Friday, May 19, 2006

Toshiba to Add Wireless VOIP


Toshiba America will start selling wireless voice-over-IP phones and a wireless PDA to work with its Stratus CIX series of IP PBX equipment, the company said.

The products, two wireless phones and a wireless combination phone/PDA using Windows Mobile, are available through Toshiba dealers starting May 18. The company did not release pricing for the devices.
The phones are the Hitachi IP5000 and the SpectraLink Link 6020. The Hitachi phone will use a company's existing 802.11b Wi-Fi network, while the SpectraLink phone uses a private wireless network operating in the 900MHz band. The third device is the MC50 PDA, which runs Toshiba's SoftIPT softphone software and also uses Wi-Fi.

"It's the next evolution in communications," said Toshiba America Product Manager Greg Portis. "You can move without being tethered to a specific location." Portis said that at Toshiba, "wireless" refers to anything you can use to communicate and conduct dialogue through without being restricted to "a certain space."

Portis said the phones are designed to work with Toshiba's Stratus CIX, a PBX designed for SMBs (small and midsize businesses). "It's our converged system," he said.
Portis noted that no special software was required for the Stratus CIX, although he did say that some settings needed to be optimized. He declined to say exactly what form of optimization was required, except that it was needed to work properly with customers' WLANs (wireless LANs). The Stratus CIX and the wireless devices use SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as their standard means of VOIP signaling.

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