VoIP has become commonplace in recent times, both in business and as a personal communications tool. The benefits are such that it becomes a no-brainer for both individuals and businesses to move to VoIP, principally because of the reductions in long-distance comms costs.
Cordless home systems based on DECT technology, with a core unit attached to the PSTN, and satellite units communicating over wireless had been around for some time before VoIP. They were similar to VoIP systems but lacked versatility and features in comparison with the later true IP based systems.
Recently, the use of WiFi as a primary network topology, coupled with mobile technology, has become more and more common.
As a result, one of the considerations when planning a VoIP environment is the type of handsets needed. The handset type will depend to a large extent on the network environment and the type of anticipated usage.
It is important to look at the two primary environments in which VoIP Phones operate since that can dictate the type of handset required. These are cabled networks and mobile.
First, though, let’s dispose of DECT systems. DECT systems are proprietary in nature with dedicated handsets, and the question around the best type of handset is academic, since there may not be a choice. DECT is incorporated in networked VoIP systems with an appropriate connection and configuration, but that is not always possible. Besides, because of software incompatibilities, they may not work following upgrades to the VoIP software or hardware. Users may also be confused between the different operating environments.