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Garrett Smith Explains About Wifi Phones

Kudos to VOIP Supply’s Garrett Smith for plainly explaining the truth about wifi SIP devices, and specifically why Vonage stopped offering them. You can’t put it any more plainly than, “They suck.” The really curious part is that VOIP Supply probably sells more Wifi SIP phones than anyone else.

Others I’ve spoken within the industry have echo’d this feeling about SIP Wifi devices, although not so openly. My own experience with the Hitachi Cable WIP5000 (shown right) bears this out as well.

Vocera Voice Badge

It is interesting that the one exception to this rule is the Vocera VOIP badge, which I encountered deployed at a major local hospital. Speaking with their staff it appears that they love the little device. But it’s not exactly a run-of-the-mill Wifi phone.

In contrast, thus far my experience with the Snom M3 SIP/DECT phones has been very good. I also hope to eventually get access to some of the new Polycom Spectralink & Kirk product for trial later this spring.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I disagree. I’ve used my Nokia wifi-enabled mobile phone as a my primary phone for over a year now, and quality is “good enough” (and much better than the Linksys and Zyxel I’ve tried in the past). It’s great to have the same phone everywhere, and having the phonebook common to my fixed and mobile lines is very practical. But as a general phone I agree DECT is a lot more mature with superior coverage and battery life. (Continued in the next comment..)

  2. The focus of the origin of this thought was in the realm of the consumer Wifi SIP handsets from companies like Belkin, Hitachi Cable, Netgear, Linksys, SMC, and Xyzel. These are generally $100-200 single task devices that, per Smith’s assertion…suck, badly.

    Your Nokia is I think a wholly different class of device. Dual modes phones like the most recent Blackberries and your Nokia show great promise for fixed mobile convergence using wifi. However, they’re much more expensive. Fwiw, I hope to trade up my Blackberry Pearl for a wifi capable model very shortly. Then I might gain some experience with a dual mode device.

    The fact that these dual mode phones generally come from the traditional cell phone makers is also interesting and bodes well for their real world capabilities. The wifi phones coming out of the networking manufacturers have been disappointing as a whole. They stand to give the entire category of VOIP over wifi a bad reputation, even as its really just getting started.

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