The amount of companies pursuing the fixed-mobile convergence market or FMC continues to grow at a torrid pace. The latest company to jump in with both feet is startup Agito Networks. I had a chance to meet with Dan Spalding the Director of Marketing and Communications and Pejman Roshan the VP of Marketing for the company to discuss their approach to allowing the world of fixed and mobile lines to merge.
Before we get into technology it may be worth noting that the people behind Agito are from the top firms in the wireless and tech business such as Cisco, Trapeze, Proxim, Spirent, Motorola, Palm and Good Technology. This never guarantees success mind you but it is certainly better than hiring a bunch of people with no experience.
Certainly this is a market with competition which is evidenced by my recent article about DiVitas Networks. But where Agito differs from others is in their location-aware technology which allows users a great deal of flexibility in how they accept calls and also has the potential to lower costs for companies implementing their solutions.
The difference is in location awareness meaning the company has an appliance which in conjunction with an application living on mobile devices allows the system to know when a user has left the building.
The way this is done is via an initial configuration where the administrator goes to the exits of the buildings and alerts the system. At this point the application saves the radio ID information, any GPS coordinates it can find and any other information the system may deem pertinent.
Subsequently, when devices go through the door, the system becomes aware and is able to quickly transition the call from WiFi to cellular (depending on direction). I did mention the challenge of determining what network to put smokers on as they generally stand outside the entrance of the building. To this point, company execs explained that hysteresis helps reduce this problem.
So why might a system like this be of use to a company? Well, if the entrance is well-known by applications sitting on all devices then as people enter a building they will always jump on the WiFi network. This is good as companies can be assured of maximal cellular savings. In addition the system can take advantage of your location to route calls more effectively meaning if you are working late your work calls can be routed to your mobile phone. Without such knowledge you may automatically stop routing calls you your cell phone after work hours so the calls do not interfere with your personal life.
Another great use for this information is turning off the WiFi radio when you are not in the office. This is a great way to save battery power.
So what does the company make? They have an appliance named the RoamAnywhere Mobility Router coupled with a complete dashboard, reporting and live monitoring software.
Is there room for the company in the FMC space? I would say yes as we are still very early in the market and the company has a different way of approaching the market – one that can help make companies be more productive while saving money.