New Nokia business phone marks convergence push

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Nokia has unveiled a new corporate phone handset as part of a wider strategy to provide enterprise mobility through fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).

The Nokia E51, available from the fourth quarter 2007, is a traditional candy-bar design that features 3G and Wi-Fi support, as well as closer integration with IP telephony infrastructure from vendors such as Cisco and Alcatel.

Antti Vasara, Nokia's senior vice president of mobile devices for enterprise, said the latest handset is aimed at users who primarily make voice calls, but also need to keep an eye on email and manage their schedule.

With an updated version of Nokia's Intellisync Call Connect client, the device can integrate with a broader range of IP telephony kit and eliminate the need for separate desk and mobile phones, the company said.

"The new thing is mobile unified communications. This device can be your desk phone as well as your mobile phone. When in the office, it can be connected to your corporate phone system and have the same functionality as a desk phone. Why have several numbers and devices?" said Vasara.

As part of its convergence push, Nokia has a partnership with BT Global Services.

Global director of mobility Rakesh Mahajan said that FMC should not be viewed as just about cost savings.

"Firms want productivity from employees, the ability to respond to customers more quickly, to collaborate better, and be more responsive. We're working with Nokia because voice is important, but in future, users also need to manage email from a single device, and have access to sales force tools."

As part of Nokia's E-Series, the E51 can be configured with an ActiveSync client for Microsoft Exchange email systems, as well as Nokia's Intellsync Device Management that enables the handset to be remotely provisioned, locked-down, and wiped in the event of loss.
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