Skip to main content

New VoIP-friendly Wi-Fi Access Points

That holy grail of wireless/IP convergence, the seamless handoff of a dual-mode phone call from a Wi-Fi network to a cellular network, is still a rare phenomenon in most places. But we are taking small steps towards it now, in the form of a new class of specialized Wi-Fi access points designed to support voice-over-IP.

Connected to a VoIP network and phone service, these access points provide VoIP's cheaper services to cellular phone users within range of their Wi-Fi transmitters. They may also offer better-than-cellular indoor coverage.

If the user leaves the zone of Wi-Fi coverage, and if (but only if) his or her mobile operator supports such services, these devices will also hand off calls from Wi-Fi to cellular. Motorola's recently-announced RSG system, expected by late this year, exemplifies the trend.

"If such products prove successful," says Philip Solis, senior analyst of wireless connectivity research at ABI Research, "it will validate the idea and the importance of voice-over-Wi-Fi. Even a system providing a limited service, without operator-supported handoffs, offers rewards in the form of cheaper calls and better indoor coverage."

If these VoIP/Wi-Fi access products enjoy considerable market success, that would also support analysts' forecasts of a boom in dual-mode cellular/VoWi-Fi devices. But much work remains to be done by all industry stakeholders to arrange how services are charged and minutes billed, before seamless handoffs become an attractive proposition to most carriers.

Solis adds, "ABI Research would urge mobile operators who lag behind in offering converged services to pick up the pace, or risk losing revenue to their nimbler competitors, or because their customers find lower-cost workarounds."

Popular posts from this blog

Trillion-Dollar Smart Power Grid Transformation

The global energy landscape is undergoing a significant transformation. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are rapidly gaining ground as we transition towards net-zero emissions. However, this transition hinges on a crucial but often overlooked factor: the modernization and expansion of our aging power grids across the globe. For decades the backbone of our electricity delivery system has been largely static. The influx of variable renewable energy sources like solar and wind presents a new challenge. Smart Power Grid Market Development Integrating these resources effectively requires a Smarter, more Responsive grid that can handle fluctuating power generation and efficiently distribute it across vast distances. This is where a new trillion-dollar energy market growth opportunity emerges. According to a recent worldwide market study by ABI Research, global investments in public grid digitalization and transmission network expansion must exceed $4 trillion by 2030 to meet our