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VoIP Over Wi-Fi Poised To Spread Quickly, VON Conferees Told
The folks who rolled out the nation’s first metropolitan-wide Wi-Fi network in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, are implementing VoIP over WiFi. They told an audience at the VON Fall 2005 conference in Boston that VoIP over Wi-Fi will be ready for prime time in other municipalities in the coming months. VON, billed as the "voice over the Net" conference, is the industry's major voice over Internet protocol trade show.
“We think Wi-Fi Metro can do everything and be like an electricity utility,” said Tyler Van Houwelingen of Azulstar Networks, which is the Wi-Fi provider in Rio Rancho. “We can sell unlimited telephone and broadband service for under $40 and that’s the best in the business.”
Van Houwelingen, who is the founder and CEO of Azulstar, said VoIP functions well in fixed locations and reasonably well in mobile situations in which users are moving about the 103-square-mile Wi-Fi metro area. The Rio Rancho network plan calls for customers being able to use SIP phones when traveling at speeds up to 55 miles an hour.
“Mobility for VoIP is most complex,” he said, adding that mobile Wi-Fi in Rio Rancho should be perfected in a few months as new handsets come to market. “All the big handset guys are working on it," Van Houwelingen said, adding that the handsets should have improved antennas and power consumption savings for mobile use.
Van Houwelingen said VoWi-Fi will be an important feature for usage in the eight metro Wi-Fi nets that Azulstar has been rolling out, because the technology will enable the service to compete with entrenched telephone companies.
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