Cisco, Nokia push Wi-Fi VOIP/cellular convergence

Cisco expands support of Nokia smart phones on its enterprise VoIP and WLAN infrastructure

Cisco and Nokia have announced new dual-mode smart phones that can operate on a Cisco enterprise VoIP infrastructure and a public GSM network.

The dual-mode Nokia E61i and E65 smart phones contain both 802.11g and GSM radios, as well as software that allows the devices to sense which network signal is strongest and place calls accordingly. The Nokia handsets also have software allowing them to operate as a corporate phone extension off of a Cisco CallManager IP PBX and messaging infrastructure. The new phones were announced at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona this week.

Cisco kicked off its partnership with Nokia last year, when it announced compatibility between Cisco's Unified CallManager 5.0 system and Nokia E60, E61 and E70 smart phones. This interoperability allows a Nokia phone to receive VoIP calls switched via a Cisco IP PBX, the same as a wired desktop IP phone, or a Cisco 802.11-based handset.

The race to link mobile phones with corporate VoIP systems has heated up recently among IP PBX makers. Avaya and Cisco both recently acquired companies that allow mobile phones and smart phones to access corporate VoIP networks and messaging applications. Avaya bet $US15 million on Traverse Networks , a maker of fixed-mobile convergence software for mobile phones, in November. The month before, Cisco bought Orative, which makes similar software, for $US31 million.

While Nortel has remained quite on the FMC front, industry observers say a tighter connection between Nortel's corporate VoIP technology and Microsoft's smart phone/handheld software is a reasonable expectation, given the two companies' Innovative Technology Alliance, a four-year product development, sales and support partnership.

Enterprises are interested in melding users' mobile phones with corporate telephony for several reasons. Some say an enterprise with a large base of mobile phone users can cut costs by allowing employees to make calls more cheaply over a corporate VoIP-enabled Wi-Fi network, or at Wi-Fi hot spots or public wireless networks.

Tying mobile phones closely to a corporate VoIP network also can provide the convenience of a single phone number for employees. In addition, administrators could gain more centralised control over corporate data - such as emails, contact databases and voicemails - which normally spread out across individual workers' phones.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Phil Hochmuth

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?