Today, businesses can choose from a wide variety of IP telephones. Leading telecommunications manufacturers continue to round out their IP phone portfolios, offering a range of choices from cost-effective entry-level, cordless and mid-range phones to more advanced models for executives and power users. By transmitting voice over a companys data network, IP telephones can reduce costs and easily extend office telephone features to a remote location such as a home or branch office. Corporate directory access, call history logging, IP call recording, large pixel-based displays, color touch-screens and Web access are among the many popular IP telephone features available today. Most IP phones include a built-in Ethernet switch that allows a PC to be plugged into the phone so that only one wire to the desktop is needed, and IEEE-compliant Power over Ethernet eliminates the need for a separate power supply; local AC power or proprietary power schemes are also options.
Database publisher and analyst group TelecomTactics finds that more than 90 percent of newly-released business telephony systems, introduced by leading U.S. telecommunications manufacturers so far in 2005, include support for IP telephones; up from 85 percent of new systems in 2004 and about 75 percent in 2003.
A number of telecommunications manufacturers have rolled out new IP telephones in 2005, including new entries from 3Com Corp., Avaya Inc., Nortel Networks and Siemens Communications Inc. Check out these offers on Pages 26-27.
WHAT TO WATCH IN 2005
Recently, several leading vendors have announced agreements with Research in Motion (RIM) to integrate RIMs BlackBerry 7270, including 3Com, Avaya and Nortel Networks. Targeting todays increasingly mobile workforce, these vendors are partnering with RIM to deliver a new mobility solution that integrates a communication server with RIMs SIPbased BlackBerry 7270 Wireless Handheld device for wireless LANs. Specifically, the RIM BlackBerry 7270 will integrate with the Avaya Converged Communications Server, 3Coms VCX Gateway and 3Coms Wireless LAN Mobility System and Nortel Networks Multimedia Communications Server (MCS) 5100, a SIP-based solution for the companys CS 1000 IP PBX system. The joint solution improves on-campus employee productivity with instant access to voice and data communications as business applications are extended to the BlackBerry. Open standards, such as SIP and IEEE 802.11, enable the Avaya, 3Com and Nortel systems and RIM technologies to work together.
Research in Motions BlackBerry 7270
Currently available for purchase, RIM originally announced the BlackBerry 7270 in October 2004 as the first BlackBerry handheld device to deliver both voice and data capabilities, supporting VoIP and wireless LAN technology and targeting mobile workers that need access to phone, e-mail and the corporate intranet. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.0 works with Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise, enabling wireless access to email. Users can read, create, forward, reply, save or delete e-mail messages with the BlackBerry device. Small in size (4.5 x 2.9
x 0.9 inches) and lightweight (5.03 ounces), the BlackBerry 7270 has a battery life of 3.5 hours for talk time and four days for standby. www.researchinmotion.com
Sandra M. Gustavsen is an analyst covering enterprise systems for TelecomTactics, a database publisher and analyst group within Access Intelligence LLC.
3Com Adds Four Models to 3100 Series
3Com Corp.s 3107C IP phone
3Com Corp.s 3103 Manager IP phone
3Coms current portfolio of eight IP phones includes the recently introduced 12-line 3103 Manager large screen, gigabit-speed phone; the cost-effective, single-line 3100 Entry; and two cordless IP phones (featuring Uniden America Corp.s cordless technology), the 3106C and 3107C, with coverage up to 1,000 feet or 305 meters from the base unit. Like earlier 3Com 3100 series IP phones, the new phones support 3Coms call control protocol and industry-standard SIP and utilize the emerging wideband audio standard (7 KHz or higher) that enhances speech transmission and provides clearer speech than that of a traditional PSTN phone call (3.3 KHz).
3Com selected Texas Instruments TNETV1050 Internet Protocol (IP) technology to power the 3Com portfolio of IP phones, adding a robust acoustic echo canceller for quality sound and Texas Instruments Powerover- Ethernet technology. 3Coms IP phones work with 3Coms enterpriseclass VCX V7000 IP Telephony Solution, 3Com V3000, V5000 and NBX 100 communication systems; phones with SIP compatibility can also operate with SIP-enabled equipment from other manufacturers.
Avayas Intelligent Endpoints
Avayas 4625 SW Color IP phone
New Avaya intelligent endpoints improve the user experience and simplify the integration of custom desktop applications. The phones support standard Internet protocols such as the XML-based WML (Wireless Markup Language) browser built into the phone for delivering Webbased content to a phone display. The new models include the Avaya 4622 IP CallMaster for contact center agents, Avayas first IP telephone built specifically for call centers with two headset jacks for agent and supervisor. The Avaya 4621SW IP Telephone features a large screen graphic display (4-inch by 2.9-inch or 8 lines), soft keys for call-log, speed-dial directory and the WML browser. An Expansion Unit adds 24 buttons for call appearances or features. Avayas 4625SW Color IP Telephone is similar to the 4621SW model, but adds a color display (supports JPEG color images and 256 colors).
These new additions expand the wide array of Avaya IP telephones on the market, including Avayas IP Softphone with Instant Messaging, an application for PC-based call management, including click-to-talk calls and contact status (also available for a Pocket PC).
Nortel Networks IP Phone 2007
Nortel Networks IP phone 2007
Nortel Networks introduces a new color screen phone, the IP Phone 2007, with 12 programmable line/feature keys (six via the shift key), 5×7 color touch-screen and support for realtime and Virtual Network Computing technology. The integrated touch-screen (with stylus) enables menu navigation, while an on-screen popup keyboard and USB port for mouse/keyboard can be used for data entry.Virtual Network Computing technology delivers pre-packaged and customized Web content from external application gateways. Call center agents and supervisors can use the IP Phone 2007 for call center functionality, including answering ACD calls, logging agents in and out, recording activity codes and contacting a supervisor for assistance. Supervisors can display agent statistics and queue status as well as observe agents. IP call recording also is possible.
This new addition expands Nortels growing line of IP telephone models that includes the multiline IP Phone 2004 for high call volumes, the IP Softphone 2050 software phone PC-based or PDA-based client (called Mobile Voice Client 2050 operating on Pocket PC PDA), the multiline IP Phone 2002 for moderate call volumes and IP Phone 2001, a low-cost entry-level IP phone.
Siemens OptiPoint 420 Family
Siemens OptiPoint 420 Advance
Earlier in 2005, Siemens Communications announced the optiPoint 420 family of IP telephones, a new line of SIP Telephones with basic and advanced models and programmable Self- Labeling Key functionality that stores feature key names or numbers on an LCD instead of on paper labels. The family includes the advanced functionality of the earlier Siemens 410 series such as full-duplex speakerphone, OptiGuide soft keys and G.722 Wideband Codec for improved speech quality. A range of snap-in modules is available for flexibility and choice, including the Large Display Interaction Module with voice dialing and touchscreen functionality for WAP-based browsing and access to corporate directories.
The four new optiPoint 420 models include an alpha numeric display and 12 or 18 programmable line and feature buttons, available without using the shift key. The optiPoint 420 economy with handsfree listening offers a desktop phone for the traditional office, while the optiPoint 420 economy plus adds a mini-Ethernet switch and integrated headset port. The optiPoint 420 standard features a backlit display, full duplex speaker phone functionality and two option bays for snap-in modules. The optiPoint 420 advance for executives and power users has a graphic backlit alpha numeric 4-line x 24-character display and one option bay. SIP (420 Advance only) and H.323 protocol support enable the new phones to operate with Siemens HiPath 3000 and 4000 and 8000 systems, as well as other SIP-based systems on the market.
Need up-to-date information on available enterprise telephony systems and their features and pricing? Want to compare other vendors against yours? Check out TelecomTactics at www.telecomtactics.com. It offers an interactive Web-based sales tool featuring detailed feature/function-based comparisons of enterprise communications equipment and applications in a side-by-side report format. Product categories covered include IP PBX, PBX, key systems, IP telephony gateways and telephones, voice and unified messaging, contact centers and ACD, computer telephony integration, in-building wireless and hospitality systems.
|3Com Corp. www.3com.com
Avaya Inc. www.avaya.com
Nortel Networks www.nortelnetworks.com
Research in Motion www.researchinmotion.com
Siemens Communications Inc. www.siemens.com
Uniden America Corp. www.uniden.com