UTStarcom F1000G - The First 802.11g VoWLAN phone

It appears the UTStarcom, which will next month begin supplying its 802.11b F-1000 Wi-Fi handset to Vonage [reviewed here], has an 802.11g version in the works. This phone breaks ranks with the current crop of VoWLAN or WiSIP phones, which all use the older 802.11b WLAN standard.

While 11b has plenty of speed to support the 100kbps or so bandwidth requirements of a VoIP phone, the use of an 11b device on a an 11g WLAN causes general throughput degradation for all clients on the AP that the device associates with. This isn't a problem with the phone itself, but due to the way that 11g has to accommodate slower 11b devices.

Figure 1: F1000G Front and Back view
(click image to enlarge)

The aptly-named F1000G (Figure 1) looks essentially the same as the F1000, and a glance at the manual posted at the FCC website reveals essentially the same feature set. Unfortunately, the F1000G's feature set still supports only 64 and 128 bit WEP wireless encryption, instead of the more secure WPA and WPA2. Once again, the fact that only WEP is supported isn't really a problem for the phone. But the network it connects to will be forced to use WEP, which can be easily cracked.