Zultys Adds Wi-Fi Phone

Zultys Technologies of Sunnyvale, California, has been around since 2001 making VoIP equipment, including it’s Media Exchange line of IP-PBX boxes, which are used for everything from voice to video to IM communication. Plus they make a lot of VoIP phones. But for Wi-Fi deployments, they’ve been recommending third party products and thus losing some business. That will change in a few months with the shipment of their first Wi-Fi phone.

The company’s WIP 2 wireless phone is a handset more in the mold of what SpectraLink offers. Patrick Ferriter, vice president of product marketing at Zultys, says it will have four hours of talk time and 12 hours standby, plus swappable batteries for those who talk a lot (or too much). And it has all of the features found on the company’s model ZIP2X2 desktop VoIP phones: do not disturb, on hold, call transfer, etc.

Considering that companies such as SpectraLink and Cisco have had phones like this for months and years, this might not seem a big deal, but Ferriter says the difference is standards. The Linux-based WIP 2 will support basic 802.11b networks using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) .

It can emulate a push-to-talk/paging feature for internal calls by using zones set in the Media Exchange box, and users can set the “presence” on the phone (such as “in a meeting” or “at lunch”) to tie back to their overall status. Set the phone and it’s reflected in your IM client, as well, for example.

Zultys hasn’t announced pricing yet but Ferriter says it will fall between $250 and $400 per phone. The phones will be in beta in October, and shipping by November 2005. By then he expects the phones to have full support for 802.11g networks. There’s no configuration involved; it’s just a matter of turning it on.

The company also offers a VoIP client software program for Windows 2000/XP that integrates with the Media Exchange line. A future version of the client, called MXIE will run on Linux and MacOS. Ferriter says Pocket PC’s running Windows Mobile are a “likely addition.”

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