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Metaswitch Introduces Accession

Facilities-based service providers are looking for ways to bring applications on to their networks, and to add value for both themselves and their customers. End users want to be able to work and play on whatever communications devices make the most sense for the application at hand, and they seem to have an unquenchable thirst for mobile applications, and tools that enable flexibility, collaboration and sharing. Metaswitch this week at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) in Barcelona, Spain, is talking about its strategy to help service providers address all of the above.

This strategy includes a new solution from Metaswitch called Accession, which the company formally introduced this week, and its existing Thrutu offering.

Accession, which includes network elements and a device client, allows end users to move in-progress calls from one network and/or device to another. For example, let’s say you make a regular old call over the cellular network, but then you move within range of a Wi-Fi network and want to move the call over with you. Accession can allow you to do that with just a touch or two of the device interface.

That same call (or a different one) could also be moved between a cell phone and a wired desk phone once you walk into work. And, if you decide to turn your audio call into a video call, Accession can allow you to get the best experience by moving the call from a cell phone or desk phone to a tablet.

What’s more, Accession can allow all this new functionality without requiring the end user to get a new device or phone number, and without requiring the service provider to build a whole new network.

Network infrastructure supporting Accession includes a service centralization and continuity  application server (which Metaswitch got through its acquisition of AppTrigger), a media gateway, an SBC, and an RCS server (which Metaswitch got through its purchase last year of Colibria).

 Initially, Metaswitch will offer Accession as a managed service, but the network infrastructure will live within carrier networks. However, down the road the company could offer it to service providers as a cloud-based solution, says Steve Gleave, Metaswitch vice president of Marketing.

Of course, many Metaswitch customers already have at least some of the above-mentioned gear installed in their networks already, so providing customers with the capabilities delivered under the Accession umbrella would be just one more way for them to leverage that infrastructure.

Metaswitch itself is using such infrastructure to power Thrutu (News - Alert), a mobile content-sharing service now enjoyed by some 300,000 users. Basically, Thrutu allows mobile devices running its client software to do in-call sharing of about 30 applications. For example, say I want to invite you to meet me for coffee; a Thrutu app can let me convey that message to you, and enable me to present you with the address of and map to a coffeehouse (or have the app find a coffeehouse between our two locations)

While Thrutu to date has been a consumer application offered by Metaswitch, the effort is really just a jumping-off point for this solution. Metaswitch now is expanding Thrutu to deliver business applications (like mobile coupons, offers and store directions) and offering service providers the ability to deliver its functionality through white-label agreements.    

With the same infrastructure under the sheets of both Accession and Thrutu, Gleave adds, these solutions are on a road to converge in the future. He did not provide Metaswitch’s timeline to bring together these two solutions.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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