[CoMoDev] Motorola is on to something

  • From: David Beers <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 09:58:31 -0600

Nice piece in today's Wall St Journal about Motorola's upcoming CN620 phone, 
which Motorola says will allow you to place a call using Voice-over-IP on a 
WiFi network, then walk out of the building and seamlessly switch to a GSM 
cellular network without losing your call.  With devices like this you can use 
the same phone and phone number whether you're talking over the Internet or a 
cellular carrier's network. This kind of thing is giving the phone companies 
the willies because it makes for a smooth migration path from phone networks to 
cheaper IP networks.  On the other hand, cell carriers could stand to gain 
since it solves (potentially) one of the problems that has kept many people 
from cutting the land-line and using only cellular: poor indoor reception.  In 
the long run it might be a boost for WiFi coverage, which would eventually 
erode cellular airtime as well.  Any way you cut it, this is a harbinger of big 
structural changes in the telecom industry.

The CN620 is supposed to come out in Q4 of this year and is aimed squarely at 
business users:  it supports 4-digit dialing to call co-workers within the same 
office and enables push-to-talk "walkie-talkie" type communication over WiFi as 
well as GSM.  Since it also has a speakerphone mode, I guess it could function 
as a kind of wireless intercom.  

No news on what OS it will run, so that probably means it's proprietary (too 
bad, though similar Palm and Windows handsets are sure to follow).  If recent 
history is any indication, it will also probably be late in hitting the market. 
 And my bet is that it won't be quite as seamless as they suggest in roaming 
between WiFi and cellular networks.  But none of that will take away from the 
fact that this is the future of mobile communicators.

If you're interested, here's a fresh piece with lots of good marketing fluff on 
how the CN620 "Mobile Office Device" fits into Motorola's big "Enterprise 
Seamless Mobility" solution: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040727/cgtu013_1.html

David



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