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Wireless VoIP

There is no question that Voice over IP is gaining serious momentum. In a new study, IDC is predicting that VoIP service in US homes is to grow from 3 million homes in 2005 to 27 million by the end of 2009. What about VoIP over wireless? This is quite a tricky proposition, as VoIP requires quality of service mechanisms, largely absent from current wireless technologies, whether local or wide area. However, these are being added to Wi-Fi in IEEE 802.11e, and are also on the roadmap for 3G services, including UMTS/HSDPA and EV-DO. In fact, Verizon indicated this week that it could start offering VoIP over their EV-DO network in the 2008 to 2009 timeframe. The fact this is three to four years away points to the complexities involved. Nevertheless, widespread wireless VoIP is inevitable in my view, it just may lag wireline deployments by a year or two.