Software gives wireless devices phone capabilities

TeleSym, a voice over IP technology company, is to ship in beta a client software program that gives laptop PCs phone...

TeleSym, a voice over IP technology company, is to ship in beta a client software program that gives laptop PCs phone capabilities.

The company already ships similar software that gives any Pocket PC 2002 device VoIP capability.

TeleSym announced earlier this week that it will receive additional funding from Intel's $150m (£93.5m) Communications Fund, which is part of Intel Capital.

One industry analyst said Intel was seeding the Wi-Fi market in advance of its Banias chip introduction in the first half of 2003. Intel will integrate Wi-Fi into the Banias chip set.

In previous product rollouts, Intel had the problem of having a chip technology that was ahead of the market, according to Tim Scannell, president of Shoreline Research.

"In the past they would introduce a great new chip, like the Pentium 4, but there was nothing that could take advantage of it," Scannell said.

With TeleSym technology, workers in a closed Wi-Fi-enabled workgroup environment,such as hospitals and warehouses, can use their handhelds or notebooks as they would a regular phone. A push-to-talk capability also gives them the ability to set up conference calls to all members of a workgroup by depressing the button located on the side of all Pocket PC devices.

"The side button is part of the Microsoft reference design, and a company can assign an Intercom value to it," said Pat Boyle, product manager at Telesym.

With the addition of the SymPhone Connector on the server, TeleSym users can also connect over the Internet back to their corporate PBX system and from there place regular outbound calls.

Other features include caller ID and telephone dialling using the Microsoft Outlook contact database.

According to Boyle, the company has resolved quality issues around VoIP, as well as minimising the impact of latency by using Edge QoS real-time latency management in the client software.

With the promise of tremendous cost saving by the use of VoIP the market is expected to see significant growth next year, according to Scannell.

"Intel is wise to partner with TeleSym. OEMs may also want to bundle TeleSym or a product like it into their next generation of notebooks," Scannell said.

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