There is one more demo Symbian was showing off at the Smartphone Show this year which I haven’t covered yet: The Voice Call Continuity (VCC) demo. This showed off a seamless handover between a GSM phone call and an IMS one (over WiFi)…
The demo was running on the development board pictured above which was equipped with GSM and WiFi radios. The demo could then call a normal phone (or vice versa) using either GSM or IMS (over WiFi). During the call you could press a button on the demo app that would switch the bearer from GSM to IMS (or vice versa) without dropping or interrupting the call! (ok, there was a slight popping sound when it switched from one to the other but that’s about it)
Why is this cool? Well, it means you could make a call while at home and have it connect via your home WiFi network (which means you’re guaranteed good reception and, depending on your provider, cheaper call costs). You may then decide to leave home and wander to the high street while still chatting on the phone. As you leave your home, your phone will notice that the WiFi signal is weakening and look for alternatives. It would then find your normal GSM mobile phone network and switch to that seamlessly without interrupting your call. Later on you might find yourself in a coffee shop or office with a WiFi signal. Once your phone notices that it could switch back to that to improve reception and keep your call costs low. All that would just happen automagically without disconnecting you at any point. Pretty nifty if you ask me!
Behind the scenes Symbian’s FreeWay architecture and Cicero Networks‘ VCC engine were working their magic to make this possible. The beauty of FreeWay is that it can handle the detection of available networks and decision making about which to use and when under the hood. That means that applications don’t need to do anything special to benefit from this kind of functionality. Although our demo only used GSM and WiFi there’s no technical reason this couldn’t be extended to encompass other kinds of bearers too (3G packet data, WiMAX, LTE etc.).
Finally, as with our other demos there is some extra material and a video of this demo on SDN++ so, if you have SDN++ access, head on over and check it out!