If you do a search on Google for WiFi IP SIP phones you’ll find one of two things. Either the posts contain data about phones that might be coming out soon, with a posting date from 2004, or you’ll find posts from people that have downloaded applications for their cell phones that allow them through their capped data plan to make VoIP calls using emulation software. With the progress that WiFi VoIP phones have made in the last two years, it’s incredible that there is so little written about that latest handheld hardware.
The Locktek WP04 WiFi IP SIPphone is a massive step forward in mobile communications. The phone weights around 3oz, has a crystal clear color TFT display and provides standby time of around 140 HOURS with a talk time coming in at 7.5 hours. The latest firmware along with dimming of the screen and keypad, as well as the well written firmware increase talk and standby time to levels never seen before. With the Multi-Dialing feature, you can dial phone numbers, IP addresses and SIP accounts directly. If you have 2 or more WP04 phones on your local intranet, simply dial the IP of the other WP04 to connect without using a SIP account.
With a SIP account from any worldwide SIP provider, you can make and receive local and international calls from any location with an open or authenticated WiFi signal. I use mine at a local well-known chain donut shop – I walk in, turn on my WP04 and within seconds I’m connected to their WiFi router. I can check my voicemail and make or receive calls at almost no cost, depending on your SIP plan. Compared to a cell phone yearly plan at $39.95 a month PLUS TAXES, my total VoIP bill last year was $60, for the YEAR. We’ll talk about multiple inbound phone numbers and costs in a later post.
The WP04 will store up to 4 SIP accounts, so if you use one provider for US/CAN calls, another for free inbound like IPKALL.com, and an international SIP provider for certain international calls, you’re covered. You also get Caller ID, anonymous call, missed call indicator, choice of ringtones or vibe alert, a built-in hands-free / mute / earphone mode (with the included earphone/mic), g711 / g729 and g722 (HD Voice), a WiFi site search which shows you which access points are reachable in your area with their reception strength and if they’re locked or open, as well as menus in 6 languages.
I’ve found with the number of open and available WiFi access points in my area including libraries, coffee shops, fast food locations, book stores and municipal WiFi (available in many cities across the US, Canada and worldwide), I’ve found that I can be in contact with my friends, family and workplace wherever I am. I never miss a call thanks to voicemail, and sound quality compared to AM Radio (cell phone) is incredible using g711 (FM/CD quality) with the WP04. People on the other end will hear you as if you were on a landline. Since the WP04 uses programmed dedicated VoIP SIP chips, there is no emulation, so even in crowded Muni-Wifi or airport WiFi locations, call get through and sound great on both ends.