Alteva, the largest licensee of Broadsoft softswitch product, which is also positioned as an enterprise hosted VoIP company announced the Alteva Anywhere service. This capability leverages the hosted VoIP capabilities of the Alteva service and integrates any mobile device directly into the call flow, making one-number service possible for Alteva customers.
Louis Hayner, Alteva CTO described the service as a fixed-mobile convergence offering by incorporating enhanced simultaneous ring functionality. Customers call a user’s office number, and it also rings the programmed mobile phone – just like simultaneous ring – but, from this point on, the call flow differs from simultaneous ring service.
The caller ID of the caller is presented to the mobile phone and not the ID of the office phone. My previous experience with find-me follow-me services presented me with the caller ID of my office DID, forcing me to listen to the recording of the caller’s name to decide to accept or not. For busy people, this is a painful and sometimes inappropriate interruption and process step if the call was not the important call they had hoped it would be.
If the call is accepted on the mobile phone, the user is presented the message “Press any key to accept the call.” This is a necessary to make sure that the caller is not presented to the mobile voicemail service. Part of the goal of the Alteva Anywhere service is to integrate the mobile device more directly into the operational environment of the desktop phone and the Alteva hosted service. It also makes one number more practical with only one voicemail service, which could be presented to the mobile phone as a wav file in a push email-capable smart phone.
Importantly, at any point in the call, the user can signal the Alteva call server using the # sign button. Then, through a series of DTMF commands and context-sensitive audio prompts, the caller can be transferred to the deskphone, another coworker or some other landline or IP phone. Other services such as international calls from mobile at landline calling rates, call recording of mobile calls, or enterprise call masking (caller ID of calls from Alteva Anywhere users appear as enterprise calls and not the mobile number of the mobile phone in use) can also be enabled with this capability.
International calling from mobile phones at landline calling rates
Similar to the design of the SkypeToGo service, Alteva’s design would have users call into their voicemail service using the mobile phone, authenticate themselves and then select the option to make an outbound call. This service then dials the international number (which could include calls to Canada) and thereby avoid the typically $0.20/minute charge to Canada or $0.69/minute charge to France.