Shanghai-based mobile phone startup E28 has demonstrated what it claims is the world's first handset with IMS, an emerging standard for fixed-mobile convergence.
At the World 3GSM Conference in Barcelona, E28 showed the E2831, which combines GSM and IMS-based internet telephony over Wi-Fi.
IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) is specifically designed to integrate the cellular and IP worlds, and at the moment is being championed by some fixed and mobile operators as the best solution for handsets bringing together GSM and voice-over-IP capabilities. So far efforts to bring together fixed and mobile in a single phone, such as BT's Fusion, have not seen great success.
E28 teamed up with Bridgeport Networks on the server side for its demonstration, using the SIP standard for IP calls. The Linux-based handset performed GSM-Wi-Fi roaming as well as the handoff of an active call between GSM and Wi-Fi.
E28 claimed its system is more flexible than others currently on the market, which it says generally draw the line at GSM-Wi-Fi roaming.
"The wireless industry is changing rapidly. Voice is saturated. Data will differentiate," said E28 chief executive Roger Kung in a statement.
The handset is intended to be the pretty face of FMC (fixed-mobile convergence), with a slim form factor and iPhone-style touchscreen, as well as the usual array of features such as Bluetooth, office and multimedia applications.
It is based on a TI OMAP 730 chipset, with 802.11b/g, GSM quad-band and three hours of talk time on either Wi-Fi or GSM.