Originally published July 1, 2008 at Small Net Builder
Polycom SpectraLink Wireless Telephone (8002)
Wi-Fi SIP phone designed for small business use
• Durable construction
• Supports strong Wi-Fi encryption
• Centrally managed provisioning
• Good voice quality
• Reasonable battery life
• WMM works as promised
• Fiddly initial network configuration
• No support for compressed codecs like G.729
• Relatively expensive
Polycom is a leader in the IP communications space. Not only are their longstanding SoundPoint series of desktop IP phones class leaders, but their voice technology can be found in many products under many names.
Seeing a need to expand their product offering to include cordless mobility, Polycom recently acquired SpectraLink, a leading maker of Wi-Fi-based telephony systems, and Kirk Telecom, a leader in DECT-based cordless telephony systems. These acquisitions, now consolidated under the Polycom name, give the company a comprehensive product suite addressing the mobile IP communications needs of various vertical markets.
The coming week promises to be very interesting. It’ll be the first full week spent in my office in a couple of months. Thank goodness. I’m tired of all the travel. Also, I have a bunch of new VOIP hardware either awaiting installation or on its way.
Now that the NAB show is over I can reclaim some of my personal life and resume a couple of projects already underway, as well as add some new ideas. Here are some highlights of things to come;
My exploration of the Portech MV-370 SIP-GSM gateway will continue. I’ve decided that this will happen in two parts. Part one is a backgrounder exploring factors that could motivate a VOIP user to consider adding wireless gateway capability, what problems they might solve and a market overview of the available devices. This part is almost ready for the publisher and will appear at www.smallnetbuilder.com.
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.
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 PolycomSpectralink & Kirk product for trial later this spring.