25 September 2006
Wi-Fi-only handsets are now becoming available that can be used over a WLAN via various VoIP providers. These are likely to become popular when the price comes down and they can work like a normal cordless phone. Cambridge Silicon Radio's UniVox is a prototype Wi-Fi VoIP phone that should cost less that $20 to make and have 20 hours talk time.
The idea of using your wireless LAN (WLAN) or a Wi-Fi hotspot to carry voice calls has been around for a long while but it isn't yet a mainstream activity. However, various changes mean that it soon will be.
About four years ago, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body, which creates 3G and GSM standards, suggested that it would be a neat idea to use Wi-Fi as an alternative way to access mobile networks.