Thursday, May 12, 2005

SyChip Dual-Mode VoIP Module

Tom Keating - VoIP Blog

Inside Scoop - SyChip will announce in about 11 days its Dual-Mode VoIP module for the mobile handset market. The new SyVoice VoWLAN device is a complete turnkey hardware solution with full software support.
It's basically a VoIP processor combined with 802.11g WLAN modem that allows for quick integration into cell phones/PDA phones allowing users to roam between cellular and VoIP networks while maintaining the most cost-effective connection.

I interpret this "while maintaining the most cost-effective connection" to mean it will have some sort of Least Cost Routing (LCR) capabilities built-in. Though you would think WiFi (802.11g) would always be cheaper than cellular, so it wouldn't require much LCR intelligence. That is to say, "Do I detect a WiFi LAN? Yes. Ok, use WiFi for calls." versus "Do I detect a WiFi LAN. No. Ok, use cellular network". But perhaps this product does have more intelligence than I am giving credit for. Or perhaps they simply meant it can seemlessly roam from the more expensive cellular network to a less expensive WiFi network once you enter a hotspot area.

Of course, the cellular company would have to "support" handing off the call to the WiFi network, so perhaps the "cost-effective" statement has more to do with saving cellular companies money than it does saving the customer. I'll have to find out more. I'm also curious why they chose 802.11g instead of 802.11g/b (or 802.11g/a/b) since 802.11b is certainly more ubiquitous. But I am excited to see more dual/hybrid cell/WiFi VoIP technologies coming to market. The cell phone companies may not like it, but the VoIP revolution is going to affect the cellular market just as VoIP has transformed the landline market via broadband VoIP offerings from Vonage, AT&T, Packet8, BroadVoice, and others.

In any event, here are some of Sychip's dual-mode product's other features:
- Optimized to reduce power dissipation to allow for talk times of more than five hours and standby times of more than 100 hours.
- High-data-rate data connection over WLAN network for standard data functions like Web browsing and email access.


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