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Ascendent Bridges Wi-Fi, Cellular

BOSTON -- Moving to further integrate 802.11 technology into the workplace, Ascendent Telecommunications has unveiled a product it says bridges the gap between an enterprise's Wi-Fi and cellular technology.

The offering, announced and demonstrated here at the 802.11 Conference and Expo today, is designed to be integrated into corporate networks.

Ascendent's equipment is installed in a company's existing data and voice network using circuit connections and Voice Over Internet Protocol , reducing wireless network infrastructure and usage costs while enhancing mobility.

Calls are routed through a company's PBX or Centex switch, with users able to access many of the same functions and features of their desktop phones using cellular and VoIP devices.

"People can now use their company phone numbers and dialing patterns in-building on 802.11 wireless devices," said Stephen Forte, Ascendent's chairman and CEO. "Our technology also allows their calls to stay connected while changing modes between 802.11 and cellular if they leave their in-building environment."

Ascendent's products also work with public wireless access points or "hotspots". When remote device users step outside a hotspot, Ascendent technology enables the phone call to continue on cellular.

Ascendent products and services are distributed to enterprise customers through Nextel, Science Applications International Corp., EDS, Norstan, Toshibaand TELUS in Canada. In addition to corporate customers, the company also counts the U.S. governemnt as a client.