Cisco brings Web conferencing to more smartphones

Smartphone users will soon be able to join WebEx Web conferences from their smartphones. Cisco said it has added the capability for BlackBerrys.

BARCELONA--Smarrtphone users will soon be able to participate in Web conferences using the hosted WebEx tool right from their phones.

Cisco Systems, which owns the WebEx Web conferencing service, announced Tuesday at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009 here that it is making a version of its WebEx client software available to several smartphones including Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Curve 8900, and BlackBerry Storm. It will also be available for the Nokia E71, Nokia E75, Nokia N97, and other Nokia E series and N series devices, as well as for the Samsung Blackjack II.

The new functionality allows smartphone users to participate in Web and audio conference calls right from their mobile devices.

The company already offers the capability on the Apple iPhone 3G. And the application, which is free for all WebEx users, has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, making it one of Apple's top 10 business apps on its App Store.

"Cell phone users will no longer be second class citizens," said Doug Dennerline, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's collaboration software group. "The great thing is that people won't ever have to miss out on a meeting if they're late to a meeting for some reason or stuck in the airport. They don't have to fire up their laptop. They can participate right from their phone."

Research In Motion will be adding a quick access "button" on BlackBerry devices starting in April, so all users have to do is click on the icon to join a meeting, Dennerline said.