CounterPath (www.counterpath.com) has announced that the next release of its Messaging Convergence Gateway (MCG) 2.0 will give wireline operators the ability to extend VoIP and messaging services over the top of mobile networks.
While the software won’t officially debut until early 2011, several CounterPath “partners” (i.e. customers) are already in the process of bringing the solution to market. The platform will provide single-number reachability for voice IM and SMS across an operator’s existing wireline VoIP network and on feature phones, smartphones or tablets from any mobile operator.
The laundry list of features includes (yes, I’m cribbing from the press release directly )–
- One-Number Accessibility
- Single-Number Communications – In addition to handling inbound communications, wireline mobility services lets users initiate conversations with their contacts using their new “single” number. Users can initiate voice, Instant Messaging, and SMS conversations using their feature phone, smartphone or SIP-enabled applications on their PC.
- Wireline SMS – Mobile workers and other business users now can use their main number to receive and send SMS messages.
- Fixed Mobile Convergence Savings and Convenience – When consumers are using their smartphone or PC at home or in a Wi-Fi hotspot, calls to their wireline VoIP number ring their VoIP client, minimizing phone tag.
- Network-Agnostic Flexibility – Wireline mobility services works with any mobile phone on any wireless network. This industry-exclusive feature gives consumers and business users more flexibility to switch devices and operators to get the best deal or new device, all without disrupting their reachability. No client software is required on the handset, allowing it to work even with entry-level feature phones and any mobile operating system.
- Fast, CapEx-Free Implementation – ITSPs and wireline VoIP operators can quickly and cost-effectively add wireline mobility services into their existing offerings because it integrates easily with their existing network equipment. eliminating the need for expensive forklift upgrades. Operators also can roll out service quickly because they don’t need to first establish a relationship with a mobile operator. Their customers enjoy the same fast, cost-free implementation because they don’t have to replace their PC, wired deskphone or mobile phone to begin using the new features that wireline mobility services enables.
I’ve been wondering how long it was going to take to see SMS “backfitted’ to the PSTN in a large-scale fashion. Looks like a couple of carriers will show up with wireline SMS.
I also have to wonder if these sorts of features will “appear” next to MetaSwitch product offerings in the future, and if so, how so. Hmm… or Metaswitch will just up and buy/reverse merger with CounterPath down the road. Maybe.