At WES, RIM Announces BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 With Voice Over Wi-Fi Calling

— April 26, 2010

During the first day of WES 2010 in Orlando (April 26), Research In Motion (RIM) announced an update to its Mobile Voice System (MVS) offering with MVS 5.

MVS 5 comes with voice over Wi-Fi calling as well as being SIP compliant. 

BlackBerry MVS
provides a business user with the ability to use their regular desk phone number and extension from their BlackBerry smartphone.

With the new version 5, an employee will be able to make and receive enterprise phone calls from their BlackBerry smartphone over a Wi-Fi connection, adding to the existing capability available over cellular networks.

Calls made through BlackBerry MVS are routed through the corporate phone system/Private Branch Exchange (PBX), which helps ensure adherence to company policies and enables potential savings on long-distance and international roaming charges.

As RIM noted in its announcement, it is estimated that more than 75 million IP-based desk phones exist globally today and that number is expected to grow to 135 million by 2013.

At the same time, the number of workers going mobile or working from home continues to increase. A study by IDC estimates the global number of mobile workers will grow to 1.19 billion by 2013, of which 65 million are home-based.

The shift toward an increasingly mobile workforce and the growing number of employees working from home presents challenges for businesses to keep their staff accessible through their work phone number and to keep costs under control.

According to RIM, with the addition of voice over Wi-Fi calling, BlackBerry MVS 5 presents new opportunities for businesses to mobilize the workforce.

RIM says it is ideal for supporting employees who work from home, or are away from their desks at work such as workers in healthcare, construction, hospitality, sales, and professional services.

Key features include:

- Wi-Fi network access controls to set which Wi-Fi networks employees can access
- Network preference settings with the option of prioritizing the use of Wi-Fi or cellular for making phone calls
- Authentication to help ensure that only authorized BlackBerry smartphones have access to the corporate phone system
- Incoming call filtering based on allowed and blocked caller lists 

BlackBerry MVS 5 is comprised of a BlackBerry MVS smartphone client software application (which can be distributed wirelessly to BlackBerry smartphones through BlackBerry Enterprise Server) and BlackBerry MVS Server (which interfaces between BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the corporate phone system/PBX).

A new interoperability platform has also been added with BlackBerry MVS 5 to enable telecommunications companies to offer BlackBerry MVS 5 as part of their corporate phone system offerings.

RIM says it is working with leading companies to make BlackBerry MVS available for a range of PBX systems.

BlackBerry MVS 5 is expected to be available later this year.

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