Mitel launches VOIP gear, apps

Mitel this week launched a new lineup of VOIP gear, with IP phones, Gigabit Ethernet modules and wireless LAN telephony add-on products aimed at business phone end-users.

The Mitel 5330 and 5340 IP phones both support the G.722 wideband audio codec, which provides better audio quality than previous Mitel phones, and some competitive IP phones, Mitel claims. The 5330 includes 24 programmable buttons for quick phone contacts, feature shortcuts and for launching applications on the phone; the 5340 includes 48 programmable keys.

Protocol support on the phones includes Mitel's proprietary MiNET VOIP protocol, for accessing features unique to the Mitel 3300 and SX-200 IP PBX platforms; SIP support provides the basic SIP feature set, and allows the phones to interact with SIP-based servers (such as Microsoft Live Communication Server), with the potential for supporting features such as presence, and IM messages pushed down to the phone (with extra configuration).

Along with the phones comes Mitel's HTML Toolkit. Mitel says this application allows IT administrators to put together Web-based phone applications -- using either Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver -- that allow end-users to access and navigate Web pages or corporate portals though the IP phone's interface keys and LCD screen.

Mitel is also offering two network access products for the new phones with its GigE stand, and WLAN Stand accessories. The GigE Stand is a two-port base station add-on for Mitel IP phones with a Gigabit Ethernet port, for connecting a PC (with a 1000Mpbs NIC) to a corporate LAN, and a 10/100Mbps port for the Mitel phone. (The device allows both PC and phone to access the LAN via one network drop to the desk).

The WLAN Stand is another base station accessory that cradles the Mitel IP phones, It and can be configured to run either as just a wireless bridge for a wired Mitel IP phone -- connecting the phone to a larger WLAN -- or as an 802.11 access point for connecting multiple devices.

The new Mitel phones compete with 3Com's 3000-series IP phones, Cisco's higher-end 7900-series phones, Avaya's 4600-series phones, Nortel's i2000-series IP phones, and Siemens' optiPoint IP phone line, among other VOIP vendors' products.

Available in July, the Mitel 5330 will be priced at US$395, and the 5340 will cost US$495. The GigE pricing is expected to be US$250, and the WLAN Stand will cost US$180.

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