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Cisco extends Cisco WebEx Meeting Center Service to BlackBerry to enable easy mobile web conferencing

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Press Release

Mobile World Congress – Cisco is announcing further expansion of its mobile collaboration portfolio offering for leading 3G smartphones. Users will be able to join Cisco WebEx Meeting Center web and audio conferences on smartphones including the BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Curve 8900, and BlackBerry Storm. They will be able to participate in audio and web conferencing via 3G or Wi-Fi, attend scheduled meetings and view presentations, applications and desktops with live annotations. In addition, Cisco is announcing the capability for hosts of Cisco WebEx meeting applications, including Meeting Center, Training Center, and Event Center to invite attendees with SMS-capable phones to attend meetings by responding to an SMS invitation.

“Enabling access to Cisco WebEx Meeting Center over BlackBerry smartphones offers a rich collaborative experience that will be welcomed by customers,” said Jeff McDowell, vice president of Global Alliances at Research In Motion. “This solution enhances mobile worker productivity with secure access and uses the unique and intuitive ‘Join Now’ capability of the BlackBerry platform — where one click connects to the conference automatically.”

Cisco WebEx Meeting Center support for these BlackBerrys is scheduled to be available in April 2009. You can see a list of key facts after the jump.

Cisco WebEx Meeting Center Key Facts

Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite certified by Sprint

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ascendent voice mobility suite

Ascendent, a subsidiary of RIM, announced the certification of Voice Mobility Suite 4.5 by Sprint today, which means that fixed mobile convergence is coming to Sprint enterprise BlackBerry users. Ascendent VMS v4.5 integrates with BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) Services on the BES to provide menu-driven desk phone features and give IT admins better control of their mobile usage and costs.

“As more organizations look to ‘cut the cord,’ they will be looking for a solution that seamlessly leverages their existing telephony infrastructure while providing the capabilities and controls afforded by the BlackBerry platform and Ascendent VMS,” said Theron Dodson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Ascendent Systems. “Sprint and Ascendent Systems have enjoyed a longstanding partnership and we’re pleased to be working together to bring this next-generation solution to customers.”

Exciting news for Sprint subscribers looking to trash their land line and go full BlackBerry. Does anyone out there currently use Ascendent’s VMS 4.5 at their company? What’s the most important fixed mobile convergence feature for you?

Ascendent VMS 4.5 for BlackBerry features

More carriers picking up FMC services

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PhoneMobile carriers have taken the hint that they need to expand services to better appeal to enterprise customers, as a recent report from Infonetics Research concludes that 80% of carriers plan to offer fixed-mobile convergence plans to corporations by April 2008 at the risk of traffic falling off their network. (FMC involves merging office voice and data services with your handheld – a phone call on a single line can be answered from either office or cellphone.) That being said, enterprise VoIP will supposedly become more and more supported, and with Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerrys pulling in to harbour, carriers don’t have much choice but to follow suit. Now, if the BlackBerry had session initiation protocol supported, RIM could have a solid foothold to get in on the ever-growing PBX phone integration business that carriers are moving towards. This isn’t to say the UMA handoff that the 8820 uses right now doesn’t have a place in new IP multimedia subsystems, but working with SIP sure would open up some possibilities.

Reviewer: BlackBerry 8820 Wi-Fi not so hot

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BlackBerry 8820The folks at Reg Hardware managed to get their mitts on a BlackBerry 8820 and aren’t overtly impressed with the Wi-Fi capability. The UMA format of voice handover works fine, depending on your network, but doesn’t jibe with many VoIP clients, let alone how the lack of SIP support gets in the way of corporate PBX phone systems. The reviewer also had some issues getting Google Talk running and BlackBerry Maps while on the Wi-Fi. On top of that, e-mails wouldn’t send if the radio receiver was off. It sounds like if both Wi-Fi and cellular connections are on, things should work hunky-dory, but that’s quite the strain on your battery. Besides Wi-Fi, the BlackBerry 8820 is supposedly packing the microSDHC support which we love so very, very much. Hopefully the shortcomings of Wi-Fi will be ironed out before widespread sales start. It seems that in the haze of voice handoff hype, we forgot that there’s a lot of other things, like e-mail, that we’d like to hand off to Wi-Fi as well.

Why doesn’t the BlackBerry 8820 have SIP support?

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BlackBerry 8820Forget all this noise on the Internet about security concerns with the BlackBerry 8820′s Wi-Fi capabilities — RIM would never have released the device unless it was airtight (also, where were these concerns when they released the forlorn BlackBerry 7270?). However, a recent article by ITweek raises a far more interesting issue: the BlackBerry 8820′s lack of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) support, commonly used to link with a corporate IP PBX or messaging server. RIM instead chose to support the Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) IP telephony protocol, which is designed to link a handset back to a mobile carrier’s network.

Continue reading ‘Why doesn’t the BlackBerry 8820 have SIP support?’

Wi-Fi phone sales expected to top $145 billion in 2010

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CashmoneySeems like today is Wi-Fi day here at BlackBerry Cool. While Thought is asking BlackBerry users whether or not they need a Wi-Fi BlackBerry, Cellular-News is telling us that Wi-Fi phone sales are expected to take a big jump in the next few years.

Although worldwide Wi-Fi phone revenue actually fell 8% to $5 billion in the first quarter of 2007, those crazy cats at Infonetics Research are projecting Wi-Fi will post strong double-digit growth every year through 2010, eventually hitting the magic number of $145 billion. Infonetics offers a two-pronged reason for the uptake: enterprise users want to use Wi-Fi’s corporate LAN and IP PBX capabilities, while consumers want to make use of wifeless broadband and VoIP.

Check out some Wi-Fi statistics from the report after the jump, as well as some more general wireless industry metrics.

Continue reading ‘Wi-Fi phone sales expected to top $145 billion in 2010′