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.

Is Wireless VoIP A Cellular Killer?

A seemingly simple scenario will soon become a reality, and it could dramatically change the cellular industry and how we talk on the phone while we're mobile.

The scenario is this: You're walking down the street talking on your cell phone. When you walk into your office, your phone seamlessly switches from your regular cell carrier to a voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider accessed via your company's wireless LAN.

Mobile phones are starting to appear with both cellular and Wi-Fi capabilities and the technology for seamless hand-offs between the two types of networks isn't far off, most observers agree. But this is far more than a simple matter of new technology. Rather, it means a whole new cast of competitors for current cellular operators. For users, it means more choice and, potentially, lower prices.

"The (wireless) carriers are scrambling to figure out what to do," said Derek Kerton, principal of the Kerton Group, a telecommunications consulting firm.

In other words, whether you are a manager who buys mobile telecom services for your company or an individual consumer, this seemingly simple scenario represents a sea change that will impact how you acquire and use mobile services.

  • 1