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Wireless VoIP Making Headway In Enterprises, Survey Finds

Wireless voice-over-IP is starting to make headway in the enterprise, according to a survey released Tuesday by market research firm In-Stat.

The survey of more than 300 medium to large-sized businesses found that 23 percent had already deployed some level of wireless VoIP service and 30 percent said they planned to evaluate the technology in the next six to 12 months. Overall, about 60 percent of the respondents, which In-Stat described as "decision-makers," believed that VoWLAN would be beneficial to their enterprises.

In addition, the survey found significant interest among respondents in the ability to make phone calls from laptops and PDAs. It also found strong interest in unified messaging capabilities that mix both e-mail and voice mail.

Overall, the study predicted that the number of subscribers to cellular and/or wireless LAN networks that can deliver VoIP will reach 256 million by 2009, which is about 12 percent of the total number of cellular subscribers, according to the study. That presents opportunities to wireless carriers that they should take advantage of, Becky Diercks, an In-stat analyst.

"It is important to remember that VoIP is a technology and not a product," Becky Diercks said in a statement. "The product is telephone service, and customers don't generally care what the underlying technology is, as long as it works. Carriers should look at wireless VoIP as just one other manner in which to provide seamless access to customers."