Many of these features are migrating to consumer customers. For example, most consumer videoconferencing technology uses the same SIP protocol used by VoIP.
One difficulty will always remain in such solutions: VoIP is only as reliable as your broadband connection. If there is a power outage or a dropped connection the VoIP is lost. For most users then a contingency plan will be required if they are using any of the above schema.
The configurations presented above assume that the user will be in reach of a landline or a computer. Yet in the same way that people have discarded their landlines in favour of cellular telephones, it is envisaged that people will want to retain the freedom of a cellular, but at lower VoIP call rates. What's really required by the WiFi generation is a 'roaming' solution that has the convenience of WiFi, the coverage of a cellular network with a Bluetooth 'hands-off' package.
Bluetooth is a low-cost wireless communications technology that links devices such as mobile phones, laptop and printers to a short-range wireless, personal area network. Bluetooth technology operates on 2.4GHz, the same bandwidth as WiFi. Bluetooth wireless can transmit data up to a rate of 1 Mbps, or 2 Mbps in the second generation of the technology.
There has been talk of Bluetooth technology losing momentum as WiFi, Ultrawideband (UWB), and other networking technologies take off. But Bluetooth SIG believes the technologies serve different functions and ultimately will work together.
The key difference between Bluetooth wireless technologies and other technologies, such as UWB, Wi-Fi and Infrared are range, power consumption and intended use. Bluetooth wireless technology in its most common implementations has a range of 30 feet (10m), is low-power consuming, designed for battery operated mobile devices and provides voice, data and audio connections between devices.
Infrared or IrDA is a well-known technology. It uses pulses of non-visible light to communicate between two devices, such as a remote control to a television or DVD player. One drawback of IrDA is that there must be a clear line of sight between the two devices, and the other disadvantage is that IrDA normally only operates between two devices at a time. Like Bluetooth IrDA has found a niche in connecting devices.
WiFi is short for 'wireless fidelity' and refers to the 802.11b networking protocol for wireless networking. It is a limited-range wireless networking protocol based on the 802.11 family of standards using spectrum in the 2.4 GHz range to exchange data at broadband speeds.
The big advantage of WiFi is its simplicity. Devices can be connected without the need for wires. The devices connect to the network using radio signals, and can be