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Optical/IP

VOIP Goes Mobile in NYC

NEW YORK -- The union of enterprise voice over IP (VOIP) and wireless is high on the agenda at Light Reading’s Telecom Investment Conference, which concludes here around 5:00 p.m. today.

Keynote speaker Joan Kratz, VP of business marketing at BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) explains that her company is looking to exploit VOIP over wireless wide-area networks (WANs). “We are actually doing a real test today in the labs with a real customer. We’re in a beta version of that,” she says. "This involves an IP PBX and an IP phone that lets the customer roam on and off the GSM network."

BellSouth, which jointly owns Cingular Wireless with SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), will also be using the mobile specialist to deliver a range of converged services in the future, according to Kratz.

The exec used the example of unified messaging, which integrates the address books on computers, cellphones, and telephones. “You will have the capability to read your voicemail, to hear your email, and to get access from whatever that device might be, either wireless or wireline,” she says.

The carrier is also testing a mobile application that lets users run off a building’s WiFi network to a GSM network.

Phil Thompson, executive VP of technical marketing at mPhase Technologies says VOIP and wireless convergence is a big deal, but he had this word of caution for vendors: ”I have been in this industry long enough to know that technology doesn’t drive everything. It will come down to [the user's] willingness to pay, features, functions, and [the question of] ‘what can I do differently?' ”

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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