It’s a normal DECT-based cordless phone which also has a VoIP module for (unfortunately only one) VoIP line. That’s Voice-over-IP, internet telephony, meaning that we now have a local telephone number and do not have to rely on mobile phones only (cheaper and more reliable).
The interesting part and reason why I’m blogging this is that the phone is connected to a very cheap Edimax access point, which amplifies the WiFi network from the basement up to our little flat under the roof and thus acts as a repeater (for techies: without activated WDS!):
incoming DSL line <=> Fritz!Box DSL modem/router <=> Wi-Fi <=> Edimax Repeater <=> LAN <=> base station phone <=> DECT <=> handset
I didn’t have to change any settings on both the Fritz!Box modem/router and the Edimax repeater, but instead only had to type in my VoIP details on the mobile base station via a local IP address and was ready to go within a few minutes. Now that’s extremely cool as it just works out-of-the-box – the way it’s supposed to work.
As mentioned earlier, the initial plan was to obtain a WiFi-based phone but this solution via LAN & DECT is much more elegant. I think that most WiFi connections are not as stable as a dedicated DECT line, even though they operate under similar conditions (yeah, ok, DECT is pulsed + in a better/lower frequency range + max 250mW).
In other words: a dedicated WiFi based VoIP solution (e.g UTStarcom F1000) would probably just be as good as my Nokia N95 – coming with a weak antenna position and WiFi module which imho is the initial reason for the relatively poor WiFi performance of the N95 (as compared to the Nokia E71).
VoIP is one sweet technology. Not perfect – but ideal for technomads like me.