Jury still out on fixed mobile convergence for enterprises

Many challenges remain before FMC is widely deployed even though the benefits are becoming clearer

Many challenges remain before Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is widely deployed even though the benefits of seamless roaming between wireline and wireless networks are becoming clearer, according to new research from In-Stat.

In its latest report, 'Enterprise FMC: A Lot of Activity, but Lacking Demand for Now', the research firm identified the greatest of these challenges as finding a compelling business case for most wireless carriers, who view FMC as a contra-revenue threat. Such a feeling is also regional.

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

In its analysis, In-Stat found that even though a fifth of businesses with Wi-Fi capability use voice over Wi-Fi, it still 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 current lagging demand however, In-Stat expects dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi handset shipments to increase significantly over the next several years. During this time period, SIP phones should outstrip UMA phones.

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