Cisco adding iPhone app for voice-over-Wi-Fi
Growing iPhone use spurs efforts to expand unified communications tech
Computerworld - Cisco Systems Inc. plans to add voice-over-Wi-Fi capabilities to its existing iPhone app by April, part of a continuing effort to expand its unified communications technology into the mobile space.
The current iPhone Cisco Mobile app requires users to have a Cisco Unified Mobility Advantage server installed at a business. The server is usually administered by a company's IT department.
Cisco Mobile already gives iPhone users quick access to many of the standard Cisco IP features, such as visual voicemail and Mobile Connect, software that can route calls from a work number through a company's phone switching network and then out to an iPhone. The iPhone client software is free.
Cisco sees voice over Wi-Fi for the iPhone as a less expensive way to communicate because it would eliminate the need to use cellular voice minutes when placing a call in a Wi-Fi zone, said Laurent Philonenko, general manager of Cisco's unified communications business unit.
The upcoming version, to be called Cisco Mobile Voice, will also be free and is expected to be available by April. Among the new features it will offer is "shake to lock," which allows a user to end a call with a simple shaking gesture of the phone, he said. Another, named "call preservation," allows a phone call to stay connected, even if a user opens a different application in the iPhone.
Philonenko spoke to reporters in Boston and other cities from San Jose, Calif., via videoconference and was joined in Madison, Wisc., by Pat Scheckel, vice president of converged infrastructure solutions for CDW, which resells computers and related gear to businesses.
CDW, which has 3,500 customer deployments of Cisco's mobile and unified communications technology globally, has already worked with one manufacturing company that has implemented voice over Wi-Fi using Nokia smartphones and Cisco 7925 IP phones, Scheckel said. "They had exorbitant cell phone bills and now just use Wi-Fi," he noted.
Philonenko said it is important for Cisco to bring its mobility apps to iPhone, which has gained ground in large businesses in the past two years. Cisco eventually plans to bring all of its mobility applications to Nokia and BlackBerry devices, and, later, Android phones, he said. "Android is not yet a big factor in the enterprise," he said. "And we think Windows Mobile will re-emerge....
"The iPhone came from nowhere and companies like CDW are now deploying them by the thousands," Philonenko said. With smartphone devices proliferating, cell networks seem to have saturated the globe, "but there's still not enough 3G bandwidth for what people want to do." As a result, Wi-Fi is seen as a relief valve, raising the value of voice over Wi-Fi, he added.
Cisco, which offers Webex collaboration software as well, is tracking the growing importance of social networking, Philonenko added. "Everything we do [at Cisco] is going to be mobilized," he said.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Editor's note: This story has been changed since it was originally posted to remove a paragraph regarding an iPhone application for voice-activated dialing. Cisco Systems said the app was unintentionally included as part of Web 2.0 IP Telephony Widget. Cisco said the average consumer cannot download the widget and the information was not part of Cisco's announcement.
Read more about Networking in Computerworld's Networking Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Alert Logic for PCI DSS Compliance To achieve PCI DSS compliance, you must identify and remediate all critical vulnerabilities detected during PCI scans. Threat Manager streamlines this process by...
- Accelerating Network Convergence in Virtualized and Cloud Data Centers Adopting a converged networking strategy enables organizations to traffic server and storage I/O workloads on consolidated data throughput channels. Intelligent software helps optimize...
- How 10GbE Network is the Backbone of the Virtual Data Center The shift to a virtual data center has put tremendous strain on legacy networks; driving the need for more speed, lower latency, more...
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Networking White Papers | Webcasts