Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Getting Ready for VoWLAN

Does this sound familiar? The CEO is never at his desk. The CEO's administrative assistant spends most of her time at the copier, filing room, attending meetings, and tracking down her boss. They're not the only ones who are hard to reach: You can't even find a shipping clerk in the warehouse where cell coverage doesn't reach.

This is an accessibility problem and, in many enterprises, the solution could be voice-over-WLAN (VoWLAN). For years it has been a niche product but with the increasing deployment of 802.11 wireless LANs in enterprises, VoWLAN is increasingly becoming a feasible alternative to wireline and cell coverage.

One nagging question with VoWLAN is whether current technology is up to the task. Proponents believe it is but skeptics point to a lack of standards insuring quality of service and other problems. But that hasn't stopped a host of vendors such as Cisco Systems and SpectraLink from investing heavily in this area.

In fact, SpectraLink has been in this niche for many years -- its 10-year-old 900 Mhz product is well established in some vertical markets like hospitals. Cisco just announced its new 7920 handset for 802.11b networks that includes virtually the same feature set you'd find on a desktop cordless phone.

With major players like these, plus add-on units from traditional phone system vendors like Nortel Networks, NEC and Alcatel enabling VoWLAN, is VoWLAN something your enterprise should be considering?

  • 1