Microsoft, Cbeyond offer e-mail via the desktop or mobile device; Sonus improves access to next-generation multimedia services

* More fixed-mobile convergence announcements at Mobile World Congress

Picking up where we left off last time with fixed-mobile convergence-related announcements made at last week's Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, today we hear from Microsoft and Cbeyond, Sonus Networks, and Tellabs.

In a joint announcement, Microsoft and Cbeyond launch an e-mail service for small and midsize businesses. The service gives users business-class e-mail on the desktop, via a Web browser or on a mobile device. According to the companies, “the package includes hardware and air time for mobile phone service, local and long-distance phone service, T-1 broadband Internet access, and, now, enterprise-class e-mail based on hosted Microsoft Exchange." The service is available today in Atlanta with future service planned for Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco.

Sonus Networks unveiled its latest wireless technology with a carrier-class product that provides consumers with improved access to 2.5G and 3G mobile multimedia services, while enabling network operators to effectively deliver quadruple-play services. The Sonus' mobilEdge “lets network operators combine their high-speed data networks with picocell or femtocell technology to maximize the investment . . . in their wireless broadband networks,” according to the company’s statement. In addition to providing support for UMTS femtocell and picocell access points for residential and enterprise use, it is also designed for future network architectures with built-in SIP signaling and IMS (IP-Multimedia Subsystem) compatibility, along with integrated capability 4G radios.

Tellabs premiered its 8607 access switch designed to deliver a cost-effective a hybrid mobile backhaul model that can leverage existing TDM circuits for voice traffic while off-loading high bandwidth data traffic onto an xDSL backhaul network. As demand for mobile data across the cellular network grows, mobile operators are faced with the need for a flexible and cost-effective way to manage connectivity to wireline data networks. The switch supports fiber, copper and various DSL technologies microwave-based backhaul networks. Its modular configuration is designed to ensure money isn't wasted powering unused interfaces, according to the company.

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