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Motorola Aims at WLAN Market

Motorola builds the infrastructure for the reigning push-to-talk provider, Nextel, and now is bringing push-to-talk (PTT) to its voice over WLAN portfolio, along with various data applications as well.The company used VoiceCon San Francisco to announce the first products from a product portfolio it calls TEAM, for Total Enterprise Access and Mobility. The new offering uses a pair of servers, the Wireless Services Manager and Network Services Manager, which hang off Avaya, Cisco or Nortel IP-PBXs to provide PTT on the enterprise network, along with text messaging, email, Web browsing and line-of-business applications.

The new offering uses Windows Mobile-based smartphones, also from Motorola.

Imran Akbar, VP and GM of Motorola's Converged Enterprise Communications business unit, told me that Motorola uses unicast rather than multicast for its PTT capability, which avoids placing excessive capacity burdens on a wireless LAN.

Motorola is aiming the new product squarely at verticals that have already become major WLAN adopters, specifically retail and healthcare-type of users, which comprise two-thirds of the VoWLAN market, according to Akbar.

The enterprise can configure users into groups that span locations within a city, country, or across the globe; Motorola uses the capability internally to connect developers in Singapore, Israel, Argentina and the U.S. with PTT capability. Since the call goes through the PBX, it's kept on the internal IP network.