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VARs Hop On Wi-Fi And Cellular Convergence

With more and more vendors laying groundwork to make the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies a reality, VARs say they are getting ready for a communications shift that will

Solution providers smell opportunity in the air.

With more and more vendors laying groundwork to make the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies a reality, channel partners said they are getting ready for a communications shift that will drive WLAN, VoIP, applications and services sales.

The seamless hand-off of phone calls between WLANs in offices, homes and public hot spots and the cellular network, also called Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC), could be the Holy Grail that provides a strong business case for widespread enterprise wireless deployments, solution providers said.

"It's something that's going to be in high demand. It's going to go through the roof," said Paul Moncrief, regional sales manager at Berbee Information Networks, a Madison, Wis., solution provider acquired earlier this month by CDW.

Aruba Networks this week plans to unveil its road map for bringing FMC to enterprises, while Cisco Systems is prepping its channel to deliver complex multi-application solutions such as FMC with the launch this week of its Master Unified Communications specialization, its new top-level certification for VoIP partners. Cisco also late last month unveiled plans to acquire mobile software vendor Orative, a San Jose, Calif.-based startup whose software will enable Cisco IP communications customers to tie their cell phones into Cisco's VoIP platform.

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