3Com has released a new cordless VoIP targeted at business customers who tend to move around the office a lot.

The phone uses SIP so it will work with standard networking equipment and is also compatible with standards-based wireless LAN infrastructure.

3Com hopes the phone will appeal to workers in education, government, healthcare and retail who spend much of their time away from a desk. Users can transfer calls to other employees, reach a receptionist, listen to voicemail and read email on the phone. They can also customise personal settings such as ring tones and speed dials.

The clamshell phone, the 3Com 3108, uses Wireless Protected Access 2 and encryption for security. It is available now for $415.

Such standalone WiFi phones may compete with converged cellular and WiFi phones that operators are just starting to introduce. The WiFi-only phones have some advantages over combined offerings because they don’t incur any per minute usage fees and may work better indoors, although users who leave the corporate campus need to carry a separate phone and number.

3Com is competing with other WiFi phone makers, including networking giant Cisco, SpectraLink and Siemens. Earlier this year, Nokia began selling its E-series of phones, many of which come with both cellular and WiFi and support SIP for wireless VoIP calls.