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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nokia E-Series enterprise phone thoughts

Nokia's new E-Series of enterprise devices looks very well-thought out, and answers the "yeah, but what are the devices?" questions arising from previous announcements with Cisco and Avaya about dual-mode WLAN/cellular phones.

Notable from the announcement and the press conference has been the near-omission of any mention of the cellular carriers. This is absolutely spot-on from my point of view - in the enterprise, the IP-PBX vendors (and their channel partners) will be the kingmakers, with cellular providers playing second fiddle.

The interesting question will be to see which of the hybrid fixed/mobile operators are first to leverage their historic enterprise PBX business divisions and deep reach of their corporate sales forces to push these devices. My bet is on these devices (and maybe some more from Motorola and HTC) being part of the BT Fusion Enterprise service which will probably emerge over the next 6 months, possibly with France Telecom and Telecom Italia following suit in rapid order. The US market, where mobile carriers have much greater control over device distribution (and much greater fear of VoIP), may well lag, despite BellSouth's well-publicised trial of the earlier Motorola/Avaya solution.

One last thought for now - Nokia's lack of emphasis on "seamless" handover of voice calls between cellular and WLAN is also spot-on. My view is that this is very much a "nice to have", and can wait until later. More important in enterprise is the ability to hand off well from one WLAN access point to the next.


Having played around briefly with a prototype of the E70, I can say that it's the first ever Nokia device I'd consider buying myself. Great spec, reasonable form-factor given the keyboard, and no heinous omissions or errors (unlike the unfortunate Sony Memory Stick in the otherwise-cool Sony-Ericsson P990 I saw yesterday).

1 comment:

David Rossiter said...

Hi Dean - it's great to see you blogging! Look forward to reading more.