A Thoughtful Analysis of Enterprise UMA

| About: Aruba Networks, (ARUN)

Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN) has come out with an impressive & comprehensive analysis of what would be needed to get UMA service working on a full enterprise-grade WiFi installation. The bottom line is that it should be feasible.... but with quite a lot of "ifs", some stated, some implied.

  • If the corporate IT manager is prepared to configure the WLAN security to recognise UMA devices and deal with authentication of devices & traffic & firewall accordingly.
  • If they define correct SSIDs and set up the WiFi configuration on the handsets appropriately.
  • If they have good site-wide coverage of the WiFi network.
  • If they're prepared to ditch their PBX in entirety and switch over to a service provider's hosted centrex offering.
  • If they're willing to accept a much smaller range of handsets.
This fits in with the post I made last week. Basically, it's still a niche of a niche, although it's good to see the first sensible analysis of what needs to be done if you're insistent on this route.

Some factors to consider:
  • Are any UMA operators able to sell & support all this? If not, what are their channel partnerships?
  • What happens to enterprises that want to retain some PBX extensions (e.g. for call centers or desk-bound staff).
  • What happens to multi-site or multi-national corporations that have locations not covered by a single operator, or a mix of ones with good & poor cellular coverage?
  • When doing ROI calculations, what are the assumed lifetimes on dual-mode handsets, and how does annual depreciation and TCO compare with normal PBX handsets?
  • Will there continue to be a decent range of handsets in future? In particular, there are still no Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Series 60 UMA phones
  • What's the migration strategy from PBXs - or is it an all-or-nothing forklift upgrade?

The cynic in me wonders what has tempted Aruba to put all this work in.... a relationship with T-Mobile US (DT) or maybe Orange? Or has Kineto stumped up for this on a professional service basis?