Searching for cool phones for the 2006 Interop Labs VoIP initiative

by Matthew Gast

Related link:

Once again, I'm going to be volunteering at the Interop Labs. After three years working on wireless LAN security, I've moved over to work on the Voice over IP initiative. This year, one of the prime investigations that the group is going to conduct is on how well voice works on 802.11 networks. Therefore, I'm particularly interested in hearing about any advanced 802.11 phones, especially those that:

  • Implement current QoS standards, whether the interim Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) or the fully-blown 802.11e standard.

  • Use 802.11a. We expect that running VoIP on 802.11b/g on the Interop show floor will be a major challenge. I suspect it will be easier to get a demonstration running well on 802.11.

  • Implement good security protocols. For too long, VoIP telephones have only been able to use manual WEP keys for security. Any phones that do WPA-PSK, or, better yet, 802.1X with dynamic WEP/TKIP/CCMP. (I'm not picky about the EAP method they use.)

  • Fast handoff, such as 802.11i's pre-master key caching. It will be interesting to look at how interoperable this is. Most 802.11 infrastructure vendors have had this feature for a while, but have lacked test clients.

  • Anything else that's "cool." I'm sure that there's interesting work going on that I've missed.

Don't be afraid of bringing something that's not quite released yet. Part of the point of the iLabs is to see what it's like at the bleeding edge of the state-of-the-art. It's also a great opportunity to test against a variety of expensive equipment in one place. One of the challenges that the iLabs has helped open source projects solve is access to equipment that usually requires payment of a kilo-dollar or twenty.

If you're interested, drop me a line.

Here's the call for participation that went out, just so you can see if you really want to sign up for this:


The is an invitation for you and your company to participate in
the InteropLabs (iLabs) VoIP: Security and Integration area at
Interop in Las Vegas. The iLabs have been a hit with attendees
for many years. Last year, among those participating in the VoIP
iLabs were 3Com, Avaya, Azatel, Check Point, Cisco, Digium,
Grandstream, InnoMedia, Intertex, ipDialog,, Juniper
Networks, Leadtek Reseach, Multi-Tech, Nortel, Pangean
Technologies, Pingtel, Sipura, UTStarcom, Xten Zultys, and
ZyXEL. Many show attendees stopped by the iLabs during the
Interop conference, and over a thousand attendees participated in
educational sessions given by the iLabs teams.

You are receiving this invitation because:

- You participated last year or a previous year, or
- You discussed participation with us this year or last year, or
- You asked to be invited this year

Following are some details about what is going on.
If you are already familiar with the iLabs, go to the end of this
message for a quick checklist of what you need to do with all the
important dates.


For all the details on what is going on, go to:

The iLabs will be located on the exhibit floor at the
Interop show in Las Vegas on April 30 - May 5, 2006.
Interop will take place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and
Convention Center.

All design and implementation of the iLabs takes place before the
Interop show, at a Hot Stage facility in Belmont, California
(near San Francisco), during the week of April 3rd.

Our goal is to communicate with attendees through our
on-the-floor demonstrations, educational seminars, white papers,
and web presence the message that IP telephony is understandable,
flexible, secure, cost-effective, interoperable, and deployable
and gives the end user an experience as good as, or better than,
traditional telephony. Additionally, this year we'll look into
the cloud of issues surrounding combining VoIP with wireless

You can find details of our goals here:

Very briefly, we want to show interoperability of SIP servers,
wired and wireless phones, gateways, PSTN service providers,
security elements, and applications. Of particular interest this
year would be WMM/802.11e capable wireless phones and SIP-aware
firewalls and Session Border Controllers. We never know the exact
configuration of the demonstrations until we actually design it
at Hot Stage with your help.

There is no charge to you to participate, and there are significant
benefits, which are detailed here:

We would like to use your VoIP products in the iLabs this year. To
participate, you would need to ship product to arrive in California at
Interop's Hot Stage facility before Monday, March 27, 2006. (if your
product is not a standalone device, please let us know what you are
sending and what infrastructure we will need to support it, such as a
Windows or Linux server for a software tool). We would also like you to
participate in the iLabs, both during Hot Stage and during the Interop
show itself, although this is not a requirement. We find that
participation both helps us achieve a higher level of interoperability
and gives your engineering team greater experience in building and
configuring interoperable products.

Before Hot Stage begins, we will check in, unpack, tag, wire, and
install your equipment or software. Starting on Monday, April 3rd,
2006, you are invited to send technical representatives to Hot Stage in
Belmont to help complete installation of your product, test
interoperability, and to help design the demonstrations and booth layout
to be used in Las Vegas at Interop.

Please plan to arrive between 9AM and noon on Monday, April 3rd.
Most vendors work with us for two days (Monday and Tuesday), although
the rest of the iLabs team will be working until Thursday, when we pack
everything up for shipment to Las Vegas.

We will pack and ship your equipment to Las Vegas.
You must leave your equipment with us and allow us to transport it to
the event in Las Vegas.

We will arrive in Las Vegas on Thursday April 27 and unpack and cable
your equipment. We request that you arrive on Saturday April 29 or
Sunday April 30 to verify the operation of your equipment and perform final

The iLabs will be open to the public during exhibit hall hours, from
Tuesday May 2 through Thursday May 4.
We would welcome a representative
from your company in the iLabs during opening hours to help explain the
technology, the demonstrations, and answer questions on interoperability
issues from attendees.
At all times, iLabs are a vendor-neutral setting, so we welcome
technical individuals that will focus more on the technology and the
demonstration rather than individual companies or products.

We will ship your equipment from Las Vegas back to the Hot Stage
Facility after the show and then return it to you from there.

The location of the Hot Stage Facility (for sending equipment and

Interop Hot Stage Facility
VoIP Lab
330 Harbor Blvd., Bldg. E
Belmont, CA 94002
650.631.9543 (shipping & receiving desk)

For further instructions on how to sign up and how to participate,
please see

If you have questions about what equipment or software to send, or who
would be best to send, I can answer those questions.

The best way to contact me is via email as I read and reply to my email

Other questions involving general program and marketing benefits are
best directed to

Lora Pereira
CMP Media
InteropLabs Program Manager
direct: 415.905.2367
fax: 415.905.2615

If in doubt, feel free to contact either or both of us.

Please be sure to fill out the application at:

Time saving hint: On the Proposal Details section, tell us what
products you want to contribute. Ignore most of the questions in the
text box unless you find them particularly relevant to your product or
your participation.


For those of you that have done this before, here's the "short list":

What's the same as last year?

The show and educational content will be very similar to last year. The security
focus from last year will be expanded.

What's different?

We'll be concentrating much less on simple interoperability and much more on
integrating VoIP solutions into your enterprise environment. There's also much
more emphasis on VoIP over Wireless and the associated QoS and security issues.

What do you need to do?

1) When? Right Now
What? Send me an email RIGHT NOW to tell me that you are interested
(or let me know you are not).
Why? I'll stop bugging you either way.

2) When? By March 17,2006
What? Submit a proposal:
Why? This gets the benefits started for you.

3) When? By March 27, 2006
What? Have your equipment delivered to Hotstage
Why? So we can unpack it and check it in

4) When? April 3, 2006 Between 9AM and Noon
What? Show up to hotstage to install your product
Why? So that your product is shown in the best way

5) When? April 29 or 30, 2006
What? Show up in Las Vegas, iLabs booth
Why? Confirm operation and final testing

That's All! Let us know if you have any questions.