At the show, sponsored by the International Nortel Networks Users Association, Nortel touted upcoming low- and high-end IP phones, including a new handset that includes a color touch-screen display.
Slated to be rolled out by the end of the year, the IP phone features a 5.7-inch display screen and full Web browsing and motion video capabilities. The handset, priced at $995, also supports wideband audio and includes a duplex speaker phone and optional Bluetooth wireless capabilities.
"Cisco [Systems] had a nicer phone than Nortel up to this point, but this changes that," said Stephen Murnane, senior vice president of Scottel Voice and Data, a solution provider in Culver City, Calif. Last fall, Cisco introduced the IP Phone 7970G, an IP handset that also has a color, touch-screen display. Murnane, who attended the conference, said the new Nortel handset will likely appeal to vertical-market customers such as hotels or law firms, which can use the new handsets to access custom Web applications.
Nortel also plans to add a low-end handset, the IP Phone 2001, which is scheduled to ship next month and carry a price of $145. Nortel's lowest-priced IP handset, the IP Phone 2002, costs $295.