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Tech Roundup: FMC Fires Up

Corporate fixed/mobile convergence came into focus at last week's 3GSM event in Barcelona, with the appearance of a key appliance and new devices for enterprise users .

DiVitas Delivers: Mountain View, Calif.-based DiVitas Networks Inc. has finally started to ship its long-awaited FMC appliance and phone software, which is intended to give corporate types more control over FMC. The company first started to talk up enterprise convergence in April 2006, and has gathered some notable partners, including Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Symbol Technologies, as well as $23 million in funding. (See DiVitas Grabs VC Cash.)

The company's Mobile Convergence Appliance has multiple functions: It communicates with "any" enterprise PBX; handles WiFi roaming; and manages cellular/WiFi call handovers for users whose dual-mode handsets have the DiVitas Mobile Convergence Client installed. The aim is to allow enterprises to manage convergence on the campus rather than cede control to wireless carriers. (See DiVitas Wins.)

DiVitas claims the Mobile Convergence Appliance allows "enterprises to mobilize all workers... at costs that are comparable to today’s desktop solutions." The firm says the system will, in time, also enable users to access applications such as email, IM, CRM, and others, over multiple networks.

The DiVitas MCA 1000 appliance with a 10-user client software license starts at $5,495 list price and is available today worldwide.

Biz Roamin': BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has added the HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger to its "Fusion" FMC service, describing the device as "a single smartphone for both office and mobile use."

The Windows Mobile 6.0 handset uses unlicensed mobile access {UMA) technology to allow it to roam between cellular and WLAN networks. The operator says the device eliminates the need for multiple gadgets and allows the user to have one number, because it can be used as a mobile, in the office, or over BT Openzone hotspots. The hotspots can be found in many rail stations in London and the operator is also ramping up its wireless broadband city program.

On Friay, BT named five new Wireless City deployments. They are: Sheffield, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Glasgow. They join Birmingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff and Westminster, which were named last year.

The new iPAQ will be available for BT customers by mid-2007.

More 3-in-1 Chips: Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) is following in Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM)'s silicon footprints with a forthcoming chipset that combines WiFi, Bluetooth, and an FM receiver for cheaper multi-function mobile phones. (See Tech Roundup: Broadcom & VLSI.)

These system-on-a-chip products are primarily intended to allow vendors to produce even cheaper multimedia phones. The size reductions, however, also help phone makers to improve battery life and cut the size of handsets.

TI says the chip will support the latest 802.11n wireless LAN specification. The silicon, however, won't be available until 2008.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

lrmobile_Merlin 12/5/2012 | 3:14:02 PM
re: Tech Roundup: FMC Fires Up Reading the cost of $5000.00+ for 10 FMC users seems very expense.

With cellular minute costs in a free fall, I can't understand any meaningful ROI for an enterprise FMC stand alone solution at current user costs.

Logically PBX and WLAN (Cisco, Nortel, Avaya, Siemens, Aruba, Merue, Trapeze etc.) vendors will add FMC a feature extention within their systems. Given their system hardware leverage these vendors will likely price FMC at $25 to $40 per user, based upon feature set. At $30
per user it becomes an interesting ROI proposition.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:13:57 PM
re: Tech Roundup: FMC Fires Up Yeah, companies seem to be looking at pricing as roughly similar to the way that WLAN switches were priced. Its going to be interesting to see how that changes over time,
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