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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Challenges for Fixed Mobile Convergence

The benefits of seamless roaming between wireline and wireless networks is gaining some momentum, but many challenges remain before Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is widely deployed, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Chief among these challenges is finding a compelling business case for most wireless carriers, who view FMC as a contra-revenue threat, the high-tech market research firm says.

"This is clearly the case in the U.S., with the exception of T-Mobile, which has primarily been focused on the consumer market," says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst.

"In-Stat believes communications industry leaders will not be dissuaded by lagging felt need for FMC solutions by businesses, and will aim to develop compelling solutions that, once experienced, will lead to viral adoption over the next several years."

The research analyzes current and planned adoption of various FMC solutions and discusses how industry market leaders will not be dissuaded by lagging felt need for FMC solutions by businesses, and will aim to develop compelling solutions that will lead to viral adoption over the next several years. A forecast of cellular/Wi-Fi dual-mode telephone shipments and business subscribers is provided.

In-Stat's Market study found the following:

- 20 percent of businesses with Wi-Fi capability use voice over Wi-Fi.

- It remains to be seen whether FMC can be revenue-generating or simply become a differentiated throw-in to lure businesses to traditional and emerging wireline and wireless network services.

- Despite lagging demand, dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi handset shipments will increase significantly over the next several years, with SIP phones outstripping UMA phones.