What Is VoWLAN (Voice Over Wireless LAN)?

April 4, 2024

Voice Over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) is a technology that allows users to make voice calls over a wireless local area network (WLAN) instead of using traditional cellular networks or landline telephones. It's essentially the wireless version of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), where voice communications are sent over the internet or a private internet protocol (IP) network.


VoWLAN (Voice Over Wireless LAN) offers a range of applications across various industries and scenarios. Here are some notable uses.

1. Corporate Environments

Offices and corporate campuses use VoWLAN to provide employees with mobility while making voice calls. Employees can move around the office without losing connection, enhancing productivity and collaboration.

2. Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals and clinics leverage VoWLAN for communications among medical staff. It facilitates instant communication for emergencies, patient updates, and coordination among healthcare professionals. The technology improves response times to patient needs and enhances the coordination of care, especially in large healthcare facilities where mobility is crucial.

3. Warehouses and Manufacturing

In large warehouses and manufacturing plants, VoWLAN enables workers to communicate over vast areas without the need for traditional two-way radios or fixed phones. The benefits of VoWLAN use include enhanced operational efficiency, problem resolution, and logistics management.

4. Retail

Retail stores use VoWLAN to improve communication between staff members across different departments or floors. It helps them manage stock, customer queries, and security more effectively.

5. Education Campuses

Schools and universities employ VoWLAN to enable faculty, staff, and security personnel to stay connected across campus. The technology supports a safer and more connected educational environment. 

6. Hospitality

Hotels and resorts use VoWLAN to provide their staff with reliable communication tools for coordinating services, handling guest requests, and managing facilities.

7. Remote Work and Home Offices

VoWLAN is also beneficial for remote workers and home offices, offering an easy way to integrate office phone systems with home Wi-Fi networks for seamless communication. It allows remote workers to have a professional communication system without the need for dedicated hardware or complex installations.

VoWLAN Benefits

Voice over Wireless LAN offers several advantages, including:

  • Cost saving. VoWLAN can significantly reduce telecommunication costs. It utilizes existing Wi-Fi infrastructure for voice communications, minimizing the need for separate voice and data networks. This consolidation can lead to savings on both infrastructure and operational costs, including lower telephone bills and reduced need for mobile phone contracts.
  • Increased mobility and flexibility. VoWLAN provides users with the ability to move freely within the coverage area without losing connection, enhancing productivity and flexibility. This is particularly beneficial in environments like hospitals, campuses, and large office buildings where mobility is crucial.
  • Improved coverage. Traditional cell phone coverage can be patchy in some buildings due to structural interference. VoWLAN offers better indoor coverage as Wi-Fi networks are designed to cover these spaces comprehensively.
  • Scalability. Adding new users or adjusting the system to accommodate organizational growth is often simpler with VoWLAN than with traditional telephony systems. Since it runs over the IP network, scaling up can be as easy as adding more access points and ensuring the network can handle the increased load.
  • Integration with other applications. VoWLAN easily integrates with other IP-based applications and services, enhancing productivity and collaboration. For example, it can be integrated with email, instant messaging, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, allowing for a more unified communications approach.
  • Enhanced features. VoWLAN supports advanced telephony features such as voicemail to email, call forwarding, call conferencing, and the ability to use the same number across multiple devices.
  • Better resource utilization. By converging voice and data networks, organizations can make better use of their wireless infrastructure. This not only simplifies network management but also optimizes the utilization of network resources.
  • Environmental benefits. Reducing the need for separate networks and hardware for voice communications, VoWLAN contributes to lower energy consumption and less electronic waste.

VoWLAN Challenges

Here are some of the main challenges associated with VoWLAN:

  • Coverage and dead zones. Ensuring consistent Wi-Fi coverage across an entire facility can be challenging, especially in large or complex environments. Dead zones or areas with weak signal strength lead to dropped calls or poor voice quality. Comprehensive site surveys and strategic placement of Wi-Fi access points help minimize coverage issues.
  • Network interference. Wi-Fi networks can suffer from interference from other wireless devices, including other Wi-Fi networks, microwave ovens, and Bluetooth devices. This interference can degrade voice quality or cause connectivity issues. Utilizing Wi-Fi spectrum analysis tools to identify sources of interference and choosing less congested Wi-Fi channels or frequencies can mitigate this issue.
  • Quality of Service (QoS). Voice traffic is sensitive to delays, jitter, and packet loss, which impacts call quality. Without proper QoS settings, voice packets might not be prioritized, leading to unsatisfactory call experiences. Implementing QoS mechanisms on the network to prioritize voice traffic over other types of data ensures that VoWLAN calls are clear and free from disruptions.
  • Battery life. VoWLAN devices, especially mobile handsets and smartphones, can experience rapid battery drain due to the continuous use of Wi-Fi. Devices designed for VoWLAN often include power-saving features. Network designs that allow devices to enter low-power modes when not in active calls also help.
  • Security concerns. VoWLAN relies on the underlying network's security measures. Wi-Fi networks are susceptible to various security threats, including eavesdropping and unauthorized access. Implementing strong Wi-Fi security protocols (such as WPA3), network segmentation, and regular security audits helps protect voice communications.
  • Scalability and management. As the number of VoWLAN users grows, ensuring the network can scale to support increased traffic without degradation in service quality becomes a challenge. Advanced wireless LAN controllers and management software help efficiently manage and scale the network according to demand.
  • Compatibility and integration issues. Integrating VoWLAN with existing telephony and IT infrastructure can present compatibility challenges, requiring careful planning and configuration. Selecting VoWLAN solutions that offer broad compatibility with existing systems or using standards-based protocols can ease integration efforts.

Anastazija is an experienced content writer with knowledge and passion for cloud computing, information technology, and online security. At phoenixNAP, she focuses on answering burning questions about ensuring data robustness and security for all participants in the digital landscape.