Tuesday, February 7, 2006

UTStarcom Unveils "Continuity" Fixed-Mobile Convergence

UTStarcom introduced its end-to-end "Continuity" solution for the fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), which lets fixed and mobile service providers deliver a unified service over both wireline and wireless networks. End users can interconnect to the fixed-line or cellular network transparently and roam across them seamlessly regardless of their location, communication device, or network access method.

UTStarcom's Continuity solution consists of an FMC Feature Server (FMC-FS) based on the company's mSwitch IP softswitch platform and a dual-mode Wi-Fi/GSM handset. In addition to GSM-WiFi, the architecture is designed to support future mobility feature servers for CDMA, WiMAX, and other access technologies.

Continuity is a standalone solution that can work with the UTStarcom mSwitch as well as with other 3rd party softswitches. SIP is used to interface to other softswitches.

The Continuity solution is designed to support both single- and dual- number configurations and provide a migration from one to the other. Carriers will be able to choose which approach to use depending on the regulatory or technology environment. A single-number configuration will give the user one identity and one number, while allowing the service provider to save on spectrum when the user is indoors and calls are carried over the broadband network.

A carrier may need to support dual numbers for regulatory or tariff reasons; for example, different tariffs may apply to wireline and wireless segments of a call. Dual-number capability also lets carriers home handsets to either the Wi-Fi or GSM networks. Also, users do not need to change their behavior when the carrier migrates to a single-number service, an advantage that reduces churn.

Brasil Telecom, a fixed-line and mobile operator serving more than 12 million subscribers, is testing the Continuity fixed-mobile convergence solution.

UTStarcom's mSwitch currently supports more than 48 million subscribers around the world.

In addition to the compatibility of the FMC-FS with UTStarcom's dual-mode Wi-Fi/GSM handset, the FMC-FS is also designed to interoperate with other handsets via standards-based API protocols and interfaces.


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