Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fixed Wireless Terminals Coming To U.S. GSM Networks

Wireless equipment maker Ericsson is teaming up with Brightstar to bring fixed wireles terminals to the United States, the two companies said this week.

The Ericsson terminals utilize existing GSM wireless standard infrastructures and let homes and offices connect wirelessly to existing networks for voice fax and high-speed data connectivity to various devices.

The deal calls for Brightstar to provide the terminals in locations where W-CDMA/HSPA infrastructure is available. The major U.S. providers capable of offering the GSM-based infrastructure are AT&T and T-Mobile.

"Full service broadband has become a necessity for small enterprises and residential users alike and the Fixed Wireless Terminals provide a simple, cost-effective way to deliver it to the device of their choice," said Rosemary Wilkie, VP of Ericsson's Enterprise unit in North America, in a statement.

By using existing wireless networks, the terminals can trim costs normally associated with fixed wireline infrastructures, Brightstar said. The company also noted users can operate several devices in parallel, including landline phones, fax machines, and Internet access devices, through a Wi-Fi signal. The technology, known as Least Cost Routing (LCR), turns the fixed-to-mobile calls into mobile-to-mobile calls.

Brightstar said it will manage SIM chip bundling and prebuilt installation packages for the enterprise market.

Ericsson currently offers two Fixed Wireless Terminal lines. Brightstar is expected to provide sales, distribution, customization, and logistics services for the devices and also will sell the product to service providers, enterprises, and value-added resellers.