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As telecom companies race to integrate wireless capability, mobile calling could get even better.

This story appears in the July 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Two of the year's fastest-growing technologies are on a collision course: wireless LANs and VoIP. It's no secret how popular WLANs have become at work, and, of course, Wi-Fi hot spots are popping up everywhere from Starbucks to McDonald's. After downloading e-mail and Web browsing, one of the most promising uses of WLANs is digital voice calls (VoWLAN).

Companies like Alcatel, Avaya and Nortel Networks offer wireless LAN upgrades for their IP-based phone systems so workers can roam the workplace while talking. That's important to retail, factory and construction workers who spend most of their time on their feet.

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