What is a WiFi Phone?
A WiFi phone is a wireless device that gives you the dual benefits of wireless connectivity and the cost savings of VoIP. It can be used in any areas- hotspots- where WiFi connectivity is provided. If there are no obstructions, you will be able to use a WiFi phone within a radius of 300 feet (90 meters) of the hotspot. However this also depends on the number of people accessing the hotspot at the given moment.
What a WiFi Phone Can Do
Just like a cell phone, you can use a WiFi phone to make calls, send text message, receive voicemail and to some extent even access the internet. The WiFi phone is capable of retrieving data and accessing the internet better than a cell phone.
As wireless hotspots are becoming widespread, a WiFi phone enables you to converse with your family, friends and work associates anywhere in the world at much cheaper rates than a regular telephone allows. All you need to ensure is that you are within the range of a WiFi hotspot.
In other words, you can use your WiFi phone from home, hotels, offices, airports, internet cafes, business districts or just about anywhere there is a WiFi network established. More and more metropolitan areas and commercial outlets are deploying free or low cost WiFi hotspots, so you have many places where you can use your WiFi phone to make and receive calls.
Most of the WiFi phone models available in the market have built in features like echo cancellation, lost packet recovery and packet delay compensation. Thus you can expect excellent voice quality from WiFi phones.
The problem with WiFi technology is the range and this applies to WiFi phone as well. It is not possible to roam beyond the hotspot, or between two hotspots, and this means limited mobility while you are on a WiFi call. Further, many WiFi enabled phones shut off the WiFi receptor when not in use, in order to save energy. This can lead to missing the incoming calls. However we can expect that these problems will be ironed out soon as the technology develops.
The Bottom Line
The cost effectiveness is the biggest factor here. The average American user today spends $50 a month on cellular calls. Hotspots are free or much cheaper in comparison, and multiplying fast too. By switching over to WiFi phones, the average consumer as well as businesses can save a lot on the telephone bill. From this angle, WiFi phone looks like the next big thing in the telecom revolution.