Wireless VoIP Handsets Taking Off

Carl Weinschenk

We know a hot market when we see one, and it's clear that wireless VoIP handsets fit the bill. An announcement from Cicero Networks, an Irish company, says that its product -- cleverly named the CiceroPhone -- can be hosted by Nokia's S60 family of handsets.


That puts the CiceroPhone in the pockets of a whole lot of people: More than 8 million S60 devices shipped during the second quarter of the year. All told, more than 70 million devices are in the field.


There is, of course, a lot of action in the converged handset arena. And, as in any scenario in which a lot of news is being made, interested potential consumers need to parse vendor claims very carefully. Precisely what is new in each announcement? Is it a shade of gray just different enough to justify a press release, or has the vendor done something that truly is intriguing? Is the new element a core value, or a bell and whistle? One rule of thumb that works for us: The value of the news tends to be inversely proportional to the complexity of the press release announcing it.


In the bigger picture, the sheer noise level surrounding the marriage of cellular and VoIP means that IT departments, corporate planners and upper-level executives need to pay attention.

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Nov 3, 2006 11:18 AM Steve Shaw Steve Shaw  says:
My understanding is that Cicero's product is designed for dual mode cellular/wifi products, and is ideal for providing mobility between the two networks.   I don't doubt there are 70m S60 devices, but how many of those actually have Wi-Fi?  steve Reply
Nov 3, 2006 11:30 AM Mikael Mikael  says:
Until I see a substantial improvement in both sound quality and handset battery life, I don't believe that wVoIP will pick up the way all the buzz suggests. And for that to happen, we are probably looking about a year into the future. For the next year or so, mobile VoIP applications like Globe Dialer and other players in the market space, will deliver where wVoIP fall short. today. Mikael. Reply
Nov 4, 2006 2:40 PM Piet Basenaer Piet Basenaer  says:
Mikael,Re. your comments about Wi-Fi VoIP and battery life & voice quality, you wouldn't be speaking on behalf of the WinMob crowd, would you?Symbian offers pretty decent battery life as shown by Nokia's E61, which Nokia claims has similar talk time for VoIP and GSM (WCDMA trailing both somehat). Standby-time is inferior, but still a decent 8-9.5 days: http://europe.nokia.com/A4145129. Having used an E61 with VoIP myself, I can say such figures aren't completely off the mark.Not having used any WinMob device with VoIP, I can't say what the equivalent figures are, but The Register reports a pitiful 4 hours STAND-BY time. Truth be said, it slaps a 2-day stand-by time on the E61 (I haven't had a chance to test the latter): http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/18/symbian_voip/Again, my experiences only relate to Nokia E61 but its call quality is beyond reproach. I regularly participate in conference calls with it and it's not me who gets complaints about not coming through clearly -- it's the cellphone users.I'm sure Microsoft can do better, but they'll have to follow Symbian's cue and optimise the platform carefully for VoIP rather than rely on 3rd-party bolt-on jobs.Piet  Reply
Mar 20, 2007 10:28 AM vic vic  says:
I think that VoIP technology is still relatively young. It's true that it might take years for a set infrastructure to be in place for general use, but hype or not, I really think that VoIP will become pretty standard one day. That being said, I dont think traditional land lines and cellular networks will be obsolete anytime soon, either.http://nationwideLD.com Reply

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