Motorola Works Around WLAN Roaming to Enable WiFi Telephony
By ROBERT LIU
Motorola on Tuesday leveraged the intense spotlight of the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show to introduce a new Motorola Residential Seamless Mobility Gateway (RSG) that takes WiFi-to-cellular handover control out of the hands of the carrier and puts it squarely in the hands of the consumer.
As part of the new product line, Motorola’s RSG family includes an 802.11b/g wireless access point, a four-port router and a built-in Voice-over-IP adapter allowing the hotspot to seamlessly transfer voice calls between the home wireless network (WLAN) and the cellular network when paired with a dual-mode handset.
The announcement could breathe new life to dual-mode handsets market, which has been greatly hampered by the control that cellular network operators have exerted over the handover exchange process. Cellular operators are less likely to allow its subscribers to hand off the voice signals to a wireless network because it would miss out on call-minute revenue by doing so.
To be sure, Motorola’s WiFi telephony initiative still relies on the cellular operators to adopt dual-mode handsets into their networks. But a vendor like Motorola, which (with its RAZR line) sells one of the most popular phones on the market, could exert considerably more pressure on them to incorporate dual-mode handsets into their networks as opposed to a VoIP/WiFi vendor like Cisco or Linksys, neither of which have particularly close ties with cellular operators.
In its press release, Motorola said its RSG gateway comes with built-in intelligence that will automatically route the call to the best available network or service option by simply dialing a number, enabling consumers to use your home wireless network to compensate for cellular service "dead-spots" within their home.
"Consumers today want the flexibility of a single number and handset that can be used both in and out of the home, and a solution that can bridge landline, cellular and digital phone services. This latest Motorola innovation breaks traditional concepts of personal communication without sacrificing ease of use or functionality," said Charles Dougherty, Motorola corporate vice president and general manager, Connected Home Solutions. "The Motorola RSG creates one integrated system for communicating in and out of the home, helping consumers realize the economical advantage of simplified billing and improved service."
There are two products in the Motorola RSG family: the RSG2500, expected availability Winter 2006, and the RSG3500, expected availability Summer 2006, which adds the ability to power two lines of primary VoIP telephone service within the home.
In a related announcement, Motorola also introduced the SVG2500 Wireless VoIP Cable Modem Gateway, an all-in-one home communications hub that integrates digital phone service and a wireless access point with a reliable Motorola cable modem. Soon, the SVG family will support the fixed-mobile convergence features of the RSG service mentioned above, offering service providers an integrated product for delivering 'quadruple play' offering of voice, video, data, and wireless services to customers.
The Motorola SVG2500 supports popular phone features such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, etc. The product is expected to be available in Spring 2006.
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.