Avaya strengthens IP phones

Hoping to extend its PBX market success into the IP realm, Avaya Inc. last week unveiled new IP phones and added Wi-Fi into its IP telephony mix.

The Avaya 4620 IP Telephone comes with XML-capable Web browsing software, accessible through a screen display and an infrared port that can let the phone connect to an infrared-enabled PDA or other device. The 4602 phone is a new basic-feature phone.

Also introduced were an 802.11b-compatible wireless IP phone and a gateway system, and a new version of Avaya’s softphone.

The 4620 phone comes with programmable touch-pad buttons and function labels on the device’s LCD screen, along with four programmable application buttons and an XML-based Web browser.

An integrated switch port is included for connecting a PC to a LAN over one cable drop, and an integrated infrared port lets a PDA interact with the device – such as dialing a phone number from a handheld address book application.

The 4602 phone comes with a two-line LCD screen and two programmable feature keys.

Avaya’s IP phones work with the company’s ECLIPS (Enterprise Class IP Solutions) IP PBX products, such as IP600 IP PBX and the S8700 Media Server, which compete with products from 3Com, Alcatel, Cisco, Nortel, Siemens, and Shoreline Communications.

Avaya’s Wireless IP handsets, part of the company’s Wireless IP Solution product bundle, are resold from Spectralink, a Wi-Fi IP phone maker. The phones can interoperate with standards-based 802.11b endpoints, and include features such as caller ID, conferencing and multiple line appearances.

The phones require a Wireless IP Solution server and/or a gateway. The gateways can handle up to 16 handsets per device. The addition of a server can allow up to 640 phones on a network.

The new version of Avaya’s IP Softphone can interact with an Avaya IP telephone handset, letting end users dial numbers through the application – which can access directories such as Microsoft Outlook – then talk using the IP handset.

The 4620 phone costs US$500 and the 4602 phone is US$200. The Wireless IP Telephone Solution starts at US$730 for the handsets, and US$3,950 and US$2,000 for the servers and gateways, respectively.

Also introduced was a 2450 Digital Telephone – which looks identical to the 4620 – for US$624. The new IP handset and softphone release will be available next month, while the Wi-Fi IP telephony gear will be available in October.

The digital handset is available now.