Mobile VoIP Part 4 - Making it work

In part four of his mobile VoIP feature, Adam Turner explores how to make this technology work for your business.

PREVIOUSLY: Who uses mobile VoIP today?

One of the biggest challenges when deploying mobile VoIP is ensuring your wireless network is up to the challenge.

The network design for wireless voice versus wireless data is very different, warns Dimension Data enterprise architect Darren Kay.

"We generally find when we're rolling out wireless VoIP for a client that we've got to go back to square one. You can reuse a lot of the access points but you've got to go back and do a proper site survey, draw up a proper design and potentially add extra access points to pick up the coverage. Just because a wireless network covers the desks doesn't mean it covers the corner of the room where you might want to make a call."

"If you don't get the foundation sorted then all you need is a few bad experiences and then that's the end of the project. Even though it's not sexy, you got to do that basic stuff and get it 100 per cent right otherwise it's going to blow up in your face."

Melbourne's Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre encountered exactly such troubles when trying to deploy wireless VoIP on a network designed with data in mind rather than voice.

"People were complaining about dropouts within the hospital, as well as the quality of the call and the lack of some of the advanced features they had on their desk phone. People just found it unreliable and they were using it at their desk, which defeated the purpose," says IT manager Nuno Goncalves.

"A lot of that was to do with the access points that we pushed out, they were very limited in the level of quality of service we could apply. It couldn't push out VLAN, so they couldn't co-share data and voice on the same access point. We're in the process of replacing all the wireless access points with Nortel gear that talks back to the call switch."

"The new units are quite good, they allow us to use the phones in the lift and moving between floors without dropping out. When moving between access points it will keep two connections simultaneously until one is stronger than the other. It's eliminated a lot of the quality of service and dropout problems we had with the other units. It has access point awareness, which allows us to locate the phones throughout the hospital using triangulation and offer presence."

NEXT: Can I use mobile VoIP away from the office?


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