Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Anaheim Muni-Fi and Earthlink ready for Wi-Fi Phone Beta Testing - We need details!

The New Earthlink VOIP service is now ready for beta testing. Users in Anaheim may sign up now and get a free handset with the service during the tsting period according to Glenn Fleischmann over at WiFiNetNews

Good news for those of us watching the VoWLAN emergence but I have some questions:

It appears as if the service is tied to their phone. There is this quote in the release, "'What separates our Wi-Fi phone from others is its ability to work over EarthLink's municipal Wi-Fi networks,' said Steve Howe, EarthLink's senior vice president of voice."

  • Does this mean that other SIP phones or dual band phones will not work?
  • Is this an attempt to control the hardware and service.
  • Has anyone tried using a different phone over the Anaheim network?
If this is true and we are locked into an Earthlink/Accton solution, it could spell doom for rapid adoption and raise the hackles of the "Free the Airwaves" folks.

Later on it also mentions that the Accton system is and ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) based system. This would be similar to Vonage's home adapter. Again, more questions, can you use the handset while roaming about the network or just when in range of your own ATA base station?

Lastly (and in my opinion, most importantly), is it encrypted or are folks going to be able to sniff my call and play it back with VoiPong or something similar? Why do people always think of security last?

There are many questions we still have no answers to. If you know any, drop me a line.

1 comment:

  1. Glenn Fleischman over at WiFiNetNews shed some light on the proprietary nature of the Earthlink network, "No consumer VoIP phones I'm aware of will support the kind of login necessary to use EarthLink's municipal networks. They use a standard that will appear in phones later, or work through interesting workarounds; this standard is already in corporate VoIP phones, and it's not a big deal to add."