Fixed and mobile join forces


23 Jun 2005

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This is the year of the mobile enterprise with businesses making much of the data and communications available to workers with mobile phones. This was again highlighted last week at the launch of Damovo Ireland’s OnePhone fixed-wireless convergence service.

The OnePhone enterprise solution allows employees’ mobile phones to be integrated within a company’s telephony infrastructure in order to act as extensions of the company’s PBX or telephone system. The technology, which works across all standard 2G and 2.5G mobile phones, also enables fully replicated email and unified messaging services to be deployed. It is claimed the OnePhone technology enables enterprises to reap average savings on communications costs of one third.

Attending the launch was Malin Johansson, regional sales manager for north-western Europe at Ericsson, Damovo’s technology partner in the venture. According to Johansson, most of us are already mobile workers insofar as we carry and work with mobile devices. Europe-wide, some 80pc of enterprises’ workforces carry the devices.

The unique selling point of OnePhone is it allows companies to avail of low corporate tariffs from mobile operators that are designed to encourage internal communication using mobile phones.

“IDC expects the number of mobile workers in Europe alone will increase from 80.6 million in 2002 to 99.3 million in 2007,” said John McCabe, managing director of Damovo Ireland. “This tremendous growth in mobile workers makes it imperative that organisations have very clear strategies in place for the deployment of mobility solutions.”

Damovo’s launch of its OnePhone service occurred the same day as BT introduced Fusion. This combined fixed and mobile phone service, is initially aimed at home users but SME and corporate versions are planned. BT Fusion acts similar to a mobile phone when you are out and about but switches automatically and seamlessly to a BT broadband line when you get home. Calls over broadband in the home mean users can make a mobile call but with the quality of a fixed line and worry less about the signal being lost or dropping out. A recent survey of BT Broadband customers revealed as many as 19pc had experienced problems with mobile coverage in the home.

Ryan Jarvis, chief of convergence products at BT Group, explained a special access point installed in the home uses Bluetooth wireless technology to switch the BT Fusion handset seamlessly to the broadband line, even in mid-call. “BT Fusion is about fusing the broadband service with the mobile service; about having a single device and being able switch seamlessly over the mobile network to get low prices. It is about having the best of both worlds.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Mobilising the enterprise – John McCabe, managing director of Damovo Ireland, with Malin Johansson, sales manager for north-western Europe at Ericsson