How the Nokia N80 handles WLAN

Nokian80
Up until now not much is known about how applications on the N80 will be able to use the built in wireless LAN capabilities. When checking the Nokia website today, I saw that the N80 manual can now be downloaded from this link. So I rushed to take a closer look to see if it sheds some light on this topic. And indeed it does!

Basically, the manual says that the use of WLAN is transparent for an application on the phone. Just like for a data connection via GPRS and UMTS, a new access point profile can be created to enter the settings of how to communicate via a WLAN network. Several profiles can be created if different WLAN networks are used, e.g. at home, at work and in public. In an application, a WLAN profile is selected from the already known list of access points that pops up when an application wants to access the network and no default access point has been configured in the application. Instead of only GPRS and UMTS connections the list can now also contain WLAN connections. Quite elegant, it’s completely transparent!

The manual also says that one access point profile can be used by several applications simultaneously. Again, this already works today for GPRS and UMTS connections when two programs such as the browser and the eMail program are used to communicate with the network at the same time.

And here comes the most important part concerning the simultaneous use of the phone in the GSM/UMTS network and WLAN. I quote from the manual on page 14: "You can use wireless LAN during a voice call or when packet data is active". That’s really great news and means that while at home, for example, the phone can be used for incoming (and outgoing) cellular calls simultaneously with an activated VoIP client (SIP, Skype…) via wireless lan.

It looks like my dream of a unified phone at home is close to becoming a reality! I can hardly wait using the Skype client on the phone to call friends while lying on the couch while not missing incoming cellular calls. Hurry up, Skype! Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to support the built in camera 🙂

SIP Update 1: Jukka left a comment that there’s already a built in SIP client in the N80. I completely missed that when browsing for the wireless LAN details in the manual. Indeed, the manual shortly describes that there’s a new menu where to enter the settings for the SIP client and that SIP addresses can now be part of a phone book entry. Would be interesting what can be configured but the manual doesn’t say. So Skype’s got another reason for hurrying up, the competition is already there!

SIP Update 2: The topic keeps developing: Too bad I don’t have an N80 yet so I have to rely on the sparse technical information in the manual. After some more digging I found out that the included SIP client seems to be closely tied into the standard voice call feature. The SIP functionality can be used during a standard voice call to establish a video sharing session via SIP in a packet bearer. While the feature is quite nice it’s not yet what I need to call someboday via VoIP over the WLAN functionality while being at home.

SIP Update 3: A reader has noticed that Nokia is about to release a major software update for the N80 called the N80i, or Internet Edition, whith some additional VoIP capabilities: From the press release: "The VoIP framework (based on the SIP protocol) is integrated into the
Nokia user interface, and the Nokia N80 Internet Edition is allows for
downloading compatible third party internet call applications.". One step closer but we still need a 3rd party client.


37 thoughts on “How the Nokia N80 handles WLAN”

  1. N80 like all 3rd Edition phones includes a built-in SIP client. Do you know any SIP-based voip services in Europoe that could be tried out?

  2. Yes, you are right, I missed the SIP stuff in the manual. I’ve adapted the blog entry accordingly. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Hello Martin

    I use to read your posts because they are very interesting for me and your post about N80 wlan features is much more explicit than the users manual, in order to use all the smartphone potencial.
    What i’d lyke you to do is another post,now about E60. I’d lyke to buy an E60 but only if it’s features include voip using wlan, the possibility to use skype or others p2p app and so on. Thank you Martin

  4. I would leave the fingers off the current Nokia N- and E-mobiles.

    They are really, really buggy, especially the N80 and the E60…wait some more months…I’ve tested the N80, E60, N71 and the N91…

  5. Hi Olli,

    I’ve seen the trouble you’ve had with the N-Series and Java on your blog. What about the on board S60 software? What’s the stability of the built in apps and the S60 apps you can download?

    Martin

  6. I don´t agree with Olli. Have had N80 for a couple of weeks now and haven´t had any trouble at all and are extremely satisfied with it. For me the UPnP technology is fantastic. Since I have my TV, Stereo and computer connected to my WLAN in my apartment I can sit in the sofa, browse in to my computers music/movie collection and choose to play them up on my stereo/Tv. Fantastico 🙂

  7. I think Olli’s comment was mainly directed at the Java implementation of the NSeries phones with the new S60 version. Glad to hear you are happy with the N80. Any experience with the built in SIP functionality?
    Martin

  8. I have been fiddling with Nokia E60, E61 and N80. I can make SIP VOIP call over WLAN with E-series phones, but not with N80. VOIP calls seem to work quite well. Configuring SIP settings is a bit complicated if you haven’t done it before to some other SIP client.

    And as a side note I’ve been suprised to see that software is not buggy.

  9. Have been playing with the SIP capabilities of the E60 now for a few hours, and I have a few observations

    1) If using transport=UDP from behind a NAT, the phone fails to acknowledge a 200 OK response to a registration attempt.

    This is NOT a NAT traversal issue – the phone IS receiving backwards messaging from my proxy just fine, as can be seen from the fact that the initial Register message is re-sent with a new Cseq number in response to a 407 Digest Auth request (and includes the credential quite properly).
    It just completely ignores the returned (properly formed) 200 OK when transported via UDP. Bizarre. I should mention that I currently support customers using over a dozen flavours of SIP stack….

    2) I can register and make SIP calls using the TCP transport, although there seems to be an inordinate number of retransmissions towards the phone necessary…

    3) The g729 codec quality is abysmal. Pretty much unusable. I have used PC-based softphones from bucket development shops in India which offer better voice quality. G711 is OK, but of course of limited use in 90% of the places I might care to use VOIP. Pretty disappointing stuff from the mighty Nokia!

    4) As with so many broken UACs, why the *@(*!£ is registration coupled to the ability to make an outbound call attempt?

    As cool as this device is on paper, I’m afraid this one is going back into the lake to grow up into a usable model…

    In summary, SIP functionality offered by the E60 is simply not on par with a state-of-the art SIP client circa 2006.

    Cheers,

    Micah

  10. Since I’ve had my N80 I cannot use wifi at home thru a NAT router like an Apple Airport. I just get back “No Gateway” every time I try.

  11. Just been playing with an N80 and my Asterisk box setup. I can get the N80 to register over SIP with Asterisk, but I can’t get it to either make or receive calls via SIP.

    I have noticed that in the Contacts you can specify an “Internet Phone Number” for contacts, but specifying a SIP url here doesn’t work. It appears that the N80 only uses it for ‘video sharing’ which to me seems kinda pointless.

    Also when attempting to connect to the N80 via Asterisk I get an error message saying “Got SIP response 488 “Not Acceptable Here””. So I’m guessing it’s not possible to use WiFi/SIP for VoIP on this phone 🙁

  12. Thanks for the very useful info. I’m looking for a Nokia phone that does VOIP and SIP and thought the N80 was the one for me. Seemingly until there’s a client available, it’s not worth it.

  13. Man, everyone else seems to be enjoying VOIP calls from their E61. I am in the US, under the Cingular network (not that it should matter). I have my SIP stuff configured the way all the sites say to configure them, my phone connects to my Asterisk server, and I can actually dial out (the phone on the other end rings).

    The problem, however, is that once the other end picks up, the VOIP client locks up. No audio from either side, and I can’t push the End button. I have to shut the phone off to get it back to normal. It does the same thing using the GPRS access point.

    The same exact thing happens with my PocketPC when using VOIP clients (both SIP and IAX), although I believe it is unrelated. The call is fine, but once the other end picks up, nothing is fine anymore :). Everything -was- fine when running PocketPC 2002, but I upgraded to PocketPC 2003 and haven’t been able to use VOIP with it since.

    Is there something weird I’m doing wrong on the E61? If anyone that knows what’s happening could email me, I’d appreciate it.

  14. Hi Martin.

    Interesting post, but even more interesting stuff in the comments.

    I would clearly interpret the lack of voice support in the N-series to be a way to keep operators happy. No real technical reason for that. Just that N-series targets casual consumer while E-series targets business users. This tells me that Nokia is not ready (yet) to confront operators shipping SIP voice capabilities into its consumer phones.

    The interesting bit here is that Skype client is there already (look in the blogsphere, you’ll find pictures of 6680 running Skype over UMTS already months ago in some tech-show) and this change the whole picture (I guess it would run on any WiFi capable Symbian phone, regardless if it’s E or N). While I’m writing, something interesting pops up in my mind. As you probably know, ALL WiFi Symbian phones run Symbian 3rd edition, where all application need to be signed by Symbian before they can be installed (as I don’t have a 3rd ed phone myself, I’m not sure if you can still install an unsigned application). Could this by used by Symbian to discriminate which software reaches the mobile to please operators? Very hot topic I might say.

    On one side Nokia wants its phones to be full of goodies to appeal buyers, but on the other side it cannot step (too much) on operators’ toes to avoid loosing precious subsidies.

    Interesting…

    alfonso

  15. I’ve seen the Skype prototype on a 6680 myself in Barcelona this year and also put a picture on this very blog 🙂 Unfortunately I haven’t seen a Skype client for S60 3rd edition phones such as the N80, N93 or the E60, E61 yet.

    In fact, I am just waiting for it to appear and being stable enough as being the final tipping point to go for one of these devices which have WLAN inside.

    Hopefully, we are going to see it, soon!

  16. I saw the same Skype client on a Nokia 6680. Latency is horrid. It’s clearly not ready for primetime and the fact that it relies on 3G makes it a dubious value proposition. Even with flat-rate 3G data plans, quality is bound to be piss-poor if you consider the state of 3G networks. Skype need to put their efforts on WLAN if they want to offer a truly usable mobile client.

  17. I am using Skype over 3G with a PC connected to a Nokia 6680 and latency in this configuration is not a problem. So I guess it’s the S60 phone itself which might not be powerful enough. If that is the case and phones like the N80 don’t have a faster processor then it might be some time down the road before we see a usable Skype Client on an S60 phone with WLAN. Well, we’ll see, hopefully soon enough.

  18. Hey Pete, none of the people commenting has so far found the silver bullet of how to make VoIP work on the N80. So I guess we have to wait a little while longer.
    Martin

  19. Even with the new v4 firmware for the N80 there is no SIP / VoIP client built in. Only the SIP stack. Has anybody managed to establish a connection to a public VoIP provider´s server? With an Intertex sip-aware router NAT is no problem, but I can´t find a frontend / client…

  20. Hi thanks for the heads up on N80 all you guys… I bought one on a contract thinking I could get it to connect to my Asterisk PBX when in house thus being my office and mobile phone all in one. It is a pity it doesn’t work despite having the SIP stack setting in the Configuration area.

    It has no way to initiate a call on the SIP stack. All my research since receiving it indicates that while it will work with a suitable Symbian client program, I can’t find one that is not linked to some proprietry IP telephony provider.
    Go to http://www.tivi.com
    They have a mobile client that runs on the N80 by going to http://m.tivi.com on your phone you can install it directly on the phone. Note: I am not affiliated with them at all.

    Avaya and Nokia are working together to provide some interesting stuff..
    http://europe.nokia.com/A4156051

    Also go to this page http://www.avaya.com/gcm/master-usa/en-us/pillars/mobility/index.htm and click on the “Snapshots:” link “Avaya one-X Mobile Edition” in bottom 3rd of page

    At the end of a cool FLASH marketing scenario (advert) they show an N80 doing what we ALL want. Artistic licence?? You can buy it from http://www.onexdirect.com/mobileedition.htm but at $ 2,499.00 it is strictly for the big boys.

    ARGHH!!! I WANT MY N80 WITH VoIP WLAN! 🙁

    I’m now returning my N80 and I’m now going for an E60/E61 or E70. But it’s hard to decide which one as they are all a comprimise on the N80’s form (but probably with better battery time than the N80).

    Hopefully by next year we will all get everthing we want in one credit card sized package.

  21. New N80 Internet Edition is coming out in Sept 06. Check it out! Supposedly supports SIP with software…
    btw, sillyant has a software out that uses SIP for the N80 out NOW.

  22. Hi, I am pretty retarded with this stuff, but basically i am tossing up between the n73 and n80. (in australia). I like the battery and camera in n73, but if i can use a cheap online phone service like skype on n80, then that’d be the business. Is this so – and how complicated? Who do i pay for that other than skype – the phone provider, or an ISP??

    Thanks

  23. Hi Matt,

    all good questions. As you can see in the thread there are not really good answers yet. O.k., there’ll be an Internet edition of the N80 which might support SIP 3rd party software. I think it’s early days with VoIP on N-series. Also which carrier will you use in Austrialia? I heard Telstra is setting up a WCDMA (UMTS) network but in the 850 MHz network. No N-series phone is compatible so far. I know there is another UMTS operator in Australia. Which frequency does this one use? You see, I’ve got more questions about the wireless situation in Australia then I’ve got answers 🙂
    Martin

  24. Does anyone know when Skype is launching skype for Nokia N80, and will I be able to use it even if I don’t have a N80i?

  25. hi martin,i have been reading this nice blog for long time,for this great reading.thanks.Truphone is supporting n80 for voip.and i may be wrong,they are also offering free calls for usa and canada.also check out fring.with this client,i have successfully used google talk to do voip calls on my nokia 6630. it was over plain vanilla gprs connection.

  26. I have one of these great phones and have configured it to use my internet wireless connection at home which works ok but still cant browse my computer or my phone from pc i have a netgear firewall do i need to configure this so my phone will see my pc and vice versa but upnp should do this shouldnt it

  27. Hello Sytefanos,

    thanks for your comment on my blog. I don’t have an Airport Extreme so I don’t have an answer for your. But as Apple’s kit is pretty compatible to other gear it should work. Anyone else?

    Cheers,
    Martin

  28. does anyone have info on setting up n80i for internet for t-mobile.Had SDA set up to use full internet with only t-zones.

  29. There is a decent software app out there that integrates Skype, MSN, Google Talk and SIP into one nice app. Is free as well. Try fring.com

    My experience with doing a voice chat on its MSN client was not good. I am still trying to hack the SIP service as well.

  30. yep! i got my nokia n80 internet ed. last march 28, 2007 and yeah it does have wlan capabilities but i haven’t tried it yet due to limited hotspots in my city. huhu.. this phone is certainly loaded!

  31. yep! i got my nokia n80 internet ed. last march 28, 2007 and yeah it does have wlan capabilities but i haven’t tried it yet due to limited hotspots in my city. huhu.. this phone is certainly loaded!
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: The fresh start
    URL: http://my.opera.com/Z0l/blog/show.dml/344659
    IP: 193.69.116.92
    BLOG NAME: Z0ltech
    DATE: 07/12/2006 12:30:18 AM
    I’ve removed all previous entries and photos, because i’ve decided to change language to English and make this blog become a pure technical one.I’ve thought that the SIP protocol embedded in the …

Comments are closed.