For several years, certainly as long as I have been writing this blog, I have been hunting for a better cordless IP telephony solution for my home office. Cordless mobility is increasingly a critical feature for home office and small business users. While we have a satisfactory solution in place at the moment, there’s certainly room for improvement.
Siemens, a multi-national company headquartered in Germany, has a new subsidiary called Gigaset US specifically to market some of their range of consumer electronics in North America. This new company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
While Siemens consumer electronics range is vast, well established and highly regarded, Gigaset US is initially focusing on bringing some of their consumer SIP/DECT phones to the US market. This fact was the basis of a CES press release announcing that the A580IP & S675IP models were to be the initial offering.
To bring these devices into the US the company needed to make revisions to meet US regulatory standards, which includes operating at different frequencies than European DECT standards. All the while the US company has been working on establishing a marketing strategy and building a sales channel.
All of this effort is about to start bearing fruit as Gigaset US has recently provided us with a range of samples for evaluation. This article is the first in a series that will outline our experience using these devices over the past month or two.
At the outset let me 100% clear, these Gigaset systems are consumer products. They are intended for use by a broad range of people with no specific VoIP experience. That said, SIP/DECT systems are ideally positioned for use in small businesses and home office applications.
The attractions brought by the Gigaset systems are many, but key amongst them are:
- SIP capable, supporting up to 7 active SIP registrations
- PSTN capable, providing one FXO for connection to an analog line
- Easy initial setup
- CATiq based wideband audio capability
- Excellent wireless range and battery life
- Ability to provision contact directories to the handsets
- Simple integration with external data sources via RSS
Gigaset sent two complete systems including multiple handsets for evaluation. These two system reflect the various product offerings in the CES press release. I’ll describe them in order, ascending up the range, then a bit more comparatively. The items to be considered are as follows:
- A580IP System – a DECT base with entry level A58H handsets
- S675IP System – a DECT base with full-featured S67H handsets
- S78H – a high-end handset offered as optional expansion to either of the base systems
…more to follow.