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New employees entering the workforce have grown up in largely wireless worlds. From home cordless phones through to their latest must-have smartphone or iPad, the concept of connecting a wire to make a phone call is alien to them.
When combined with the ever-increasing demands for improved productivity and customer service, the requirement for an always connected, always available workforce is now considered standard.
DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) has historically been the most popular platform for delivering wireless voice to both domestic users and business PBXs in almost markets outside of the USA and Japan. Its main attraction has been that it operates in a dedicated radio frequency (in Australia this is 1880-1900MHz), so is not subject to interference from other devices and its delivery of high quality voice.
A key strength of adjunct DECT systems has been the ability to provide wireless extensions to virtually any telephony platform. The basic functionality found in older analogue interfaces (making, receiving and transferring calls) have been greatly enhanced with the advent of the SIP standard for VoIP PBXs which delivers much greater interoperability with a wide range of PBX platform.
Leading vendors, such as Spectralink, have developed a range of industry-specific DECT handsets, suitable for different applications and operating environments, such as manufacturing, healthcare, general office, explosive areas etc.
Also known as VoWLAN (Voice over Wireless LAN), voice over Wi-Fi uses an 802.11 wireless LAN to carry voice conversations. Early versions of VoWLAN were dogged by poor voice quality and security concerns. However, the adoption of new standards such as high speed 802.11n, improved quality of service (QoS) and advanced security standards combined with the rapid uptake of wireless networks in businesses large and small, has seen exponential growth in demand for voice over Wi-Fi handsets.
The latest SIP handsets from vendors such as Spectralink interoperate comfortably with a range of IP telephony platforms and with inbuilt applications interfaces, web browser capabilities and unique features such as bar code scanners, are becoming invaluable business tools.