Former Cisco Employees Launch Company to Unite Wireless, Cellular

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Fixed-mobile convergence is getting a jumpstart this week as one startup enters the playing field and another unveils a distribution agreement that will help channel partners pull together full solutions.

Two Cisco Systems wireless experts Monday formally launched Agito Networks, bringing with them a new appliance family that aims to tie Wi-Fi and cellular calling together.

Separately, DiVitas Networks, another startup in the FMC space, Monday said it has inked a partnership with Brightpoint, a mobile device distributor, to bundle its MMC solution with dual-mode handsets from Nokia so that channel partners can more easily source the building blocks for their FMC solutions.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Agito, led by co-founders Pejman Roshan, vice president of marketing, and CTO Timothy Olson, both formerly of Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit, is bringing its RoamAnywhere Mobility Router to market through the channel.

Founded in 2006 and backed by $9 million in investments led by Battery Ventures, the company is expected to bring in more than 80 percent of its sales through solution providers, Roshan said.

Keith Mattes, COO of Summit Technologies, a solution provider working with Agito, said customers have need of FMC solutions like Agito's to make them more productive.

"With the lack of a central number, employees move between their desk phones and their cell phones so that they're constantly retrieving messages, constantly playing phone tag," Mattes said. "I think there's a lot of pent up demand, and I think customers are ready to allocate budget to this solution."

RoamAnywhere uses RF-based, location-aware wireless technology to bring cellular calls onto the enterprise WLAN when users are in range of the corporate Wi-Fi network and vice versa. It also integrates with the enterprise IP-PBX to bring enterprise call management features to the mobile handset, Roshan said.

Employees that rely on cell phones for their mobile communication needs often run into coverage problems, particularly once they are back in the building, leading to the "hold on, let me call you back from my landline" scenarios that are so common today, Roshan said. Employers are also paying for cellular minutes during times when the employee is in the office. The use of multiple phone numbers can also make it difficult for colleagues and customers to communicate efficiently with those employees, he said.


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