Motorola Unveils Wi-Fi Phone

The CN620 can make calls over both wireless LANs and cellular networks. Plus, Avaya introduces new products to ease WAN-to-WLAN roaming.

Avaya Inc. and Motorola Inc. on Tuesday officially announced several new products that let phone calls roam seamlessly between private wireless LANs and public cellular networks.

The products are the result of a collaboration the two companies announced along with Proxim Corp. early in 2003.

/zimages/3/28571.gifIn addition, reports that Motorola announced a variety of other new phones as well as phone connections to Apple Computer Inc.s iTunes music service.

Motorola Inc.s CN620 phone is a clamshell design that supports both voice and data services over wireless LANs and GSM cellular networks. The device automatically selects the least expensive network for calls, a feature that will help businesses cut costs, said Motorola officials in Schaumburg, Ill.

While in the enterprise network, callers are connected via voice over IP. When out of range of the enterprise network, mobile workers can still access enterprise corporate data and applications through a Web connection over the GSM network, officials said. /zimages/3/84563.jpg

The devices nine-way navigation disk lets users access applications, call logs, settings, the Web, contacts and a calendar.

"We believe this technology will change the notion of work," said Ed Zander, Motorola chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Work will no longer be defined as where you are, but as what you do and how you do it. One device, one phone number, one voice mail—and the key functionality of your office desktop on a single mobile device."

The CN620 is based on Microsofts Windows CE operating system.

At the same time, Motorola announced the Wireless Services Manager, a SIP-based proxy engine that controls the handoff between the WAN and WLAN. The WSM allows for push-to-talk services within the enterprise network. Separately, Motorola announced the Network Services Manager, which is a set of system administration tools.

Commercial availability of the Motorola products is expected in the fall. The company has yet to announce a carrier partner.

Motorolas announcement marks an increasing trend in the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular support in handheld devices. Hewlett-Packard Co. and T-Mobile USA earlier this week unveiled the iPaq 6315, a handheld device that allows voice services over GSM and data communications over GSM, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technologies.

/zimages/3/28571.gifeWEEK.coms Guy Kewney says wireless VOIP isnt quite ready for primetime. Click here to read his column.

Meanwhile, Avaya on Tuesday announced two new products that focus on voice over IP. The W110 WLAN Access Point and the Avaya W310 WLAN Gateway were co-developed with Proxim but will carry Avayas brand, and Avaya will be the sole distributor, said Avaya officials in Basking Ridge, N.J.

Both are designed with VOIP in mind, and they work with the Motorola CN620.

"Were basically providing a more affordable and centrally managed product for the enterprise," said Micky Sui, vice president and general manager for Avayas communications systems division. "They will form the backbone of the Avaya, Motorola, Proxim solution that was announced last year."

In addition to supporting WAN-to-WLAN roaming, the new products allow for central management of the WLAN, Avaya officials said.

The W310 has a list price of $8,995 and the W110 retails for $495. Both are available immediately.

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