Toshiba Adds FMC to Strata CIX IP PBX

Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division announced Tuesday it has added a fixed mobile convergence (FMC) solution to its Strata CIX IP PBX, which is available immediately through it s nationwide network of Authorized Toshiba Dealers.

Called uMobility, the FMC functionality is provided by Varaha Systems, which is certified interoperable with Toshiba’s entire family of Strata CIX IP PBXs.

When used with Toshiba’s Strata CIX systems, uMobility provides VoIP over Wi-Fi wireless with seamless handoff between the Wi-Fi wireless and cellular networks for smartphone users. This means users can have a single device, a single business number and one voice mail box.

It also enables enterprises to cut communications cost by using the free Wi-Fi network as often as possible. In addition, uMobility mobile routing applications also help reduce costs by providing optimal routing of cellular international calling to less costly landline rates and eliminating international roaming charges with the use of a local SIM card.

UMobility is made up of two components – the client which sits on the smartphone and the server, or uMobility controller, which communicates with the Strata CIX system, explained Ed Cox, vice president of marketing and carrier sales for Varaha Systems.

uMobility is compatible with a variety of smartphones, including most devices running Windows Mobile or Symbian operating systems. The uMobility roadmap includes support for iPhone and Blackberry devices later this year.

Cox said the devices can be assigned as PBX extensions or can be paired with desksets, so users can use a desk phone if they choose.

The service has been in beta testing since December with several Toshiba business customers, said Jon Nelson, product marketing manager for Toshiba.

He said that uMobility is most commonly sold in a greenfield environment, but it could offer an upsell opportunity as well.

Licensing fees are calculated by device and are available in increments of five. The suggested retail price is $2,900 for the first five, said Nelson. A 25-user system is around $8,000 and a 50-user system is around $10,000 to $12,000, he said. The per-user price then can get into the $200-$300 range.

Nelson said dealers can expect to make margins of 20 percent to 30 percent on the service.

Toshiba already offers a campus-based wireless phone using Wi-Fi networks, but it does not incorporate cellular handoff. Nelso said Toshiba dealers sell a “few hundred” of those devices a month. “There is a healthy demand for mobility,” he said.

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