Motorola Phone Flips Between Wi-Fi, Cell Networks
Motorola expects to demonstrate wireless handsets at VoiceCon this week that connect to Wi-Fi and cellular networks and hand off calls between the two.
The gear--Total Enteprise Access and Mobility (TEAM)--will also support push-to-talk capabilities designed to take the place of two-way radios used in industrial and retail settings and to support native business applications as well as Internet access. (Compare VoIP phones.)
The first production model of TEAM devices, in the shape of a wireless phone, is expected to be available by the end of the third quarter. It will support push-to-talk as well as VoIP over Wi-Fi. The company expects healthcare and manufacturing businesses to be drawn to them because they already use two-way radios for on-site communications.
The phones can be divided into 250 call groups so push-to-talk messages are sent only to participants of a given group.
Cellular integration and the ability to hand off calls between Wi-Fi and cellular networks as users pass out of Wi-Fi range comes later. The company also plans to put the technology on PDAs at a later time.
The phones will be supported by a server that ties calls in to corporate PBXs and handles the transfers between cellular and Wi-Fi modes. The server also keeps alive connections between the devices and the PBX using very low-bandwidth heartbeats that prolong battery life, the company says. Keeping alive a connection to the PBX also shortens call setup times, Motorola says.
All the devices will be based on Windows Mobile operating system, which enables integration with Windows applications such as Outlook as well as Web browsing, text messaging, e-mail, calendaring and business applications.
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