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Agito Brings Enterprise VoIP Over 3G To Combat Roaming Charges

Agito Networks has unveiled its new Agito Global Enterprise solution, pushing the bounds of its fixed mobile convergence (FMC) products even further. Along with support for the latest devices, including the iPhone/iPod Touch platform, Agito is also bring enterprise VoIP over 3G networks to remote handhelds. By pushing desktop traffic over the wireless data networks instead of voice, Agito hopes to rein in the high costs of keeping in touch overseas.

Agito Networks' RoamAnywhere Mobility Router provides the link between the enterprise PBX, WLAN and mobile device. Typically, when the handheld moves beyond the range of the corporate WLAN, the router transfers the call to the cellular voice network, as well as back to the WLAN when the user returns the office. With the upcoming version 4.0 of their router software, Agito is delivering an audio engine optimized with low bit rate codecs and noise suppression, enabling the mobility router to push that call over the wireless 3G data network.

While cheap voice rates limits its value domestically, Agito is focused on minimizing international roaming with its new 3G capabilities. International roaming charges for voice range from $1 to as high as $3 per minute, based on the country the user is in. Overseas data access, however, is typically sold as a flat-rate charge for buckets of data, as well as some options for unlimited data plans. By using the 3G networks to deliver voice traffic, Agito believes that their FMC solution can actually eliminate these high roaming voice charges, as well as make international travel a predictable expense for enterprises. Robert Arnold, Sr. Analyst, Enterprise Communications for Current Analysis, agrees, noting that "VoIP over 3G brings a hard return on investment to Agito customers, along with the soft productivity and connectivity benefits associated with FMC solutions."

Agito is also introducing client support for Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and the recently announced iPad tablet. The iPhone client will feature the same functionality, such as WiFi/cellular handover, user features including holds, conference and transfer, as well as the voice over 3G capababilities. To handle the current limitations in the iPhone operating system, version 4.0 will support push notifications. So when a call comes in for an iPhone user, they will receive a pop-up message offering to launch the client app to receive the call. Agito notes that bringing its solution to the iPhone was based solely on customer demand and is reflective of the high interest levels that enterprises have about the platform.

As the enterprise workforce becomes increasingly mobile and the pervasiveness of smartphones in the consumer market continues, the rules on keeping enterprise users connected will have to continually evolve. Fixed Mobile Convergence solutions, like Agito's Mobility Router, have held the promise of delivering the call no matter where the user is for some time, but may have finally found the magic ROI bullet to drive broader adoption.