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Turning Cell Phones Into Office Phones

Techstination feature for Monday, February 3, 2003

Turning cell phones into office phones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. A collaboration between big names in communications and wireless technology... Avaya, Proxim and Motorola... is promising to deliver a way to turn the cell phone in your pocket... into an office phone that stays connected through wireless computer networks. Avaya product marketing VP Jorge Blanco...

"What this would enable them to do is with a single handset, which happens to be on the mobile network for the initial part of the conversation, they would be able to walk into their place of business and what would happen would be, they would automatically get transferred from the public network onto the private networks. So obviously now you're not carrying minutes on the public network anymore. You happen to be on your business private network. But as an end user it should be absolutely transparent to you."

The companies expect to begin testing prototypes later this year. There are obstacles to overcome, like phone battery life. Eventually, the technology could be used in the home as well...

"You could actually use a wireless local area network in your home and you could, with virtual private networking software, be able to connect through Internet to your own enterprise, privately, and then be able to access some of these services as well."

Motorola rival Nokia also has plans to build handsets that can connect to wireless computer networks. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.