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Mobile Unified Communications Report: 2010 to Take Android OS Beyond Smartphones

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January 04, 2010

Mobile Unified Communications Report: 2010 to Take Android OS Beyond Smartphones

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

In the first decade of the new millennium, UC features moved beyond the traditional phone to mobile devices. And with 2010 newly arrived, we can expect more of the same, with the emergence of new device categories such as the media phone.

“Mobile UC is moving from the concept phase towards real deployment,” said Doug Makishima (News - Alert), chief operating officer at D2 Technologies, in a recent Q&A-style conversation with TMCnet. “The Android OS is gaining in popularity and crossing over from smartphones to new devices such as IP media phones, digital photo frames, MIDs, DTV/STBs and connected home products.”
For D2 in particular, we can expect a number of new announcements, as the company continues its work with the OESF to help expand the super-hot Android (News - Alert) platform beyond the smartphone.
The full exchange follows.
TMCnet: Looking back at 2009, how did your company do this year?
DM: 2009 was a year of both business growth and product/technology expansion for D2.  We announced that our VoIP technology is now processing more than 40 billion minutes of VoIP traffic per month, thanks to an increasing number of device manufactures and system on a chip (SoC) vendors deploying products with our vPort embedded VoIP solution. Throughout the year our vPort product line added new OEM/ODM customers in a variety of products, from carrier-provided CPE equipment and enterprise unified communications devices to consumer/residential and mobile devices. In 2009 we announced new partnerships with leading IC/SOC vendors RMI (acquired by Netlogic), Ralink, Beceem (News - Alert) and Marvell, as well as additional support for existing partners Cavium, TI and Freescale.    
We made significant progress in bringing VoIP and IP Communications to Google’s (News - Alert) Android with a number of industry firsts. Early in the year we demonstrated full VoIP capability on the HTC G1 Android phone, and followed that up with IP communications and mobile UC demos on other Android platforms. We joined the OESF to help expand Android to different applications beyond the smartphone and are now leading the OESF’s IP Communications working group. Towards the end of the year we demonstrated the first mobile VoIP on Android over a 4G WiMAX network.       
We also reorganized the company into two business units in response to increased customer traction and demand for our embedded communications products. Thanks to the broad adoption of our flagship embedded VoIP product, vPort and the introduction of our converged communications client, mCUE, we’re experiencing tremendous growth in two distinct business silos. This reorganization is helping us to more effectively address design, production and customer service goals in distinctly different market segments and applications. 
TMCnet: We entered 2010 during an economic downturn, and now the economy appears to be slowly recovering. How has this impacted your business?
DM: We expect 2010 to be another growth year. Following on the heels of our success in 2009, 2010 promises to be an even better year. There is now a significant amount of pent up demand due a long pause in IT spending. VoIP and IP communications can provide cost efficiency and increased productivity, so it’s no wonder that we saw positive growth during a recessionary 2009. Companies and consumers want to save money, and VoIP is one way of accomplishing that. Now that we are coming out of recession, business and consumers want to do more through increased productivity. VoIP, IP communications and UC all increase efficiency, so we expect an acceleration in the deployment of these technologies. 
TMCnet: What does 2010 hold for you?
DM: D2 will continue down the path of innovation, particularly in the areas of mobile and personal communications. Obviously our investment in Android and mobile UC are starting to show significant promise. Early in the year we expect to announce several key milestones in new functionality for our mCUE converged communications product line.    
TMCnet: What are some of most exciting trends or innovations in your industry?
DM: Rich communication and UC features are moving beyond the traditional phone type devices and are going mobile. New device categories are emerging such as the media phone. Mobile UC is moving from the concept phase towards real deployment. The Android OS is gaining in popularity and crossing over from smartphones to new devices such as IP media phones, digital photo frames, MIDs, DTV/STBs and connected home products. True mobile broadband is rolling out with WiMAX 4G network deployments and early LTE trials, while fixed-access broadband networks continue the steady march towards an all-IP world. Say goodbye to the phone (as we knew it), to “circuit switched” and to the tether.  
TMCnet: Can you speak to some of the challenges the next several months might present – either to you or the communications industry as a whole?
DM: The mobile communications space is more dynamic than ever with the tremendous success of the iPhone, the projected meteoric rise of Android, continued success of BlackBerry (News - Alert), and new initiatives from Symbian and Windows Mobile. Extending advanced enterprise IPPBX and UC capabilities to the increasingly mobile workforce is a significant challenge indeed. We are also seeing the emergence of 4G networks such as WiMAX that will enable true mobile broadband, which has additional implications for mobile communication and collaboration for enterprises, carriers and consumers alike.  Communications solutions must embrace mobility and ubiquitous high-speed broadband access.       
TMCnet: What are some of the best opportunities in the next year in your segment of the market?
DM: Today’s communication tools and services are richer and more numerous. Add to this the fact that the lines are blurring between business and personal communications, and you have a very complex set of requirements to fulfill. Today’s professionals require converged communications. They want access to their PBX, UC system, business and social networking platforms, and IM communities, and they want it all while on the go.  D2’s best opportunity is to continue delivering fixed and mobile IP communications solutions that enable our customers to produce market-leading converged communications products.    

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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