The VoIP equipment market has been relatively quiet this year (and Q4 of 2008). Paralyzed by the economy, new product announcements (on the whole) have been kept to the minimum.
The one trend that seems to be awakening the VoIP equipment market is the ever growing demand for high quality, reliable mobility solutions. As VoIP adoption has continued to grow, residential, small business and enterprise customers have become increasingly intrigued by the benefits of mobility.
For some time, 802.11 b/g wireless VoIP phones and “systems” were all the rage. But over the last few years technological limitations and false expectations have limited most 802.11 b/g wireless VoIP deployments to small footprints and ultra controlled environments.
Enter DECT, short for Digital Enhance Telecommunications, an ETSI standard for digital portable phones (cordless telephones). You’ve surely heard of it. It’s been used for over a decade and is used by the majority of cordless home telephones.
Pain, meet band-aide.
With the claws of wireless networking vendors retracted from the VoIP industry due to the lack of roaring success with 802.11 b/g, a number of industry leading manufacturers looked to DECT. They began development on and then eventually brought to market VoIP DECT solutions.
Expect this list to continue to get longer as the number of businesses and consumers gravitating to SIP based DECT solutions continues – even though DECT isn’t the cheapest solution. From auto dealers to dentists to your neighbors living room, DECT’s growing reputation for range, reliability and delivery of crisp VoIP calls has proven that people will pay more if it works.
Residential VoIP service providers are still primarily VoIP adapter based at the customer premise. (Interesting, considering that back in early 2006 Vonage and I found a large percentage of customer signing-up at the kiosk with a V-Tech cordless set-up and not the free telephone adapter.)
And even though SIP based DECT phones have their heritage in the home (where mass adoption is possible), an even greater opportunity may lie with small businesses. The masters of many hats are always on the move and a lower cost voice service delivered through a phone that moves with them – from their favorite VAR – is a no-brainer.
Oh for those who are a technologist at heart, thanks to SIP, the majority of available DECT VoIP phones work with your favorite BYOD VoIP provider.
With all this opportunity and activity, expect to see more players and more growth very soon. Rumor has it that up to three different manufacturers could be releasing SIP based DECT solutions by years end.
Combine this with the recent buzz surrounding HD voice (HD or wideband codecs are already supported on some SIP based DECT solutions) and one should expect DECT to come to the forefront of many conversations in the near future.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take one of the current SIP based DECT solutions for a spin yourself.
If you’re a consumer, business, reseller or service provider interested in learning more about how SIP based DECT solutions can benefit you, I’d love to hear from you. Whether you’re looking for general information, product recommendations or advice on solution selection, I can help you. You can contact me here or on Twitter.