Tag Archive for 'SIP'

RIM’s Wi-Fi partner enabling VoIP and other services

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DeviceSCapeYou might not have heard of Devicescape, since they work largely behind the scenes, but apparently they play an integral role in getting Wi-Fi into BlackBerrys. The folks at Ars Technica got a chance to talk with CEO Dave Fraser, who, in the midst of talking about Skype and their own mobile Wi-Fi connectivity solution dubbed Devicescape Connect, had this to say about the future of VoIP in handhelds.

“[There's] nothing we can announce yet, but within a few months new types of devices will be hitting the market like dual-mode handsets, VoIP phones, game systems, media players, GPS systems, digital cameras… we have designs in all of these areas.”

So VoIP phones are going to be as widespread as Wi-Fi dual-mode handsets? At very least, you’ll be able to subscribe to Devicescape’s service to get access to an alternative to UMA handoff. The interview postulates an enterprise situation where their Wi-Fi solution would be especially helpful; if SIP doesn’t end up coming to the BlackBerry 8820, Devicescape Connect could be the second-best way for enterprise to use Wi-Fi for voice.

Analyst says BlackBerry 8820 will have SIP support

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ABIAfter listening in on ABI Research’s recent talk on fixed-mobile convergence, analyst Stuart Carlaw has speculated that RIM will be providing SIP support in addition to its already-established UMA for the BlackBerry 8820. There was some concern earlier that the voice hand-off technology that the BlackBerry 8820 was touting (UMA) wouldn’t be compatible with the enterprise standard (SIP). ABI said that ever since acquiring Cingular, AT&T has been drifting towards SIP and similarly, RIM’s acquisition of Ascendent should facilitate PBX integration through SIP.

If AT&T’s release of the BlackBerry 8820 really is just around the corner, we’ll be finding out what it’s packing soon enough. Stuart also set UMA and SIP in a consumer versus enterprise light. If future Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerrys don’t work with both UMA and SIP, at very least we can hope that consumer-oriented products like the BlackBerry 8320 are packing UMA, and business-end products like the 8820 will be kicking SIP (even if it should have been there in the first place).

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.

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