, the leader in MobileVoIP convergence, and China Unicom
, China's second largest mobile operator and the third largest in the world, announced today that technical trials of BridgePort Networks' MobileVoIP convergence solution are underway by China Unicom Telecommunications Corporation's Guangdong Branch.
China Unicom's Guangdong branch will test a Mobile/IP convergence, single identity service, that could ultimately target more than 100 million subscribers through the use of a cellular phone, PC based VoIP soft client, fixed SIP phone, analog telephone adapter and/or dual mode cellular/Wi-Fi mobile phone.
The trial uses BridgePort Networks' open standards based NomadicONE Network Convergence Gateway (NCG) to seamlessly converge China Unicom Guangdong Branch's cellular network with VoIP delivered over their broadband fiber backbone and access networks.
"Convergence at China Unicom is about giving China's mobile phone users the benefits of choice," said Mr. Lixin Xie, China Unicom Guangdong branch. "MobileVoIP will give our customers the ability to leverage the cost and coverage benefits of broadband IP networks with our cellular network. Together with BridgePort Networks, we are looking forward to bringing innovative convergence solutions to the Chinese market."
MobileVoIP can enable China Unicom to further differentiate its voice and messaging service offerings and further grow its current subscriber base of 88 million GSM, 30 million CDMA and 10 million Internet subscribers.
The initial trials are centered on BridgePort Networks' "Roam to Home" solution - where a subscriber's mobile phone number is also used as a home phone number. As a user enters the home with a mobile phone, their presence on the broadband network is detected and mobile services are instead delivered through the subscriber's broadband network using VoIP technology. This enables China Unicom to offer its customers cost effective mobile services in home broadband environments. Subsequent trials will likely include the use of a single mobile phone with both CDMA and VoIP over WiFi network capabilities.
"China Unicom has been highly successful at building a competitive mobile business and offering with an increasing array of enhanced services. Given the strength of the IP backbone built to support these services, China Unicom is now ideally positioned to offer MobileVoIP convergence services that combine the strengths of both fixed and mobile," said Mike Mulica, President and CEO of BridgePort Networks.
According to a recent report by analyst firm iSuppli Corp., China's broadband subscribers will overtake the United States in two years. The report estimates that by the end of 2007, China will have 57 million broadband subscribers, compared to 54 million in the United States. Additionally, Strategy Analytics has forecasted that by 2010 the Chinese market will account for 64 percent of the Asia-Pacific region's 176 million broadband subscribers.