Enterproid to enable work and personal numbers on one phone

A deal between Enterproid and BroadSoft could let users make and receive both work and personal calls on the same Android phone

Enterproid is expanding its dual-persona phone platform to include voice through a new deal with BroadSoft.

BroadSoft must sell the software to an operator and then on to an enterprise, but if it does, end users will be able to take and make phone calls from their personal and work phone numbers on the same mobile phone.

Enterproid's Divide software, available directly from Enterproid and under the name Toggle through AT&T, already lets Android phone users securely access corporate information such as email on their personal phones. The software creates what Enterproid calls "personas" on the phone. A user can freely use the personal persona to do things like download apps from the Android Market. While in the business persona, a user can send and receive encrypted data in the email, calendar, contacts, messaging and browsing apps. IT administrators can set policies that forbid users from downloading apps from the Android Market to the business persona, for example, in order to protect corporate data.

Enterproid has integrated its software with BroadSoft's BroadWorks unified communications platform so that end users also will be able to make and receive phone calls on both their corporate and personal numbers from the same phone. In addition, they will be able to send and receive text messages from their work number and use four-digit dialing to contact co-workers. They'll use those functions through the Enterproid dialer and messaging applications in the business persona on the phone.

Since BroadWorks is aimed at service providers, BroadSoft will market the new Enterproid capability to mobile operators, which would sell the service to end users.

Should a carrier decide to offer the service, it will set the pricing and packaging for end users, said Dan Dearing, vice president of marketing for Enterproid. One way they may charge for the service is through a monthly fee.

Initially the service would be available only to Android users, but Enterproid said it hopes to offer a version of its software with the voice features that will work on iPhones. Enterproid's offering is different from other related technologies because it works on the application layer rather than virtualizing an operating system. Critics say it's less secure than virtualization, but Enterproid argues that its offering performs better.

Enterproid and BroadSoft aren't alone in trying to offer two phone numbers on a single phone. VMware late last year announced that Telefonica was using its mobile virtualization technology and would enable two phone numbers through a dual SIM card feature in the phones.

Vendors have offered a number of other technologies for letting two phone numbers ring a single phone, but some are complicated or lack features, and they don't typically confine the business calls to a secured part of the phone. For example, simple call-forwarding services let users accept business calls on their cellphones, but they can't make calls from the phone using their business phone number. Some PBX systems extend features like four-digit dialing to mobile phones but don't typically enable two numbers on the phone. The dual-SIM card option hasn't taken off in the U.S., where it would be difficult for Verizon and Sprint to offer it, because their network technology doesn't use SIM cards.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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