Getting Started with WiFi Voice
Posted by: Phil Bowers, Senior Marketing Manager
This blog was originally posted on Grandstream.com
One of the most buzzworthy topics within the unified communications industry in 2018 has been the rise of WiFi voice solutions. Whether you call it WiFi voice, Voice-over-WiFi, VoWiFi, VoIP-over-WiFi, Voice-over-WLAN or VoWLAN, this technology is here to stay and is poised to become a main UC deployment option for businesses all over the world. This blog will explain what WIFi voice is, why it’s so powerful and how you can build a WiFi voice and video solution.
WiFi Voice and Video
WiFi Voice extends access to SIP or VoIP networks through WiFi, rather than through hard-wired connections. There are no special service plans needed as WiFi voice networks utilize the same exact backend SIP services as any wired VoIP network, but with the connections being extended to endpoints wirelessly through a WiFi network. Since the majority of SIP networks can also support video, WiFi voice network deployments can also support video.
Advantages over Traditional Deployment Options
WiFi voice networks allow businesses to build truly wireless offices that offer unprecedented mobility while streamlining installation, management and on-going maintenance.
Utilize Immersive WiFi Environments
Most businesses require and already have powerful WiFi networks in place, and these networks are designed to cover every corner of a facility. Rather than building and maintaining an endless maze of ethernet cabling, WiFI voice delivers access to voice and video networks wirelessly through WiFi.
With WiFi Voice, you can make and receive SIP voice and video calls from anywhere WiFi is available. No hard-wired connection is required. This is especially powerful for cordless WiFi IP phones, which will work from every corner of any facility and will easily support roaming through same WiFi network.
Streamline Installation and Management
WiFi voice deployments eliminate the cumbersome, expensive and time-consuming process of running wires to, and installing switches in, every corner of an office just to deliver a SIP connection. This means that new deployments – or deployment expansions – are as easy as placing a WiFi IP phone on a desk. This also drastically reduces ongoing maintenance by removing most cabling and switches, which are common sources of network issues.
Eliminating miles of Ethernet cabling cuts back on a lot of potential waste and hard infrastructure. Also, claiming an office is “wireless” has become an important component of many corporate social responsibility programs.
Adopting WiFi voice is the last step for many businesses in moving to a completely wireless office setup. Currently most data, internet and even video collaboration networks often operate mainly through Wi-Fi connections. The wireless office is truly the office of the future, and Wi-Fi voice is playing a major factor in allowing the world to realize the power of wireless offices.
There are a variety of new features and protocols that allow WiFi networks to prioritize SIP voice and video traffic so it is not slowed down by other traffic, and to facilitate seamless roaming from WiFi AP (access point) to AP. For a full breakdown of these features.
Let me offer some background as to why this question comes up. Historically there have been two main difficulties with WiFi voice: no way to prioritize voice traffic and no way to ensure seamless roaming to prevent momentary connection drops. However, thanks to new protocols and WiFi features, both issues are no longer a concern. By utilizing the features mentioned in the blog we linked to in the previous paragraph, you can both prioritize voice or video traffic and ensure seamless roaming.
Building a WiFi Voice and Video Solution
It is really quite simple. Add WiFi APs to the same network as your on-premise, cloud or hosted PBX, and then connect WiFi-capable IP phones, video conferencing devices and other endpoints to the WiFi network offered by those APs.