Symbol, Avaya Team Up For VoWLAN

The solution incorporates Avaya's VoIP and mobility software with Symbol's MC50 Enterprise Digital Assistant handheld devices, WS5100 Wireless Switches and AP300 Access Points, said Chris McGugan, senior director of marketing for Symbol's wireless infrastructure division.

The MC50, a ruggedized Windows CE-based device that works in conjunction with Symbol's Mobility Services Platform (MSP), enables mobile workers to capture data for enterprise applications such as CRM and ERP using its built-in imaging and barcode scanning features. The addition of voice will serve to enhance its usefulness in healthcare, retail and manufacturing environments, where workers are constantly on the move, McGugan said.

The handheld solution also incorporates advanced functions of desktop phones such as echo cancellation and the ability to toggle between speakerphone and headset. "The reason we went down the path of convergence for enterprise voice is that we realized voice is more of an application than a device," said McGugan.

To ensure a high level of call quality, Avaya's software identifies and prioritizes voice traffic coming from MC50, while Symbol's wireless switching infrastructure hands off calls between access points at a speed comparable to cellular networks, enabling users to seamlessly roam throughout an office environment, McGugan added.

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Jeff Lem, president of qData, a Toronto-based Symbol partner, said the addition of Avaya's VoIP software fills the gap that was created when Symbol stopped offering their Netvision phones last year. "We will certainly look at any products resulting from this partnership because this will be a turnkey solution," said Lem. "Having Symbol team with Avaya is a confidence builder and will certainly speed the adoption of this converged technology."

The joint solution is available now. The Symbol MC50 has a list price of between $900-$1200 per unit. The Symbol WS5100 Switch, with a base 6-port capable configuration is available for $2,179 and the AP300 sells for $349. The Avaya IP Softphone has a list price of $130 per user.