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The largest independent enterprise VoWLAN firm purchase: Polycom is buying SpectraLink, a veteran player in voice calling over Wi-Fi in enterprises that helped set and shape many standards used to ensure call quality in those busy environments. The The deal is $220m in cash net of cash on hand and debt, or $11.75 per share, a huge premium over the company’s end-of-day closing stock price. SpectraLink’s earnings were also announced: pro forma $145m for fourth quarter 2006. Their earnings have been quite low, which explains the relatively low stock price and revenue-to-purchase-price ratio.
While Cisco and other enormous firms are in this space, Polycom is the largest independent firm offering unified messaging and collaborative media products. That’s a sort of large, vague space, but it means running applications and voice over IP networks with seamless access regardless of device, system, or location.
Truphone releases free software that allows Wi-Fi-equipped Nokia phones to make cheap calls over The Cloud hotspots: It’s a lot of pieces to put together, but this is part of the overall authentication puzzle—how does a phone log into a network? Truphone has connected the phone (Nokia models E60, E61, and E70), the medium (Wi-Fi), and the network (The Cloud) to offer offer calling at about a 3 pence per minute surcharge over their cellular rates. During a promotion that lasts until Mar. 31, 2007, the base charge for their cell calls to most of the industrialized world’s landlines is £0.00; U.S. cell phones are included in that deal.
The Cloud has 7,500 hotspots in the UK, and is building several city center hotzones.
Wayport will offer Vocera’s VoIP badge systems to hotels, other service-partner venues: This is a nice win for Vocera, which has had rave reviews of their technology since its introduction. The Vocera badge uses Wi-Fi for VoIP but is hands-free. Tap the badge, speak a name or request, and voice-recognition technology tied into Vocera’s hardware and a local PBX can find people or complete calls.
Wayport has more than a thousand venues appropriate for Vocera technology, and this gives Wayport one more arrow in their quiver on the private network side. Wayport does offer private networking services, but more typically provides a range of services on the private side along with public Internet access, provisioning, account management, integration, and billing.