Palm Announces VoIP and WiFi Security Alliances

Palm, Inc. today announced agreements for voice over IP (VoIP), Wi-Fi, and authentication software based on protocol developed by Cisco. These agreements make wirelessly using the Internet or corporate network more accessible, versatile and secure for professionals using the Palm Tungsten C handheld.

Voice over IP
"As use of VoIP expands through the enterprise and secure wireless corporate data access becomes a necessity, it's not enough to simply deliver a device -- handheld device vendors must partner to offer a compelling solution story," said Alex Slawsby, analyst, Smart Handheld Devices, at IDC.

VLI, a world leader in SIP (session initiation protocol) compliant VoIP software and services for mobile electronic devices, is introducing Gphone for Palm handhelds to enable VoIP for Palm Tungsten C handheld users. Device owners now will have the ability to communicate with other Palm handhelds using corporate wireless networks, public hotspots or wireless home networks. With Gphone, Tungsten C handheld users will be able to connect to online directory services and SIP compatible IP devices, including personal computers and Internet phones, as well as make calls over the switched public telephone network.

Gphone technology can add voice communications to existing data applications where Palm handhelds are used. By inserting the Palm Hands Free Headset in the Tungsten C headphone jack, users will be able to pick up calls forwarded from their desk phone to their Tungsten C handheld and make calls to colleagues on the company network. Gphone is scheduled to be available in June.

Linksys is offering up to $60 in discounts on wireless access points, notebook adapters and PC cards included with the Tungsten C. Wayport also includes a 30-day free trial on its network of hotspots with the purchase of a Tungsten C.

A key consideration in the deployment of wireless handhelds in verticals such as healthcare and government is the ability to secure the wireless LAN (WLAN) from unauthorized access. This can be critically important, because gaining WLAN access often also means gaining access to the corporate network and all of its assets. Businesses and other organizations soon will be able to turn to Meetinghouse's AEGIS WLAN security solution, which supports LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol), a standards-based authentication method for Palm Tungsten C handhelds. LEAP, developed by Cisco, requires mutual authentication, which means both the user and access point to which the user is attempting to connect must authenticate one to the other before network access is granted. AEGIS security enables businesses to deploy Tungsten C handheld in their WLANs with enterprise-level security.

In addition to LEAP security, an IPSec VPN (virtual private network) client will be available to address the remote access security needs of many Wi-Fi networked professionals. The VPN will provide secure access to corporate networks so Tungsten C handheld users can wirelessly receive and respond to confidential, data-intensive applications from anywhere on a Wi-Fi network. The clients are scheduled to be available later this summer.

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xynos @ 5/29/2003 3:25:38 PM #
Now if only they make the headphone jack to stereo. Then I'll buy a T/C
RE: Wonderful
ganoe @ 5/29/2003 5:40:45 PM #
and add Bluetooth. Then I'd buy it. ... and maybe add virtual graffiti too. [and, and ...]

RE: Wonderful
orol @ 5/29/2003 9:22:55 PM #
well actually due to the VoIP feature is the jack just mono .. it's seems that VoIP is runnung flawlessly only on mono interface .. btw. i really don't see a point of complaits conserning the mono jack ..
if sony doesn't release something with os5 in sj form factor I'll go with tungsten C .. it's really great pda ..

RE: Wonderful
ggeoffre @ 5/29/2003 10:59:29 PM #
The complaints about the mono jack are most likely coming from a desire to use the T|C as an MP3 player, which you can do with the T|T.
RE: Wonderful
Altema @ 5/29/2003 11:25:56 PM #
"The complaints about the mono jack are most likely coming from a desire to use the T|C as an MP3 player, which you can do with the T|T."

Right you are. I don't think anyone would even care unless the music in stereo was important. However, I saw Palm's marketing slant on this early on... they would rather have a thousand corporate users with the purchasing department's blessing, than a dozen students walking down the street with headphones in their Palm. But hey, at least we have a choice. If stereo is that important, get the T|T, Z71, or any of the half dozen+ Sonys with stereo, or go PPC.

There are lots of devices that will work as players, but when it comes to a combination of relative RAM, CPU speed, and WiFi battery life, the T|C is the ONLY "player" :)

RE: Wonderful
indesman @ 5/29/2003 11:54:13 PM #
One point about the monaural jack on the T|C is that many corporations don't want their employees listening to music while on the job. I think the it's more likely that the T|C will be taken seriously as a business tool in the enterprise if it does not include entertainment features such as stereophonic sound.
RE: Wonderful
megazone @ 5/30/2003 1:44:38 AM #
The T|C seems targetted at road warriors and execs - a lot of them I know take MP3 players, CD players, etc on the road with them. If the T|C could play stereo they could use it as their MP3 player on flights to see clients, at the hotel, etc.

And a lot of companies DO let you listen to music at work - I have a large portable stereo in my office. During the day I keep it low, with the consent of those around me, before/after hours I can crank it up and get more coding done. ;-)

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RE: Wonderful
kstedman1 @ 5/30/2003 8:41:09 AM #
"well actually due to the VoIP feature is the jack just mono .. it's seems that VoIP is runnung flawlessly only on mono interface .. btw. i really don't see a point of complaits conserning the mono jack ..
if sony doesn't release something with os5 in sj form factor I'll go with tungsten C .. it's really great pda"

Um, the Ipaq 5455 has a stereo jack with built in microphone capabilities. It is also VoIP compatable so your arguement is without merit.

Limiting the T/C to a mono jack is just, well, stupid

RE: Wonderful
Minstrel @ 5/30/2003 12:14:16 PM #
"Um, the Ipaq 5455 has a stereo jack with built in microphone capabilities."

True, but it uses a standard stereo (output only, I believe) 3.5mm jack, while the T|C uses a 2.5mm two-way mono jack.

That makes the T|C a better buy, because you can just plug a headset directly into it for VoIP, rather than having to use headphones and a built-in microphone.

'course, my information may be a bit shady on the 5455 specs - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

RE: Wonderful
indesman @ 5/30/2003 5:26:01 PM #
Regarding the mono vs stereo issue the point I was trying to make is this: Since it is aimed at the enterprise purchaser, rather than an individual within a corporation buying a PDA, Palm could very well increase acceptance by omitting perceived entertainment features. I agree that many companies, or even most, allow music & radio's at work and that it's a good thing because in most circumstances it will boost morale and productivity. However, I doubt there are many corporations who are so interested in providing their workers with that entertainment that they would make an enterprise-wide buying decision on the basis such features. Conversely, I do think that some corporations would make the decision NOT buy a PDA based on the inclusion of such features.

PDAs have always had difficulty being taken seriously by corporate IT departments and I think Palm is smart to create a device that will break that stereotype. If an individual wants MP3 capability there are plenty of devices to choose from...but I suspect that few, if any, IT purchasing managers really give a rip. If your selling PDAs who would you rather have, a bunch of individuals who are going to buy one PDA at a time, or the person who places an order for 1000 at a time?

RE: Wonderful
cbowers @ 5/30/2003 6:07:45 PM #
But read the specs on the h5450 it's a 3.5mm Stereo AND mic jack.

Same with the one in the option module for the Toshiba e750. 4 conductors: Left, Right, In, Ground.

RE: Wonderful
cbowers @ 5/30/2003 6:09:23 PM #
And I suppose you're going to say IT departments aren't going to buy either the h5450 or the e750 either?
Please. Palm needs to stop trying to outguess what we're going to do with the device (for want of 2cent components, and leave it as an extensible platform. Let the users and the developers decide what can be done with it.

RE: Wonderful
cbowers @ 5/30/2003 6:33:49 PM #
"If your selling PDAs who would you rather have, a bunch of individuals who are going to buy one PDA at a time, or the person who places an order for 1000 at a time?"

I suppose one could ask HandEra that...

Still I'd love to float your theory on those corporate purchasers buying pocketPC's at the moment, and give them the choice of a PocketPC that has mic in, mono out, or mic in stereo out. The choice between one with and without a removable Lion battery. One with and one without an additional DC port. One with and one without, dual slots. One with and one without multi-function charging, alarm LED.

The tungsten-C sits at the top of the heap in the PalmOS camp because there is no alternative.

Find a way to boot PalmOS5 on a PocketPC, and see what happens to Palm Tungsten sales.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled belief that our PalmOS platform still makes better hardware (for the corporate set)...

RE: Wonderful
Davy Fields @ 6/1/2003 1:41:14 PM #
Palm OS 5 will never run on a 240x320 display... the pocket PC is too low-res.... ha ha!

-Davy Fields

Corporate Acceptance

ggeoffre @ 5/29/2003 11:01:49 PM #
Wow, talk about taking corporations by storm! Utilizing VoIP on an army of corporate handhelds in combination with recently announced Blackberry support...

I am also very interested in the adoption and development of various PDA optional packages for the J2ME Platform by Palm...

Enhancing the Palms Java Support will be very attractive to many existing Corporate Development teams that are currently working on J2EE solutions.

Palm will definitely be a serious force to deal with! All three efforts are really great moves for Palm's future as far as being accepted as a Corporate standard.

Other shoe has fallen

RhinoSteve @ 5/30/2003 2:41:16 AM #
Well glad this is finally out. When I saw the 2.5 mm jack on the T-C, my immedate impression was a WiFi voice over IP client. Glad to see this is happening and quickly. With this the term "iPaq killer" is ever more valid. So now I can have a full office on my T-C at a WiFi spot. Woohoo!
RE: Other shoe has fallen
cbowers @ 5/30/2003 6:15:17 PM #
Don't you mean "iPaq catcher-upper"?

There's been 4 or more VoIP apps out for PocketPC's for quite some time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still using a Tungsten-C, but I've also used the HandEra 330 and PocketPC's, and it's quite easy to miss little things you've become used to like:
-a DC port to provide power and keep the battery topped up while it's on a keyboard, or connected to GPS.
-An LED that displays useful charging information, not just that I've plugged it in (I *know* when it's plugged in, because I was the one who plugged it in..., although maybe it's there to work around the way the T-C wobbles back and forth on the cradle without a solid connection)
-A built-in mic so that you don't have to fish around in your goody bag to find your headset to make a voice note.
-Why limit it to mono? You don't need a separate ground for input and output, there are four conductors on the jack, that's enough for Ground, Left out, Right out, In.

VoIP and Bluetooth

ggeoffre @ 6/1/2003 7:12:56 PM #
Is there any part the VoIP that requires WiFi? I know it works with Ethernet, why not Bluetooth IP Networks as well? Like the Bloophone Handset...

This being the case, wouldn't VoIP be just as likely to show up on the T|T as it is on the T|C? And the T|T has a _stereo_ headphone/microphone jack as well as a built in speaker and mictrophone.

RE: VoIP and Bluetooth
bcombee @ 6/3/2003 2:43:29 PM #
The Tungsten T doesn't have a microphone jack, it only has a built-in microphone. The built-in mike is OK, but has a poor frequency response outside the basic voice range.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at


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