Nortel adds VoIP to WLan portfolio

Nortel Networks has unveiled handsets, access points, a switch and other products designed to extend wireless Lans to support...

Nortel Networks has unveiled handsets, access points, a switch and other products designed to extend wireless Lans to support enterprise telephony.

The products add VoIP (voice-over-internet protocol) capability to Nortel's WLan 2200 portfolio, the company said.

VoIP on a wireless Lan allows employees to carry their work phone with them when they move around a facility, keeping their extensions and office dialing capabilities and avoiding a bill for voice minutes from a mobile operator.

The company introduced two phones, the WLan handsets 2210 and 2211, both of which emulate Nortel's i2004 internet telephone, take advantage of all the features of Nortel's call servers.

The 2211 includes walkie-talkie capability. A WLan IP telephony manager 2245 manages the connections that the phones get on the wireless Lan, giving voice calls priority over other traffic to improve call quality.

Enterprises which want to add standardised third-party applications for specific uses of WLan calling will be able to run them on Nortel's WLan application gateway 2246.

Those specialised applications could include nurse-call systems in hospitals or inventory system look-ups in retail settings and warehouses.

Nortel aims to meet the requirements of VoIP calls with a "dynamic coverage" system that can detect coverage gaps and assign channels on the wireless access points to avoid interference. Those functions will be handled by the WLan security switch 2270, which also has security functions including the detection and containment of rogue access points.

Access devices which go with the security switch 2270 are equipped with sensors that monitor radio frequencies and report that data to the 2270.

The WLan access port 2230 offers 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g capability, while the access port 2231 has 802.11b/g support. 

The company also announced the standalone WLan access point 2225, a modular design that lets enterprises decide whether to use 802.11a, b, g or all three. It can also be equipped with external antennas to extend range.

The handsets are set to ship in May, priced at $695 for the 2210 and $890 for the 2211.

The IP telephony manager 2245 is priced at $2,500, while the application manager 2246 costs $1,600.

The WLan access port 2230 and 2231 will ship in April, priced at $599 and $499, respectively, and the WLan security switch 2270  starts at $10,999. The WLan access point 2225 will be priced at $899 for a/b/g and $599 for b/g support.

Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service

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