Retail and services to lead fixed mobile convergence adoption, says IDC

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Retail and services to lead fixed mobile convergence adoption, says IDC

Antony Savvas

The adoption rates for European business fixed mobile convergence (FMC) will vary from sector to sector, with retail and services firms leading the way.

Research from analyst IDC says FMC - single phone handsets able to access both fixed and mobile phone networks - will be adopted in multiple stages.

IDC said 11.1% of companies are planning short-term investments in IP telephony and a further 10.3% are considering such investments over the next two years.

The first FMC handsets allowed users to access both traditional fixed line phone networks and mobile ones.

The next wave of handsets allow users to make IP-based calls over fixed line broadband networks free of cost and over more expensive mobile ones.

The third wave of FMC handsets also allow users to make free or cheaper calls over Wi-Fi networks too.

IDC survey results indicate that within two years of wider FMC mobile service availability, more than 45% of companies in business services and retail/wholesale will migrate to a converged communications service.

"Fixed-to-mobile convergence will happen in multiple stages and the pace of transition will differ considerably from a vertical market perspective," said Nina Bonagura, an analyst at IDC.

“While just over 30% of companies are willing to change their communication services strategy between six to 24 months after wider FMC availability, specific vertical markets reveal a higher propensity to undergo such investments within this time span,” said Bonagura.

IP telephony adoption centres around cost benefits, said IDC, with 65.6% of respondents indicating voice communications cost reduction to be the primary IP telephony benefit.

Telecoms analyst Analysys recently estimated firms could shave a third off their call bills using FMC.

Related article: Firms to reduce phone bills by 30% with FMC

Related article: VoiceCon Spring: A transition show for the VoIP industry

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