Iristel adds fixed mobile convergence

Voice and data service provider Iristel Inc. can now give anyone the ability to switch incoming calls on more than one phone but still keep a single phone number.

The Markham, Ont., company, which offers service in most provinces, has introduced what it calls its IP Mobility service to give a single point of contact for fixed, Wi-Fi and cellular calls.

“This is great for people on the road who want to give out one number, keep track of [only] one voice mail,” said company president and CEO Samer Bishay.

The service can be used by non-Iristel subscribers with a landline. Current Iristel VoIP subscribers would pay $4 a month for the service. Subscribers to other landlines will pay $12 a month on top of their existing phone service(s), plus a $20 setup fee. In addition, they would have to temporarily pay for a second line – essentially a virtual line from their carrier – while Iristel moves the number to its switch.

Basically, the service allows a user to switch calls to a different phone by punching in codes. Bishay said it works seamlessly, so a person receiving a cellular call in a car could walk into an office and switch to a landline without the caller knowing.

A subscriber using a dual-mode GSM-enabled VoIP phone, which Iristel sells, would have the added advantage of being able to switch incoming cell calls to a voice-over-IP service if available out of the local coverage area and avoid long distance and roaming charges.

The new service is another way in which the company is moving increasingly to offering wireless-related services. Founded in 1999 by installing wholesale telecommunications equipment, Iristel offers a wide range of telecom services.

A Canadian competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), it has points of presence in some 20 countries including Romania, where the company has its network operations centre.

It splits its operations into three units: the carrier business, in which carriers overseas buy minutes, accounts for about 70 per cent of its revenues. Retail services, such as VoIP business and residential phone service, as well as hosted PBX service, brings in around 20 per cent of business. Enterprise products such as SIP trunking accounts for the rest.

IP Mobility is a software application created by the company. Bishay said in the future it will be able to add the ability for laptop users to receive softphone calls through GSM SIM cards.

Users of the the IP Mobility have a number of ways in which the service can be configured through a personal Web-based portal. Options include the ability to control which portable devices ring and when, the ability to ID mobile calls as personal or business, and the ability to stay in group calls.

IP Mobility is available in all provinces except Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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