Apr 22 2010

Phone on the Range

The Avaya 3645 IP wireless handset lets workers communicate over 802-11 networks.

Avaya 3645 IP Wireless Phone

Here at Strafford County, N.H., the demand for on-campus wireless solutions is steadily increasing. We have correctional officers, healthcare workers and attorneys who travel widely within their respective buildings, as well as maintenance and IT personnel who need wireless IP phones with direct-talk capabilities such as that offered by Nextel. Cell phones don't work well in most of our buildings, which are constructed largely of concrete, brick and steel.

The Avaya 3645 IP wireless phone is designed for industrial environments. Supporting push-to-talk capability for broadcast communication between employees, the device eliminates the need to outfit workers with two-way radios. The wireless phone carries mission-critical voice applications over 802.11a, b and g networks.

Overall, the Avaya 3645 is perfect for environments where workers rely on wireless phones as their main communication device.

End-User Advantages

The Avaya 3645 is extremely durable. The handset can withstand repeated drops onto hard surfaces. Compliance with the IP53 standard makes the device resistant to liquids and dust.

A large earpiece provides comfort for the user and seals out background noise, which makes it well-suited for a loud environment. Testers here really appreciated the Avaya 3645's large size compared with other wireless phones, as well as its rubberized side grips.

With four-number extension dialing, employees can be reached easily, which allows them more mobility. Every feature that is on their desk phone is now on their wireless phone. The Avaya 3645 allows my desk phone to follow me around the campus through a bridged appearance on the phones. The device makes it easy to conference call, speed dial or manage multiple lines while roaming.

Interested in wired Voice over IP? Find out how the Avaya one-X Deskphone 9650 fared in our review: statetechmag.com/phone1209

The product's specifications promise up to eight hours of talk time on a single battery -- enough to last an entire shift.

Why It Works for IT

We use an Avaya Voice over IP system and Meru Networks wireless LAN with SpectraLink gateways to meet our stringent requirements for voice over WLAN. An alliance between Avaya, Meru and SpectraLink allows us to go to one vendor for a complete solution, which simplifies deployments and upgrades.

The secure and reliable 3645 devices support text messaging, call boxes, nurse call and other applications through the Open Application Interface Gateway. The phones allowed us to toss our two-way radios and beepers in several departments. The savings on batteries alone paid for most of the phones.

The wireless phones enable unified communications, and the push-to-talk capabilities allow management to make emergency announcements when workers may not be able to answer a normal phone call or hear the public address system.


The only problem we had with the phone was that the battery lasted only four to six hours, not the eight hours touted by the manufacturer. That might be because of the condition or the age of the batteries we had for the evaluation unit. However, with the extra battery charging space on the charging station, there's always a standby battery charged and ready for an oncoming shift.