PCTEL Builds Birdstep Tech into Client

By Eric Griffith

July 01, 2003

The Segue Roaming Client will soon deliver true seamless roaming when PCTEL incorporates Birdstep's Mobile IP technology, letting users move from WLAN to cellular at will.

Today PCTEL of Chicago, announced that it would be integrating Intelligent Mobile IP technology from Birdstep Technology into the PCTEL Segue Roaming Client software.

The Segue Roaming Client is software for Windows 98SE/ME/NT/2000/XP that lets users move from wireless LAN to wireless LAN; the company also has a Dual-Mode version for moving between Wi-Fi networks and 2.5G (CDMA2000 1X or GPRS) network data services, assuming their laptops have 2.5G cellular support.

However, the move between two different networks was not seamless.

"Today when you lose Wi-Fi connectivity, we detect the CDMA or GPRS signal an reestablish the connection," says Biju Nair, general manager and vice president of PCTEL's Segue Products Division. "It works well for most applications, such as browsing or doing e-mail. But if you're in the middle of a download, breaking the connection interrupts things. It's not truly seamless."

The Mobile IP software from Birdstep will allow the Segue to automatically pick up a new IP connection without any user intervention.

Birdstep, which is a Norwegian company with offices in Seattle, launched their own Mobile IP Client in late 2001, and made it available in the US in April 2002. It's already been embraced by large European companies for use by their mobile end users. Last week, the company announced a deal to let TerraWave Solutions distribute the Birdstep IP Zone Server and Mobile IP client to resellers.

Segue Client is available for download in a 30-day trial. Nair says the company hasn't decided yet, but will likely allow the Birdstep technology to be active for the trial. No pricing for the inclusion of Mobile IP has been determined yet; the updated Segue software won't be available until the beginning of the fourth quarter 2003.

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