If VoIP Wasn’t Enough, Now There’s Voice Over Wi-Fi

ATLANTA — Alarm installing and monitoring companies have had enough to worry about concerning end users adopting alternatives to plain old telephone service (POTS) like voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and cell-phone switching. Now, yet another possible competitor to POTS is entering the marketplace: voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi).

Similar to the way VoIP uses the Internet as a conduit instead of POTS wires and relays, VoWi-Fi allows callers to use Wi-Fi to transmit and receive phone calls. BellSouth has just launched a trial service in Atlanta that links callers through an 802.11 connection and SBC says it plans to launch its own VoWi-Fi service in early 2006.

Concerns have been raised that control panels connected through VoIP may have trouble receiving dial tone, while alarm users who switch off their land lines and stick to only their cell phones may not be aware that they’re cutting out the central station in the process.

Could VoWi-Fi be yet another hindrance for alarm companies? Telecommunications expert Christopher Faulkner, CEO and founder of Web hosting firm C I Host, says security professionals can rest easy. He says VoWi-Fi is a long way off from being an alternative to POTS, especially with the small number of Wi-Fi “hot spots.” He sees it more as an alternative for cell phone users on the move than something people will use in their home.

“It won’t replace cell phones but be a nice coupler to it,” Faulkner says, adding dual-use cell phones will allow users to make calls in Wi-Fi without losing minutes in their cellular service. “I see a greater movement to VoIP within the next 12 to 18 months. It will be the end of 2006 before we see movement toward VoWi-Fi.”

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Commercial Integrator + Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add to your bottom line.

A FREE subscription to the top resource for security and integration industry will prove to be invaluable.

Subscribe Today!

Get Our Newsletters