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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Enterprise UMA - a thoughtful analysis

Aruba Networks has come out with an impressive & comprehensive analysis of what would be needed to get UMA service working on a full enterprise-grade WiFi installation.

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?
The cynic in me wonders what's tempted Aruba to put all this work in.... a relationship with T-Mobile US or maybe Orange? Or has Kineto stumped up for this on a professional service basis?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spot on Dean. The bottom line is carriers want your indoor minutes too. Unfortunately, the CIO wants ALL HIS MINUTES--on the "PBX-centric" model he's already deploying to leverage VoIP in his enterprise (because this is the only way he takes control of his $pend/user). Are there any other carriers with UMA service supporting functionality like Tmobile HotSpot@Home, or does Aruba want to enable one vi it's "Remote AP" technology?