The bottom line is that it should be feasible.... but with quite a lot of "ifs", some stated, some implied.
- If the corporate IT manager is prepared to configure the WLAN security to recognise UMA devices and deal with authentication of devices & traffic & firewall accordingly
- If they define correct SSIDs and set up the WiFi configuration on the handsets appropriately
- If they have good site-wide coverage of the WiFi network
- If they're prepared to ditch their PBX in entirety and switch over to a service provider's hosted centrex offering
- If they're willing to accept a much smaller range of handsets
This fits in with the post I made last week. Basically, it's still a niche of a niche, although it's good to see the first sensible analysis of what needs to be done if you're insistent on this route.
Some factors to consider:
- Are any UMA operators able to sell & support all this? If not, what are their channel partnerships?
- What happens to enterprises that want to retain some PBX extensions (eg for call centres or desk-bound staff)
- What happens to multi-site or multi-national corporations that have locations not covered by a single operator, or a mix of ones with good & poor cellular coverage
- When doing ROI calculations, what are the assumed lifetimes on dual-mode handsets, and how does annual depreciation and TCO compare with normal PBX handsets?
- Will there continue to be a decent range of handsets in future? In particular, there are still no Nokia Series 60 UMA phones
- What's the migration strategy from PBXs - or is it an all-or-nothing forklift upgrade?