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Time fixed mobile convergence went mainstream

Comms specialists are predicting this will be a good year for FMC as the technology becomes mainstream

Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is going to be an area that comms dealers will be getting excited about this year and is a technology that data specialists should also have on their radar.

FMC has been described as finally coming of age by Niman's head of network services Mark Curtis-Wood and tipped to become more mainstream.

The dream of users being able to operate with one number on numerous devices has been largely just that until recently and now should be a service that the channel is offering.

“One of the biggest conversations during 2017 is around FMC which is about to hit a key tipping point," said Curtis-Wood.

"There’s been lots of talk for many years around what will actually happen with people using one number and one device, but up until now the network infrastructure hasn’t quite been there. However it’s now being driven by operators that see an opportunity to get the upper hand by leveraging an asset (fixed or mobile network) that other competitors don’t have," he added.

One of the slight challenges for resellers is the fairly limited number of FMC providers and Curtis-Wood said that choice was important for both partners and customers.

Along with FMC the other areas that Nimans is encouraging its channel base to take a closer look at include IoT and mobile data.

“The other big topic and talking point this year is how can resellers leverage and maximise opportunities around IOT, machine-to-machine and also mobile data," said Curtis-Wood.

The IoT expectations are held among many in the telecoms world with Cobham Wireless' vp and general manager Ian Langley also looking for changes this year.

"In 2017, we will see major operators and standards bodies such as 3GPP pushing forward with the commercialisation of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). This is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology that transmits data intermittently, enabling connected devices that use only a small amount of data to operate with low current consumption. This can greatly improve the battery life of IoT devices," he said.

"Expectations about the potential deployments of NB-IoT are high following a number of successful trials. Many operators are backing the technology as a cost-effective and highly efficient means of connecting IoT devices and applications using their existing cellular networks. Be prepared for more trials and even live deployments over the next 12 months as operators, device and chipset manufacturers get behind the technology," he added.

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