Avaya Inc. and Motorola Inc. have lifted the veil on their respective collections of products that let phone calls roam seamlessly between enterprise WLANs and public cellular networks.
The products are the result of a collaboration announced early last year between the two companies and Proxim Corp., aimed at bridging the gap between wireless networks.
Avayas contribution to the partnership focuses on the wireless LAN side, with a concentration on VOIP (voice over IP), including features such as load balancing and QOS (quality-of-sevice) support.
The new W110 WLAN Access Point and the Avaya W310 WLAN Gateway were co-developed with Proxim but will carry Avayas brand. Both support 802. 11a, 802.11b and 802.11g and are available now.
Motorolas contribution came in linking the VOIP and Wi-Fi phones with cellular networks.
Motorolas new CN620 is a clamshell device, based on Microsoft Corp.s Windows CE operating system, that supports voice and data services over WLANs and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) cellular networks. It is designed for WLANs that support 802.11a, but that could be a drawback; while 802.11a is the optimal choice for VOIP, most enterprise WLANs run 802.11b. Motorolas new phone is due in the fall.
Motorolas announcement marks a trend in the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular support in handheld devices. Hewlett-Packard Co. and T-Mobile USA Inc. last week unveiled the iPaq 6153, a device that allows voice services over GSM and data communications over GSM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
"The driver for us is really to increase productivity and access to resources in our particular business, which is the news delivery business," said Tom Scott, senior manager of application development of ABC Owned Television Stations Group, in Burbank, Calif., who plans to use the iPaq 6153 for news reporters and sales staff. "We want to deliver news wirelessly to our wired network and then back out from our wired network with sales reporting information."
Motorola, meanwhile, also announced the Wireless Services Manager, a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based proxy engine that controls the handoff between the WAN and WLAN and ensures that the phone picks the least-expensive available network.