iPhone boosted by Avaya download

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The Independent Online

Apple's iPhone, which looks like being one of the hottest stocking fillers this Christmas, is set to gain a business edge after Avaya, the mobile phone software developer, unveiled a new download that makes the device compatible with most corporate telephone networks.

Consumers paying 270 for an iPhone over Christmas probably will have not bothered thinking too hard about whether it will connect to the network used at their work-place. However, for staff at a business that has installed a virtual private network or VPN to cut its telecoms budget, the new software will mean they do not have to carry around a separate phone for the work-place any more.

The new software dubbed one-X Mobile will be available in the UK in the first quarter of 2008. The software will also work on other devices from a long list of manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. Avaya's software will effectively turn the iPhone into a desktop phone, enabling conference calling, call transfer and short-code dialling from the handset.

More than 70 per cent of companies have some form of wireless network within the office. VPNs allow organisations to dispense with old-fashioned fixed-line phones by putting all the functionality on to a mobile handset. Calls made within the office are charged at fixed-line rates, reverting to normal mobile tariffs when the worker leaves the premises. While some networks require telecoms companies to provide appropriate handsets for this service, Avaya's software lets the consumer's own handset be used as an office phone.