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BridgePort Lands Another $13M

Fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) specialist BridgePort Networks Inc. has bagged another $13 million to fund the development of a product that turns PCs into virtual mobile phones. (See BridgePort Gets $13M.)

The company says its latest round, which comes from existing backers including Polaris Venture Partners , General Catalyst Partners , and BCE Capital , takes its total funding to $51 million.

The money will be used to support partners involved in carrier trials and deployments of BridgePort's NomadicONE FMC technology, which allows a single phone number to be used across various access networks, including WiFi and mobile, and which is being resold by partners like Siemens Communications Group . (See Time Warner Goes Dualmode , Siemens Resells BridgePort, BridgePort Touts Convergence, and Net2Phone Picks BridePort.)

It will also be used to further develop the company's MobileStick product, which, the vendor says, is "experiencing strong demand" from large "Tier 1 mobile and integrated operators."

The technology, which we touted as a hot ticket after it was unveiled at this year's 3GSM Show in Barcelona, allows mobile phone users to make VOIP calls via their laptops using their mobile number when traveling abroad -- and avoid the horrendous international roaming charges. (See Eurobites: What's Up With Wireless?)

This is done by inserting a USB device, which houses a SIM card that has the same number as the SIM card in the user's mobile phone, into the laptop. Once the laptop is connected to the Internet, calls can be made using a softphone client installed on the PC. The calls are routed onto the core network of the user's mobile service provider via a BridgePort gateway, which also handles incoming calls to the laptop's softphone client.

BridgePort couldn't be reached for additional comment as this article was published.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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