It appears Agito Networks has surpassed competitors on mobile handset technology

Q&A with Agito executive explains why it took so long to bring VoIP over WiFI to the BlackBerry.

Pejman Roshan - Chief Marketing Officer of enterprise fixed mobile convergence (eFMC) vendor Agito Networks, gave the following Q&A session regarding Agito's RIM BlackBerry support announcement earlier this week. In my opinion, it appears that with this announcement, Agito has surpassed competitors on mobile handset technology (see Agito's answer to question 5). Agito, which partners with Cisco, as well as other major PBX and WLAN companies, is fusing enterprise wireless LANs, carrier cellular networks, IP telephony and location technology to mobilize voice and UC applications. Furthermore, Agito adds that its enterprise fixed mobile convergence (eFMC) platform enables low-cost in-building voice coverage, reduced cellular costs, improved enterprise visibility and control over cellular usage, and better accessibility and responsiveness for mobile workers, so let's cut to the chase: 1. What exactly has Agito Networks announced this week?

Pejman Roshan: Agito introduced Agito for BlackBerry, which brings enterprise VoIP over WiFi for dual-mode BlackBerry smartphones. It enables BlackBerry to be integrated into corporate PBXs and Unified Communications systems, while reducing the expense of mobility, particularly around international charges. It is available as a software upgrade to new and existing customers.

2. Why is this important for the Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) industry?

Pejman Roshan: Half the smartphones in use in the US today are BlackBerry devices. To date, enterprises that have standardized on the BlackBerry platform have not had a solution that enables better accessibility for mobile workers and reduces costs.

Supported BlackBerry models include the BlackBerry Curve 8320, BlackBerry 8820, BlackBerry Curve 8900 and BlackBerry Bold 9000: 3. With all the dual-mode BlackBerry smartphones, didn’t RIM already support voice over WiFi?

Pejman Roshan: No, RIM offers only data services over WiFi on their dual-mode smartphones and does not support VoIP on the devices. To our knowledge Agito provides the first and only VoIP and UC BlackBerry solution for North American and European enterprises.

Below you can see the deskphone and mobile features integrated into the BlackBerry via Agito’s new solution. According to Agito, this is more functionality delivered to a BlackBerry device than from any other solution, and with Agito it’s delivered on both the cell network and WiFi network, with Agito’s patented seamless automatic roaming that goes along with it: 4. Doesn’t RIM’s Ascendent acquisition give them this?

Pejman Roshan: No, what Ascendent, now known as RIM Mobile Voice System offers, is the ability to place and receive enterprise calls on the cellular radio and not with VoIP over the WiFi radio. While this does have productivity benefits, it lacks the ability to cut down on the most expensive mobile costs, international roaming.

5. I thought other solutions from Cisco and Avaya had this?

Pejman Roshan: No, what they offer is extension of a subset of the PBX features to the BlackBerry smartphones on the cellular radio only and they are not able to extend the functionality onto the WiFi radio. In addition these solutions lack mid-call PBX features on their BlackBerry client applications, while also requiring multiple servers and software upgrades to implement their product.

6. Why is cellular-only PBX and UC integration incomplete?

Pejman Roshan: These cellular-only solutions lack the ability to leverage WiFi networks to extend the wireless voice coverage to in-building areas that have poor or no cellular network coverage. Additionally, in these cost-sensitive times, these solutions lack the ability to seamlessly move or route calls onto the WiFi network to reduce mobile minutes usage and eliminate international roaming charges.

7. What about Agito’s solution is different, why is this important?

Pejman Roshan: This is the only solution to provide WiFi and cellular enterprise voice capabilities with sub-100ms handover, in addition to Agito’s unique enterprise AD/LDAP integration, high availability, and suite of cost savings features, while providing a solution that is simple to install and deploy for large deployments. Agito for BlackBerry can leverage RIM BES to simplify rollouts but does not require the use of RIM BES or RIM MVS.

As shown below, the Agito solution does not require the deployment of a RIM BES nor RIM MVS server for operation: 8. Why did this take so long?

Pejman Roshan: The RIM BlackBerry OS is a proprietary and closed operating system. While we have been official member of the BlackBerry Developer Program for a few years, it is only recently that we have had the necessary APIs to hook in to the OS we needed to deliver an enterprise-grade solution. We spent considerable time in optimizing the use of the performance to enterprise-grade, high-quality voice while minimizing battery usage.

9. How was Agito able to do it?

Pejman Roshan: Agito is a member of the RIM developer program which provided us the necessary operating system API’s and we have invested two years of engineering resources to architect and build the solution. The fact that the BlackBerry OS is a high performance and multi-tasking design enabled us to design our application to natively integrate within the standard applications such as contacts, call logs and click-to-call.

10. Is this important for Europe, too?

Pejman Roshan: Yes, the BlackBerry smartphones are growing their market share in Europe and we are already engaged with several customers and partners who need an FMC solution for their BlackBerry smartphones today.

What's your take, has Agito Networks surpassed competitors on mobile handset technology? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese | Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese

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