RIM announced a major update to its BlackBerry MVS offering this morning with version 5 bringing a HUGE benefit - WiFi calling! We'll keep this post short for now (press release below with full explanation and demo video above) and circle back soon with more on this soon. It's definitely a big announcement from RIM for the enterprise space and one we're going to sink our teeth into. 

Press Release

RIM Announces BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 with Voice over Wi-Fi Calling

Provides Employees with Access to the Corporate Phone System Using BlackBerry Smartphones Over Wi-Fi at Work, Hotspots and Home

WATERLOO, ON - Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 (BlackBerry MVS 5) with voice over Wi-Fi calling. BlackBerry MVS provides a business user with the ability to use their regular desk phone number and extension from their BlackBerry smartphone.

With the new version 5, an employee will be able to make and receive enterprise phone calls from their BlackBerry smartphone over a Wi-Fi connection, adding to the existing capability available over cellular networks.

Calls made through BlackBerry MVS are routed through the corporate phone system/Private Branch Exchange (PBX), which helps ensure adherence to company policies and enables potential savings on long-distance and international roaming charges. Employees also benefit from the convenience of a single work phone number shared between their desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone. Employees can be more reachable through their work phone number and can even enjoy the convenience of extension dialing from their BlackBerry smartphone as well as the flexibility to move calls from their BlackBerry smartphone to their desk phone. It's also easy to use since incoming calls ring simultaneously on the employee's desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone and they access BlackBerry MVS using the same phone interface that they are already familiar with on their BlackBerry smartphone.

It is estimated that over 75 million IP-based desk phones exist globally today and that number is expected to grow to 135 million by 2013. At the same time, the number of workers going mobile or working from home continues to increase. A study by IDC estimates the global number of mobile workers will grow to 1.19 billion by 2013, of which 65 million are home-based.[1] This shift toward an increasingly mobile workforce and the growing number of employees working from home presents challenges for businesses to keep their staff accessible through their work phone number and to keep costs under control.

With the addition of voice over Wi-Fi calling, BlackBerry MVS 5 presents new opportunities for businesses to mobilize the workforce. It is ideal for supporting employees who work from home, or are away from their desks at work such as workers in healthcare, construction, hospitality, sales, and professional services.

Advanced IT features built into BlackBerry MVS 5 will help to provide controlled, managed and secure use of BlackBerry smartphones with the corporate phone system. Key features include:

  • Wi-Fi network access controls to set which Wi-Fi networks employees can access
  • Network preference settings with the option of prioritizing the use of Wi-Fi or cellular for making phone calls
  • Authentication to help ensure that only authorized BlackBerry smartphones have access to the corporate phone system
  • Incoming call filtering based on allowed and blocked caller lists

BlackBerry MVS 5 is comprised of a BlackBerry MVS smartphone client software application (which can be distributed wirelessly to BlackBerry smartphones through BlackBerry Enterprise Server) and BlackBerry MVS Server (which interfaces between BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the corporate phone system/PBX).

A new interoperability platform has also been added with BlackBerry MVS 5 to enable telecommunications companies to offer BlackBerry MVS 5 as part of their corporate phone system offerings. RIM is working with leading companies to make BlackBerry MVS available for a range of PBX systems.

BlackBerry MVS 5 is expected to be available later this year.

For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/mvs.

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