BlackBerry Mobile Voice System. What is it? What's new? Is it useful?

By IsaacKendall on 26 Apr 2010 11:06 am EDT

BlackBerry MVS

This morning we posted the RIM press release on the launch of Mobile Voice System (MVS) 5.0. We've talked about MVS in the past but what is MVS and how does it apply to the real world?

The quick and simple answer to what it is, MVS allows your Blackberry handheld to become one with your corporate desk phone giving you all the same options your deskphone offers you including dial by internal extension & transfers.

It also routes your calls through the PBX for long distance calls. If you're travelling outside your home city your wireless carrier can charge long distance rates that are less than desireable. MVS extends your corporate landline long distance rates to your Blackberry for all calls made with MVS.

What's New?

What's new in 5.0 is that it now supports WiFi. And how this is usefull in the real world is roaming. Many carriers charge obsense rates to user your phone in another country. For example, Rogers charges their customer $3.00 per minute in China. If your company deploys MVS, when you are in China at the hotel, client office or the local coffee shop you can make and receive MVS calls over Wi-Fi. That's right you're on the other side of the planet and are dialing 4 digit extensions for the cost of $0.00 per minute.

You must deploy a Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 or higher and the Blackberry Mobile Voice System; however the long term cost saving of roaming will more than justify the cost of rolling this out.

Another Great Reason to Deploy

RIM promotes the control and management of all your call details are recorded in the PBX (call type, incoming/outgoing number, length etc) but it's also valuable in a orgainization like a law firm.

Professional services charge their clients for phone calls. Most firms have an automatic billing system typed into their PBX for all calls by extension for automatic billing.
The revenue leak can be the mobile phone. There are some 3rd party apps out there that canc capture call data by offering the user a popup at the end of the call to classify the call by client or project and send this data back to the office in a flat file like excel or text file.

The companies accounting or data entry dept must take that data and tie it into the billing and that costs time which equals money. MVS can automate this process because the PBX system is already doing the billing in the background.

The Downside

Of course there is a cost to MVS and for the Wi-Fi MVS 5.0 currently is only supported on Cisco Unifed Communications Manager 6.1. So if you're not already rocking this system you must migrate over. That is not cheap.
As well, there is no seamless integration of the cellular and Wi-Fi so if you're on a Wi-Fi call and leave that WiFi zone the call will drop the call. There is a way through the menu to switch over to cellular network. Sadley unless you are aware of your surrounding and know that the W-Fi network is going to drop off you'll be out of luck and will need to reinitiate the call on cellular.


Overall, MVS is a very cool idea and the WiFi feature is very appealing. If you can justify the costs with a Return on Investment (ROI) than this may just be the solution for you. If you can't predict a ROI than it's just a cool concept.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Mobile Voice System. What is it? What's new? Is it useful?


While everyone is still at WES, can the folks at Crackberry please corner someone from RIM and ask whether SMBs can use this on BIS and connect with a Asterisk PBX.

@burtinboy: have you looked here?

It does what you would expect: register on to your SIP PBX or VoIP provider and make and receive VoIP calls.

You can download a 14 day trial.

Wow! I'd love to have these features but it would cost me a fortune to install at my house. But then again, I'd be able to have up to 30,000 users. Hmmmmm

If it supported more brands, then it could be a successful application. We chose Mitel over Cisco for several reason, costs being one of the main reasons. No interest or desire in considering Cisco in order to get such a solution.

We're already hampered by RIM offering Blackberry models that are carrier-specific. let's not repeat that bad habit by offering solutions that are brand-specific.

if you go to the individual wi-fi profiles on each wi-fi network you have saved on your blackberry, you can check the box for "allow inter-access point handover". this will let you leave a wi-fi zone and the call will not be dropped.

I'm far removed from the corporate jungle now, but I gotta admit that this sounds like a useful development. Good for RIM.

This is an application with customers waiting. A generic SIP client software for the BB, to connect with Asterisk and other standard SIP based systems. Does anyone make it?

is it native with all BB devices or should I install an Application to benefit from that ? Is this ia SIP generic or native . This feature is interesting as waiting for a SIP client for a long time !

This is very useful & I hope its possible to implement this system on a larger scale & offer a public version of this as a provider & have extensions assigned to PINs so to call friends/family on the service.

To answer everyone's questions - YES - there is a full Voip/SIP client now out there for BlackBerry! - myKryptofon

This app is more than just a full blown Voip/SIP app - It is a voice, chat, and file transfer app ALL with full 256bit encryption!

This program is NOT in a demo/beta state. It is in production mode and available for a free 14 day trial. After the 14 days, the encryption app is available for less than $1 per day with a month to month agreement. Unlike other encrypted apps out there, this one does not require long contracts or massive amounts of $$$.

Of course, to use the all the encrypted feature, both parties are have to have the app.

Blackberry does a good job of encrypting your data, but not your voice!