A router announced this week by Agito Networks Inc. is designed to help companies with wireless local-area networks (WLANs) save money on cellular phone calls.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Agito is shipping the RoamAnywhere Mobility Router, a fixed-mobile convergence appliance available in two models. It routes calls from mobile phones on to the company’s private branch exchange, using the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 standard, also known as Wi-Fi, to connect to users wireless handsets.
This way, employees who use their cell phones at the office would have their calls routed through voice over wireless LAN (VoWLAN), if they have Wi-Fi coverage. Otherwise, the call would go through the cellular network.
If a worker makes a call over the cellular network and then moves to within range of the company’s Wi-Fi network, the call would be handed over without making the caller hang up and then call again.
“This solution definitely makes sense because you could save lot of money by redirecting some of those calls that would have gone through cellular network through the Wi-Fi network,” said Ronald Gruia, Toronto-based principal analyst for emerging communications at Frost & Sullivan, a market research firm.
Agito says RoamAnywhere works with handsets from all GSM and CDMA carriers. Though its site only lists American providers AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, an executive says it should work with Canadian wireless carriers.
“In general it has worked across CDMA and GSM, which is what you’d see with Telus and Rogers and Bell Canada,” said Pejman Roshan, Agito’s vice-president of marketing.
It works on Windows Mobile 6 devices, plus seven different E and N-series handsets from Nokia.
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Agito also plans to make it available for Research in Motion Inc.’s BlackBerry smart phones, once an application programming interface is available, Roshan added.
“We’re the only developer in this space in the BlackBerry developer program, but we’re really waiting for RIM to release the APIs to support voice.”
Agito claims the calls are handed over in less than a second, and the router uses radio-frequency location detection to determine where the handset is located. This in turn allows administrators or users to set up policies.
Administrators can define rules, based on time zone, time of day, day of the week, date or a user’s presence information. The rules can dictate that calls are routed to a user’s cell phone, desk phone or sent automatically to voicemail.
Administrators can let users set their own rules, and the policies can be enforced either on the devices or the handsets.