Dual mode phones that are capable of communicating with more than one form are increasingly becoming popular as organization seeks to be more productive. From an enterprise market point of view, having this ability is of great advantage as it makes organization more agile and more responsive to emerging market opportunities and to support increasing customer demands.
The dual mode handset market is picking up fast and according to a new report from Juniper research, the worldwide revenues of dual mode phones are expected to reach over $82bn by 2012.
In order to build the capability for mobile employees to stay connected over dual mode phones, infrastructure side will want to support both cellular and WiFi-type voice application and phone manufacturers will want their devices to work over both networks. There have been some challenges for seamless roaming between cellular and WiFi environment. There’s a lot of interference that eats into your WiFi network capacity, causing things such as retransmissions and jitter. If you’re just running data you won’t necessarily notice it, but when you start to run real-time applications such as voice, you suddenly realize that your WiFi network is not as tuned-up as you had hoped. Security and interoperability between different access point, gateway, and devices like WiFi/GSM handsets may be an issue.
The phones that do not support multitasking such as iPhone may drop your ongoing VOIP call when cellular call arrives. The Google Android phone does not expose adequate information through the WiFi API to allow the VOIP client to take hand-off decisions. The Java environment on most of the devices does not expose enough functionality for application developer to develop the voice over IP (VOIP) client. Nokia includes a SIP stack in their E-series and N-Series phones to support this technology in their dual mode phones.
Use of SIP – Session Initiation Protocol- provides multimodal communication capabilities that provide faster and secure communication. The presence capability can help to know employee presence availability status, thereby deciding the mode of call before user makes the call. The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has been accepted as the protocol of choice for voice over IP calls.
The enterprises are quickly seeing the advantage of such devices as not only their workforce becomes more mobile, but it also brings a cost advantage to them. It has been observed that 30% of office calls are now received on mobile phones, instead of desktop phones, even if the employees are in office. Also, a study by the International Teleworking Association found that between 50 to 70 percent of office space is unoccupied during normal business hours. To provide the ultimate in on-premises mobility, enterprises are complementing hotdesking practices with on-premises wireless LAN (WLAN) networks ensuring mobile access to all types of enterprise information. This improves customer responsiveness, improve productivity and save office space costs as organizations are going for shared desk policy.
The enterprises don’t have to pay carriers if they are making calls working of their premise over Wi-Fi. It is easy to justify the cost benefit at enterprise level; the resistance has been from the carriers as they do not see how they can really make money on them.
Advanced features and services that up-to-now have only been available to the desk are now broadly available to enterprise users everywhere due to the potential of the dual mode mobile console. This is a new class of enterprise mobility.