R&D endeavors in the VoIP phone segment also highlight trends for multimedia and intelligent functions.
Mobile applications and wireless connectivity continue to spur growth in China’s VoIP phone sector as developments in computer, communication and consumer electronics continue to lead trends. Makers are releasing more handsets supporting these features, hoping the strategy will sustain the upturn the line has been experiencing in recent years. As a result, dual-mode units running on cellular and Wi-Fi has been rising in supply, although the segment remains the turf of international giants Nokia, Samsung, Apple and Motorola.
|The model T38G VoIP phone from Yealink boasts a TI Aries chipset and voice engine. It also has a dual-port Gigabit Ethernet router and switch.|
Revenue from mobile VoIP is expected to reach $29.57 billion by 2015. This will be driven by the proliferation of high-speed data networks, increased handset sales and mobile data flat-rate plans, according to Frost & Sullivan. The number of mobile VoIP users is estimated to hit 288 million by 2013, forecasts In-Stat.
Meanwhile, wireless VoIP handsets come in 2.4GHz, Wi-Fi and DECT varieties. Pure versions of the first two constitute a minority sector. Regardless of type, the market share of cable-free phones are expected to rise in the next few years. As such, Yealink Network Technology Co. Ltd will release the model W52 DECT phone to expand its selection. Targeted at the US and Europe commercial and residential markets, the unit supports a 65,536-color TFT display, two RJ-45 Ethernet ports, and six VoIP and PSTN accounts. It enables 8hr talk and 100hr standby time, and 50 and 200m indoor and outdoor transmission.
Multimedia and intelligent functions continue to be seen as value added as manufacturers develop variants that work with IP PBXs and gateways. Some makers have launched smart terminals enabling multimedia, home video door intercoms and Internet. Fanvil Technology Co. Ltd has introduced the first Android 2.0 IP video phone in China. It has an XML phone book and TR069 or remote configuration. The device adopts a Broadcom 11211 processor.
Makers are improving the performance of their video IP handsets by introducing variants with 7in touchscreens. For example, Yealink has released the T38G and T32G models. The first is a 6-line executive color phone designed for users who require rich telephony and a friendly user-interface. It offers high-definition voice quality through a TI voice engine, and HD handset, speaker and G.722 codec. The device is equipped with a dual-port Gigabit Ethernet and IPv6 function.
China’s market for IP video phones is forecast to expand with the country’s trinetwork integration system comprising telecom and cable TV networks, and the government’s Internet of Things. Domestic telecom carriers are also actively promoting IP multimedia subsystems and developing related technology specifications. Some industry observers said these trends will force carriers toloosen VoIP restrictions.
Suppliers are further optimistic the growing popularity of VoIP phones in developed countries will sustain market uptick. The device is envisioned to replace traditional handsets despite the initial investment required for its installation. VoIP calls placed over the Internet cost less than those made using conventional phones. Global VoIP subscribers are forecast to reach 250 million by year-end with a growth rate of 50 percent YoY, according to iData Research. The number of wideband users will represent 16 percent of total telephone subscribers.
|Fanvil's SE500 VoIP phone features a Broadcom professional VoIP chipset and supports Linux 2.6 OS. The model has five SIP servers.|
China manufacturers offer stand-alone and USB VoIP phones, and ATAs, IP PBXs and gateways. In addition, some companies also provide 2.4GHz and DECT phones. Most releases target the low-end and midrange segments, although leading suppliers such as Fanvil and Yealink have started venturing into the upscale segment.
Low-end VoIP phones, which range from $35 to $60, have phone book, voice mail, speed dial, VLAN, G.71, G.726 and G.729 codecs and optional PoE. Midrange models are priced between $61 and $130. They incorporate G.722 wideband codec, HD voice, multiple VoIP lines, SMS, Wi-Fi and RTP. Many units also come with large-screen LCDs, expansion modules and programmable keys.
High-end VoIP phones are sold for more than $131 and feature multimedia functions. Besides enhanced resolution, such releases run on Android or Linux OS and integrate Gigabit Ethernet and touchscreens. Others integrate DECT, and Wi-Fi and 3G modules
|The K-2000 model from Telewell is fully integrated with Skype functions, including Skype conferencing, PC-to-PC and PC-to-home calls over the Internet.|
SIP and Skype are the mainstream protocols in Taiwan’s VoIP phones. Products come in wireless and wired versions, with the latter the dominant choice. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the applications pushed by companies in the wireless segment.
With the popularity of smartphones and other devices supporting VoIP telephony, Taiwan makers are eyeing the business segment to boost sales. Most are catering to call centers, offices, Internet service providers and SOHOs. The last represents only a small portion of the clientele. Teleconferencing with handsfree mode, microphone muting and three-way calls are widely enabled. Almost half of shipments from Taiwan boast PSTN connectivity via an FXO interface. Dual-mode devices are suitable for home and SOHO setups for their lower costs.
PC-applied USB VoIP phones adopt Skype protocol. This is despite the sluggish demand for Skype handsets due to the popularity of smartphones and mobile PCs, which deliver free Internet access.
For stand-alone models such as desktop versions, Ethernet connectivity is adopted. Three to five SIP accounts are supported. Some releases employ Wi-Fi or DECT.
SunComm Technology Co. Ltd offers desktop VoIP phones with PoE. Others add a gateway to enable the unit to switch between Skype VoIP and PSTN calls. Several of these boast Skype speed-dial function.
A number of stand-alone desktop VoIP phones come with USB ports to connect to PCs for free PC-to-PC calls over the Internet.
Telewell Electric Co. Ltd’s tabletop configurations can be used as a PSTN or VoIP handset via gateway conversion.
The VoIP phone industry in Taiwan is currently experiencing a downturn. There are 30 to 40 VoIP makers in the line, and the number is expected to decrease further in the months ahead.
Auto Telecom Co.
Fanvil Technology Co. Ltd
Fanvil Technology Co. Ltd
Shenzhen Bao'an Gaoke Electronics Co.(mainland China)
SunComm Technology Co. Ltd
Telewell Electric Co. Ltd
Yealink Network Technology Co. Ltd
Note: This article "Mobile, wireless provide impetus to VoIP phone line" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
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