Motorola and NEC are to collaborate on an infrastructure that lets enterprise employees use one wireless phone with one number both in the office and on the road, enjoying corporate calling features such as dialling by extension.
The phones will use VoIP over wireless Lans, and will also work as mobile phones.
Mobility Manager, server-based call control software from Motorola, will handle a seamless handoff between the wireless Lan and the mobile network so that employees can continue their calls when they enter or leave the office.
Through integration with NEC's private branch exchange platforms and a managed Wlan infrastructure being worked on by both companies, the phones will be able to take advantage of some PBX features both inside and outside the office.
Employees could also get access to internal company applications such as calendars, directories and e-mail.
The system will consist of an NEC PBX with VoIP capability, the Mobility Manager software, the Wlan infrastructure and the handsets. The deal is non-exclusive and is an extension of a Motorola strategy that began with an earlier agreement with Avaya and Proxim.
Motorola is working with more than one major PBX and Wlan supplier because there are large installed bases of different systems in place, sometimes two within one corporation.
NEC and Motorola are considering three vertical markets- healthcare, hospitality and education - as being ideal adopters of the system, which should be generally available in North America in mid-2004.
Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service