Wireless IP conference phone

Unanswered Question
May 7th, 2010

I have a customer who has requested wireless IP conference phones. Cisco do not supply anything so I am looking for recommendations for third party devices. They are running CUCM 7.1(3).

I have this problem too.
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Paolo Bevilacqua Fri, 05/07/2010 - 14:52

Just connect any cisco model via a wireless adapter. These are called game adapters sometime.

William Bell Fri, 05/07/2010 - 14:59

You would probably be better off with something like this unit:

http://www.clearone.com/wireless-speakerphone.html

It is a 2.4GHz station with a base station which would connect to your voice network via an analog cable.  It also has wireless remote speakers.  I have not used this product.

The big problem is going to be how do you keep a wireless device from wandering out the front door.  It will definitely happen.  Even if you do some funky thing with the Cisco IP phone to "game" adapter.  So, make sure you order a spare ;-)

Regards,
Bill

James Hawkins Fri, 05/07/2010 - 15:14

Thanks for the responses guys,

I do not think the game adapter option will fly as they seem to want a single item type solution that can be moved around free from power.

The ClearOne product looks a possibility as does the Polycomm Soundstation2w (see below - 7936 rides again!) but I guess I was hoping for a SIP enabled 802.11 phone.

http://www.polycom.com/products/voice/conferencing_solutions/conference_phones/soundstation/soundstation2w.html

Paolo Bevilacqua Fri, 05/07/2010 - 15:53

I recommend against using third party SIP devices. Invariably, there will be some feature that doesn't work and you will have an hard time explaining that to your customer.

Instead, a small adapter will enable you to have full support by Cisco for all the features as the manual describes.

Note all conference phones need power so not sure what are they looking for. For someone an 7925 in hands-free mode is a confrence phone perhaps.

christolley Fri, 05/07/2010 - 17:12

We've used the Polycom 2w and the performance was ok. The customer will mneed to remember to charge the batteries peiodically.

William Bell Fri, 05/07/2010 - 16:14

well, the phone I noted in my post is not a SIP device it is analog. So, I guess we comply with your standrds. Personally I would recommend against attaching a wifi technology to a wires conference phone that would still have some sort of cable attached. Also not everyone will have wifi deployed that is voice ready.

Rob Huffman Fri, 05/07/2010 - 18:46

Hi James,

Just to add a note to the good tips from Bill, Paolo and Chris (+5 points each guys!)

If you run b/g wireless I prefer to use the Polycom with DECT 6.0 as it works within a band

outside the 2.4 GHz range. We had real problems with the older Polycom's competing with

our "wireless" deployment. The Clear One that Bill mentioned we have not used but we do have

some 900 MHz Clear One models that also work well. Our clients really like the Cordless conference

phones as there's no more "Spiders Web" of cables like the crazy 7935/36's they also like the 7937's as they

are nice clean setup with pure 802.3af PoE.

Cheers!

Huff

Leo Laohoo Fri, 05/07/2010 - 22:59

Have you looked at the new 9971 series phones?  The 9971 can be used (with CUCM 7.1.3 or later) in either wired or wireless. The phones got a good speaker and USB camera (with CUCM 8.X or later).

Data Sheet Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6788/phones/ps10453/ps10512/data_sheet_c78-565717.html

I go with Paolo on this.  I've used 7921/7925 in speaker mode and works well in a small to medium sized room.

Making your conference phone "wireless" sounds like you need to lock it down to the table or it will walk out to e-bay one day.  If this is the case, then a wired option would minimize theft and losses.

James Hawkins Sat, 05/08/2010 - 05:43

Thanks for all the responses guys.

The rooms in which the customer wishes to use the phones have circular tables but the network and power points are on the sidewalls. The 7936 phones they currently use require an RJ45 cable to be run over the carpet which the customer does not like. This unfortunately rules out suggestions like the 9971.

The Polycom looks like the best bet of those available. I take the point re. it disappearing but hopefully there is some way to secure the base station?

christolley Mon, 05/10/2010 - 16:52

Our Polycom 2W devices have have the lock slot on the Conference Phone but not on the base station.

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