It appears that Linksys is finally ready to make its move into the Voice over WiFi market with its own Wi-Fi VoIP phone. And, as should be expected from an industry leader, Linksys' offering has important features to separate it from an increasingly-crowded field and to make it more friendly to corporate networks.
|Disclaimer: This article describes an unannounced product, based on publicly available information in the FCC ID database. Neither Linksys nor Cisco have provided, confirmed, or denied any of this information.|
As its name implies, the WIP330 Wireless-G IP phone has an 802.11b/g radio. This will allow it to operate on 802.11g networks without the throughput impact caused by slower 802.11b-based phones. In addition, the WIP330 appears to be the first VoIP Wi-Fi phone to support both WEP encryption and stronger WPA-PSK wireless security, but there is conflicting information in the User Guide. The specification section lists "WEP (64/128), WPA-PSK Encryption" for the Security spec. But the manual's section describing wireless setup refers only to entering a WEP key and has no reference to WPA-PSK.
The phone supports SIP v2 with G.711 u/A-law and G.729a/b voice codecs and ToS (Type of Service) QoS. Voice quality features include Acoustic Echo Cancellation, Jitter Buffer Control, Comfortable Noise Generation and Packet Loss Concealment.
As illustrated by Figure 1, the WIP330 comes with a power adapter and stereo headset.
Figure 1: The WIP330 components
The power adapter connects to the handset's USB 1.1 port using a mini-USB plug. While the User Guide says only that the USB port "allows you to attach the included power adapter", it could hold open the possibility of allowing the handset to be recharged by connecting it to a powered USB port.
Figure 2: WIP330 handset
Figure 2 shows a closer view of the attractive handset, which measures 1.84" x 5.32" x 0.74" [46.7 mm x 135.2 mm x 18.8 mm] (W x H x D) and weighs in 4.2 oz. The handset has a 2.2 inch (55.9 mm) 240 x 320 pixel color screen, numeric keypad, two softkeys, 4-way navigation pad with select key as well as dedicated Call and End/ Power keys. Speakerphone operation is also supported via a rear-mounted speaker. Power is suppplied via a removable 3.7V, 1250mAh Lithium IonBattery.