLink Link 6020 is the only non-Wi-Fi phone announced by Toshiba. Its a handset that features a speakerphone, text messaging, water and dust resistance, and programmable keys. The phone operates in the 902 – 928MHz. frequency range and was announced by SpectraLink in early May 2006.

The Hitachi IP5000 is designed to be an affordable SIP-based IP phone that uses 802.11b Wi-Fi communications. It will work with most existing Wi-Fi networks, and uses WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) security. The IP5000 has been widely available in the IP phone market for some time and has an established record of reliability.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead an eWEEK Labs review of Toshibas new gaming laptop here.

Symbols MC50 is a handheld PDA that runs the Windows Mobile operating system and provides access to a wide variety of applications. Toshiba is installing its IP softphone software on the units it sells, allowing the MC50 to use the Strata CIX IP PBX. The device communicates using 802.11b and supports WEP encryption.

All three phones are available through Toshiba dealers as of May 18. Portis said he expects the three wireless products to be hot sellers. "We have more than 400 dealers, and weve gotten tremendous interest," Portis said.

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Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...