Calypso Phone, Service One Step Closer

Last year, Calypso Wireless, headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida, won Frost and Sullivan’s Excellence in Technology for its innovative wireless switching technology, ASNAP. This week the company announced the long heralded availability of its dual-mode (Wi-Fi/GSM-GPRS) C1250i video phone—and an actual field trial of ASNAP.

ASNAP (Automatic Switching of Network Access Points) is a patented system for managing the switching of calls between VoIP over Wi-Fi networks, and standard cellular networks, also known as Wi-Fi/Cellular Convergence or WCC.

ASNAP, a proprietary technology, will be competing in the marketplace with some standards-based alternatives, notably UMA, a technology developed by an industry consortium of operators and vendors and subsequently contributed to the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project).

The prototype of Calypso’s C1250i phone was announced in May of this year. Working production models are available as of today. In addition to supporting both VoIP over Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) and the GSM-GPRS cellular platform, it features 30 frame per second video capability, according to the company’s specs.

Though based in the U.S., Calypso has extensively courted customers in Europe and Latin America. The trial, announced yesterday, is with Ecuadorian carrier Linkotel. The installation will be carried out by Servinova, Ecuadorian systems integrator and registered affiliate of Cisco Systems.

While not exclusively an enterprise play, converged Wi-Fi/cellular confers its greatest benefits on the enterprise . It utilizes existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to handle telephony within the building or campus, where cell coverage is often poor or non-existent—at an affordable price. When workers are beyond the VoWiFi coverage area, service switches to cellular mobile.

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