Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mobile Voice over IP is Taking Shape

Datamation writes about the potential for mobile voice over IP in the enterprise. Svetlana Issaeva at Pyramid Research said, "In its most straightforward, mobile VoIP is voice over IP over cellular and Wi-Fi networks, but that's still three to four years away. When people talk about mobile VoIP today, they're referring to voice over wireless LANs."

The article looks at three variations of mobile voice over IP being researched or already in production in consumer and enterprise markets:

  • Mobile voice over IP over wireless LANs;
  • Mobile voice over IP over cellular networks, and
  • Mobile voice over IP over cellular and Wi-Fi networks
Randy Giusto at IDC thought "the real holy grail for mobile VoIP is the convergence of voice over Wi-Fi and cellular networks, where companies will truly see a cost-savings." He said, "There are a growing number of employees making cell phone calls on campus." Giusto pointed out that if these employees "could access a wireless IP network from their handsets, the savings could be in the range of 25 percent to 28 percent."

Giusto added, "The grand vision is that you're on a call and in the building you're on the Wi-Fi network, and then you walk out to the parking lot and you automatically switch over to the cellular network. But there isn't a clear software-based handoff that's transparent to the user yet. IT organizations are saying if I can save that much for voice calls, I'd be willing to do it. But the handset companies are waiting for orders and interest."