T-Mobile Brings Unlicensed Mobile Access To Enterprise - InformationWeek

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2/10/2009
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T-Mobile Brings Unlicensed Mobile Access To Enterprise

Businesses with dual-mode T-Mobile phones will be able to switch calls between cellular networks and corporate Wi-Fi.

T-Mobile is teaming with Meru Networks to let businesses have cell phone calls switch between cellular connections and Wi-Fi networks.

As more mobile professionals use their cell phone or smartphone as their primary handset, this deal could potentially lead to cost savings as calls over the WLAN wouldn't eat into the wireless minutes. Businesses will need T-Mobile phones with unlicensed mobile access technology, and its lineup includes the BlackBerry Curve 8900, as well as Nokia and Samsung handsets. Meru said its WLAN architecture can offer call admission control, prioritize the voice traffic according to policy, and prevent call overloads by moving voice calls to alternative virtual cell layers.

The fourth largest wireless carrier already offers this fixed mobile convergence ability to consumers with its [email protected] service, which lets T-Mobile UMA handsets make calls on a home Wi-Fi hotspot. But this is the first national carrier to aim this type of service at enterprises, the companies said.

"Once users move onto the WLAN, Meru's virtualized WLAN architecture guarantees they'll have the same experience as on cellular, because the use of a single RF channel enterprise-wide eliminates handoff interruptions and co-channel interference," said Dave Fredericks, T-Mobile's national director for products solutions and planning, in a statement. "After seeing how our dual-band phones operate over Meru WLAN, we are confident that the use of UMA technology will change the nature of the enterprise voice experience."

Many enterprises are expressing an interest in mobilizing their workforce to boost productivity, but costs are always a concern, particularly in these tough economic times. InformationWeek wrote a report on how to arm your road warriors without breaking the bank, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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