Cisco, Aruba Top List of Voice Over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) Ecosystem Vendors

Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi or VoFi) devices could offer CIOs and other technology executives more control over mobile devices, as well as significant cost savings.

Cisco Systems took the number one spot in a recent ranking of voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi or VoFi) ecosystem vendors, followed by Aruba Networks and Nortel.

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VoWi-Fi technology enables users to place voice calls using Wi-Fi networks, instead of traditional landlines, wired Voice over IP (VoIP) or cellular networks.

The ranking was issued by technology market research firm ABI Research and it was based on the companies' levels of innovation and implementation in a handful of related areas. For instance, companies were rated on how creative they are in creating products for functions that are not yet standardized like roaming, endpoint security, VoWi-Fi reporting, intrusion detection and protection, battery life and quality of service. Innovation in these areas is crucial to companies looking to compete in the VoWi-Fi ecosystem space because much of the functionality and key technologies are not yet standardized and vendors often need to provide their own proprietary products or technologies to meet customers' needs, according to ABI. Partnerships with vendors that offer hardware and other products on the implementation side are also essential, along with the ability to integrate those technologies into VoWi-Fi vendors' own offerings, to offer full solutions, ABI says.

Cisco took the top ranking overall and the number one spot in implementation because of its established relationships with handset and PBX manufacturers, as well as fixed mobile convergence and security software companies. Aruba was ranked second overall, though it took the top slot in innovation.

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"Because voice over Wi-Fi is still embryonic, virtually all vendors need partners to build ecosystems," said ABI research director Stan Schatt, in a release. "Cisco, Aruba and Trapeze have done the best jobs with Motorola and Nortel also well positioned."

CIOs and other technology executives should take note of VoWi-Fi and the vendors that currently offer ecosystems because of the additional control over devices and potential cost savings VoWi-Fi affords, according to Allen Nogee, principal analyst with In-Stat, another technology market research company.

VoWi-Fi "phones let [CIOs] get control back when users are in the building, and they save money on cellular charges since most calls are made in the building [using the corporate network]," Nogee says.

ABI's full ranking of the top 10 VoWi-Fi ecosystem vendors is as follows:

  • Cisco Systems
  • Aruba Networks
  • Nortel
  • Trapeze Networks
  • Motorola
  • Meru Networks
  • Siemens
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP)
  • Colubris Networks
  • Extreme Networks

More information on ABI and its Voice Over Wi-Fi Ecosystems Vendor Matrix is available on the company's website.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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