I've stated in the past to keep your eye on Verisign when it comes to VoIP. I've mentioned how they are leveraging ENUM and SS7 which make for some interesting integration possibilities, such as the ability for someone to dial your cell phone number which will then ring your wired or wireless VoIP phone instead. Further, with dual-mode cellphone/Wi-Fi phones, you could simply carry one phone and simply switch modes when in range of a Wi-Fi network - VoIP-to-cell-roaming if you will.
Look at my Verisign and VoIP using SS7 and SIP blog entry for reference as well as ENUM, ENUM, ENUM! where I discuss where Verisign may be headed in the VoIP space. It looks like my prognostications were not far off...
It wasn't long before Verisign started leveraging their technology to achieve some of the cool stuff I mentioned in my blog entries. Last week, IBM, Airespace and VeriSign made an announcement that would help realize mobile to VoIP convergence, which has some really interesting applications. What makes it even more interesting is that Cisco bought Airespace just a couple of weeks ago and Cisco was quoted as saying they are very excited about the potential for VoIP-to-cell roaming. So that's another heavy-weight on-board. Wow, Cisco, IBM, and Verisign. Can I throw Google in there as well and add to the Google VoIP controversy?
Anyway, BridgePort Networks, which is well known in the mobile VoIP convergence space, announced a new alliance program called MobileIGNITE of industry leading organizations that will help service providers to rapidly deploy mobile VoIP convergence services. MobileIGNITE solutions are based on open standards and bring interoperable solutions to service providers to improve the quality, coverage and cost of mobile service delivery, and to add mobility to fixed VoIP telephony services, using a single subscriber phone number identity.
MobileIGNITE stands for Mobile Integrated Go-to-Market Network IP Telephony Experience. MobileIGNITE program members will collectively bring a full complement of pre-tested, end-to-end hardware and software for network infrastructure and end user devices together with deployment and integration services to address service providers' need to rapidly offer simplified convergent services.
"Mobile and broadband service providers are finding that time-to-market is critical in offering MobileVoIP," said Mike Mulica, president and CEO of BridgePort Networks. "The MobileIGNITE program brings together the partner ecosystem that can get service providers to commercial service launches months or years sooner, reducing costs and integration risks.
The ability to roam between cell and VoIP networks can save enterprises and consumers money by allowing them to save their limited cellphone minutes when they have access to a wired or wireless LAN in their homes or offices. Another advantage is that you can get around the issue of poor cell network coverage at home or in the office. Mobile phone carriers can benefit by combining a VoIP service with traditional cell phone plans, so they do not lose revenue from calls that subscribers otherwise would make on a separate VoIP provider's network. The dual service also can make a customer more loyal.
Each member of the MobileIGNITE program brings a specific expertise to the ecosystem, the inaugural members include:
Airespace, Inc. - Airespace is a recognized technology and thought leader in the area of support for voice services over Wireless LANs. With its secure RF management, seamless mobility, granular location, and strong management capabilities, Airespace provides a robust platform for the delivery of innovative voice services.
IBM IBM's Open Specification strategy and its eServer BladeCenter (data center) and eServer BladeCenter T (central office) will serve carrier needs for scalability, availability, and manageability in their data centers, as well as ensure proper management of the service providers’ infrastructure for converged services.
VeriSign - VeriSign's secure hosted infrastructure model for mobile to VoIP roaming provides the needed integration with other IP and SS7 networks, and hosted services and applications which helps reduce service providers’ capital spending.
"The Airespace WLAN system was designed from the ground up to seamlessly support converged voice and data services,” said Robert Tinker, Vice President of Business Development at Airespace. “Together with the other MobileIGNITE partners, we can deliver best-in-class voice over WLAN services that are easy to scale, cost effective to manage, and secure enough for business usage.”
"IBM’s BladeServer Open Specification strategy combined with the partners of the MobileIGNITE ecosystem and BridgePort Networks brings service providers solutions for fixed mobile convergence that reduce risks and accelerate time-to-market for new services” saidJuhi K. Jotwani, Systems Group Director, BladeCenter Alliances, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “With BridgePort Networks’ certification on the eServer Blade Center, they bring the critical missing link for convergence to the solutions."
"VeriSign enables mobile roaming and VoIP to come together,” said Tom Kershaw, Vice President of VoIP Services, VeriSign “BridgePort Networks’ technology enables us to converge our inter-mobile carrier SS7 roaming services with our hosted VoIP interconnect offerings for enterprises and service providers. We simplify service provider deployments and transform the economics of launching new MobileVoIP convergence services."
The MobileIGNITE program is based on open standards such as the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). This permits program members to offer go-to-market solutions that leverage existing low cost SIP-compatible terminals such as softphones, IP phones and analog telephone adapters, in combination with legacy cellular phones, as well as supporting the new emerging cellular/WiFi dual mode handsets.
And some company backgrounds in case you might find this info useful:
About BridgePort Networks
BridgePort Networks™ is the leader in MobileVoIP convergence -- combining the personalization and mobility of mobile phone services with the flexibility, innovation and outstanding cost economics of the rapidly growing VolP sector. The core product, the NomadicONE™ Network Convergence Gateway (NCG), uses roaming technology to extend single identity phone number services over multiple access networks, including: mobile, cable, DSL and WiFi. The NomadicONE NCG is a key component of an open standards partner ecosystem, MobileIGNITE™ that comprises end-to-end solutions that improve the quality, coverage and cost of mobile service delivery and the mobility of VoIP services. BridgePort Networks is a global company, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. To learn more about BridgePort Networks visit: www.bridgeport-networks.com.
About Airespace, Inc.
Airespace designs and develops intelligent wireless networking platforms that support business-critical applications. The company has set the standard for enterprise Wireless LANs, having earned several CMP LLC's "Best of Networld+Interop" awards, Network Computing's "Editor's Choice Award" and "Most Outstanding Product of the Year," Network World's "World Class Award" and "Best of the Test Award," IDG's "Network Award," Internet Telephony's "Product of the Year," eWeek's "Annual Excellence Award," VarBusiness Magazine's "Technical Innovators Award," and nomination as one of the "Best Wireless Products" in InfoWorld's "Reader's Choice" Awards. With dynamic RF management, air-tight security, seamless mobility, and support for real-time applications such as voice, Airespace helps enterprises implement secure and manageable wireless networks worldwide.
About IBM Corporation
IBM is the largest IT company in the world and creates and develops the most advanced IT solutions in the industry, including hardware, software and services. For more information, please visit www.ibm.com.
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), delivers critical infrastructure services that make the Internet and telecommunications networks more intelligent, reliable, and secure. Every day VeriSign helps thousands of businesses and millions of consumers connect, communicate, and transact with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisign.com.