Nokia’s version of MobileStick
One of the things about working for a large company like Nokia in the group I work in is that I usually find out about stuff the company does at the same time as everyone else–when it hits the public press. Needless to say, I knew nothing about this until it I read this post from Andy Abramson about it. After seeing that, I figured I should dig up the official press release from Nokia.
The basic idea is that your computer becomes an extension of your mobile phone. The Communication Suite is instlaled on your PC. You can then make and receive calls on the computer as if it was your mobile phone. Voice and SMS calls go over IP. Based on my earlier discussions with BridgePort Networks about their MobileStick, there is some magic that has to go on behind-the-scenes (i.e. in the core network) to make this all work. The Nokia press release mentions similar core elements. Where MobileStick is a different is the softphone is installed on a USB thumb drive that also contains a SIM card, which is used for authenticating the end user. It also makes MobileStick a little more portable.
Putting this kind of convergence at the core makes it far easier for the end user in the sense that both traditional and VoIP services come under one bill with one neck to ring when things don’t work right. Also, you only have one phone number to worry about. And, in theory, you could transfer calls between your GSM device and VoIP, though I don’t know if either Nokia’s solution or BridgePort Networks’ solution offer this.
Because of the nature of these services, and the fact that mobile carriers in the US are lightyears behind what’s going on elsewhere in the world, I doubt I will get an opportunity to try either solution, but I will certainly be watching how this plays out from afar.