USC Docs, Nurses Go Wireless

By Eric Griffith

August 01, 2002

SpectraLink believes that its latest deployment of its NetLink Wireless Telephones is the largest VoIP installation ever done in healthcare.

Boulder, CO-based SpectraLink, currently the only company devoted exclusively to 802.11-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems for businesses, has announced that it has equipped the University of Southern California (USC) University Hospital with over 275 of its NetLink Wireless Telephones.

One company spokesman says that "SpectraLink believes that this is the largest deployment of VoIP in healthcare."

USC University Hospital near downtown Los Angeles is a 293-bed private research and teaching hospital staffed by faculty from the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

NetLink phones in the hospital integrate with the Cisco CallManger IP telephony application that ties to the hospital's Nortel Networks Meridian 1 PBX. Enterasys access points stationed around the facility relay calls to and from the phone network, so staff can be reached almost anywhere.

NetLink phones have one basic style handset designed for a workplace with minimal buttons so anyone can use them with little or no specialized training. Customization is usually done through the PBX or server software.

The NetLink phone system employs a voice priority system and has a quality of service (QoS) mechanism to make sure voice quality does not suffer and has minimal impact on data traffic.

According to the company's director of marketing Ben Guderian, SpectraLink plans to "focused on this specific market, wireless telephony in the work place, either PBX or IP, and we're going to continue to increase the level of functionality and make it a better fit for the various workplace applications."

NetLink phones support multiple systems including Cisco's Skinny protocol, Avaya's CCMF protocol, and will soon support Nortel's Unistem. SpectraLink recently announced deals with Avaya to make wireless IP phones for them to be branded with the Avaya name.

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

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