Wired Cisco phones -> wireless? (ditching wired ethernet)

We have to move 15 users to different offices on the same floor.  

Instead of running new Ethernet cables to wire new new offices, we were thinking of maybe going wireless: getting USB wireless adapters for the desktop pc.

The biggest question is what to do with the wired cisco 7960 VOIP phones.    The phones plug into the current Ethernet network and communicate back to the cisco call manager.

1.      Is there any way to leverage the existing phones or do we need to buy cisco VOIP wireless phones?

2.      Are there any unexpected pitfalls of going wireless instead of wired (particularly with regard to active directory, getting ip addresses / authentication, etc.)  Someone said something about needing a radius server.  Is that needed or is there a different way to ensure the authentication and drive mappings work ok.

Thanks,
Mike
mike2401Asked:
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José MéndezCommented:
For question 1, the 7960 can't be leveraged by themselves for wireless. These are ancient beasts. 2- Im not sure how radius would fit in. Probably its involved in the corporate authentication of wireless endpoints into the wlan, but in terms of Callmanager it is not required. What do you mean by drive mappings? Active Directory does not interface with the IP phones directly so no issues there, and finally, the phones getting DHCP depends upon the DHCP server in the network, the Access Point should be able to point to your existent one, or perform that function for the phones itself.
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mike2401Author Commented:
Sorry, I wasn't clear (I was essentially asking 2 very different questions in one call).

The drive mappings / active directory thing was just about a windows pc connecting via wireless to our lan, authenticating, getting drive mappings, etc. : any non-obvious issues in doing this?

As to the phone question, thanks for confirming they can't be used themselves for wireless.  Would be be cheaper/simpler just to get new wireless phones if we try to cut-the cord (so to speak)?

Thanks,
Mike
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Craig BeckCommented:
To get the PCs and phones to successfully authenticate you could do this without a RADIUS server if you use pre-shared key authentication, but that's not secure and it's only achieved by manually configuring each device.  You can't apply wireless settings in a Windows environment via GPO unless 802.1x (via RADIUS) is used, or no authentication is used.  There are other ways to deploy the settings but they're just as insecure and I wouldn't recommend it.

Getting machines to authenticate before a user logs in is ok with pre-shared key authentication, but if you do use a RADIUS server remember to use computer authentication.  You won't get machine policies to process if you just use user authentication.

Even though I'm a wireless guy, I'd say run wired for phones if you can.  Your wireless needs to be spot-on and QoS needs to be deployed in order for VoIP to be reliable over a WLAN.
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mike2401Author Commented:
Thanks! Great info!  We'll stick to the wires!

Mike
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