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T-Mobile Intros Wi-Fi For Business

The fourth-largest carrier is giving corporate BlackBerry users the ability to make calls over standard Wi-Fi networks for a monthly fee.

T-Mobile is making a strong push for the enterprise market by enabling its BlackBerry users to make unlimited calls over Wi-Fi networks.

The Wi-Fi Calling with MobileOffice service ties a T-Mobile BlackBerry with the corporate private branch exchange over WLAN networks, and this brings an employee's corporate phone number and voice mailbox to the handset. Similar to its Hotspot@Home service, corporate users could save cellular minutes by calling over Wi-Fi networks in the office or at a hotel or coffee shop. Users will be able to switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks on the fly, and T-Mobile said this offering could let some businesses ditch their desktop phones altogether.

The service is made possible thanks to the Research In Motion's Mobile Voice System, which sits behind the corporate firewall and links with various enterprise PBX setups. IT administrators will be able to apply security features like call logging and user authentication to users of the service, and it will only be compatible with UMA-enabled BlackBerry devices like the Curve 8900 and Pearl 8220.

T-Mobile said the pricing for the MVS will vary by customer, and enterprises with more than 100 T-Mobile voice and data lines are expected to receive free unlimited Wi-Fi calling for BlackBerry devices. Users with fewer lines will pay about $10 per line, per month for the Wi-Fi calling service.

For T-Mobile, the enterprise push is somewhat new territory because the fourth-largest U.S. carrier has a reputation of being geared for teenagers or cost-conscious consumers. The move could gain decent traction with companies because it can significantly cut down on the costs of mobile international calls. Additionally, T-Mobile has the advantage of not having to worry about cannibalizing existing enterprise landline sales like larger rivals AT&T and Verizon.


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