February 10, 2015
Sprint is expanding its WiFi calling strategy to the workplace with plans to launch an enterprise WiFi plus Microsoft Lync bundle as part of its upcoming Workplace-as-a-Service platform, Light Reading has learned.
A source close to the plans tells Light Reading that the operator will soon begin bundling WiFi access points and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Lync unified communications service for those enterprises that use its mobile broadband network. The combo will allow enterprises to ditch their landlines and enable multimedia WiFi calling and chat over the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) network and WiFi. Sprint plans to offer this bundle as a managed service, the source says.
The WiFi service will be part of Sprint's overall Workplace-as-a-Service (WPaaS) platform that it plans to officially launch soon. A Sprint spokesman would not comment on the details of it, but said the operator is in pre-sales mode with it and "has several business customers that are enjoying the benefits of the service and more in the pipeline."
Sprint's pre-sales website on WPaaS positions it as a complete starter package for someone looking to open an office, including Internet, WiFi, voice, text and data plans, audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, email, Intranet and cloud productivity apps -- everything but pizza.
Read more about WiFi strategies on the carrier WiFi channel here on Light Reading.
Both the enterprise and WiFi have been focal points for the carrier as it works to regain its footing in the US wireless market. It enabled WiFi calling for its customers last year, albeit without support for cellular handoff or for the iPhone. It has also blanketed its nationwide LTE network with HD voice, although has yet to outline a timeline for a voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) deployment. (See Sprint Selects Kineto for WiFi Calling, Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi and Sprint's Hesse: HD Voice Goes Nationwide in July .)
The operator's updates helped it bump up to third place in RootMetrics 's network rankings, just beating T-Mobile US Inc. on overall performance, thanks in large part to its improved call and text performance.
On the enterprise front, Sprint has been working with Ruckus Wireless Inc. to provide managed WiFi to enterprises since 2013 and has announced past plans for enterprise small cells. The carrier also offers some productivity mobile applications and mobile device management for small and midsized businesses, so a broader managed services approach that ties it all together seems logical. (See Sprint Starts Big Enterprise Push With WiFi, Sprint, T-Mobile Test Ruckus's Refined VoWiFi and Sprint Plans Indoor, Outdoor Small Cells in 2014.)
— Sarah Thomas, , Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading
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