Dublin firm in VoIP-on-mobile alliance with HTC


17 Nov 2005

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Dublin-based technology company Cicero Networks has deployed its technology on Taiwanese manufacturer HTC’s latest smart phone device and in turn has stoked up a growing blaze of possibilities around seamless convergence between mobile devices and fixed networks. Aimed at operators and device makers its technology enables seamless roaming between Wi-Fi and GSM and Wi-Fi and CDMA networks.

In an interview with siliconrepublic.com, Cicero CEO Ross Brennan explained that the company’s foray into convergence is being led by the advent of session initiation protocol (SIP) technology that enables seamless handover between various networks. For example, in the middle of a voice call over GSM if a user wanders into the confines of a Wi-Fi network the call seamlessly moves on to that network for cost savings without interrupting the call.

Brennan confirmed the company is in talks with pureplay cellular networks in Europe as well as fixed-line networks anxious not to miss out on the possibilities of mobile. In the past year the company has forged an alliance with Irish voice over Wi-Fi operator Talk Telecom.

“Up until now our focus has been on enabling voice over IP (VoIP) calls to happen easily on PDAs. However, the arrival of Windows Mobile 5.0 on the mobile phone footprint as evidenced by the efforts of major manufacturers such as Taiwan-based HTC (creators of the Xda 2i) into this area creates all types of possibilities.

“Regular candy-bar phone devices with Wi-Fi radios can connect automatically to the internet and make pureplay VoIP calls achieve greater cost savings.

Entitled Call Continuity Server, an enhancement to the company’s Cicero Controller, operators can now deliver always-on mobile services whereby calls are optimally routed based on network availability on cellular and Wi-Fi, cost and quality of service.

This approach has been taken by major telecoms players such as Swisscom whose Unlimited Connection technology won the GSMA Award 2005 for the best mobile business application because it effectively selects the fastest available technology – GPRS, UMTS or Wi-Fi – and the connection remains intact when switching from one transmission technology to the other.

CiceroPhone smart phone client is available immediately for Windows Mobile 5.0 smart phone and PDA devices. The Cicero Controller Call Continuity module is scheduled for release in mid-December.

The company revealed that the CiceroPhone smart phone client is being showcased on the recently launched Qtek 8310/8300, the first Windows Mobile dual-mode smart phones to come to market.

“HTC constantly strives to provide innovation to our customers through leading-edge products to the wireless consumer and enterprise markets,” said Peter Chou, president of HTC. “By providing Qtek series with Cicero Networks solution, users can easily maintain mobility and flexibility and enjoy visually rich, personalised communications any time, anywhere.”

By John Kennedy