IN A MOVE which could save businesses thousands of pounds on the mobile phone bills, wireless LAN specialist Meru Networks has teamed up with leading US mobile operator, T-Mobile USA.
The aim is to enable employees to start a phone call on the way to work on a typical mobile handset and then continue that call on the company's Wi-fi network when they arrive.
Better still there's no disruption to the call when moving between the cellular infrastructure and the wireless LAN (supplied by Meru). In effect, the handover is seamless.
Part of the system which the pair are employing is based around UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) technology which is already built into handsets offered by RIM/BlackBerry, Nokia and Samsung.
UMA has been around for some time and was infamously used by BT for its Fusion service which originally employed the Bluetooth version of UMA.
What makes the T-Mobile/Meru offering unusual is that Meru enables its customers to employ a single frequency for an entire campus Wi-fi network.
The fact that a mobile handset's call only has to switch from one frequency to another freequency - instead of multiple frequencies - is why the handover is so efficient.
The advantage to potential customers is that research has show than employees prefer to make mobile calls even when seated at their desks next to a fixed line network phone.
With this offering, those calls will be automatically switched to the campus Wi-fi network, where they can be routed cost effectively either via VoIP or via the switchboard.
The INQ has visited several companies where mobile calls in the office are banned because of the cost and this would be a much more efficient way of cutting mobile phone bills. µ
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