Verizon, Telefonica and VMware to launch dual-persona phone software

Virtualisation software provider VMware has announced that it is working with Verizon Wireless in the US and Telefonica in Europe on a solution that will make it easier for Android smartphone users to separate their personal and work lives through the use of separate profiles.

LG and Samsung have both reportedly agreed to build phones containing the solution.

Horizon Mobile allows users to have two identities and two phone numbers on their handsets – one for personal use and one for business use. The firms said that they have been working together for several months and will be bringing the solution to market in the coming weeks.

Srinivas Krishnamurti, senior director for mobile solutions at VMware, said that the firms will offer a solution to help enterprises embrace the “bring your own device” trend without compromising the security of corporate content.

“While there are many similarities between the US and European markets, there are a few differences in our partner offerings,” said Krishnamurti. “One of the significant differences is that Telefonica will be combining their 2:1 telephony solution with Horizon Mobile to provide two telephone numbers (telephony and SMS) and two data plans on each device.”

It has not yet been announced whether Verizon will have dual-number phones ready at launch, but one possibility being touted is tying the corporate side of the phone to a PBX system.

Horizon Mobile users will have full control over their personal profiles, which will have their own voice and data plans. The personal profile is completely isolated from the corporate profile and corporate plan, which is owned and managed by the user’s firm. Krishnamurti claims that the combination of Horizon Mobile and Telefonica 2:1 will allow enterprises to reduce costs since they only pay for what they do on the corporate profile and not their personal profiles.

“Many of the details that you all may be interested in, such as pricing and specific device information, are being worked out in real time but suffice it to say that both our carrier partners will be offering a range of devices from our handset partners in the coming months,” he added.

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