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Fixed-Mobile Convergence: A Big Opportunity for Wireless Carriers


23/04/2007

Good things are in store for wireless operators that invest in fixed-mobile convergence technology, according to a study released by ABI Research during last month’s CTIA Wireless conference in Orlando, Florida.

The study found that of a sample of 1200 U.S. cell phone users, 25% would be willing to switch carriers to access the benefits of Wi-Fi/cellular convergence. 33% of respondents, meanwhile, would consider replacing their landline subscriptions with converged Wi-Fi handsets.

Combining Wi-Fi and cellular technology in a single device allows users to make cheap VoIP calls over a home or office Wi-Fi network, and revert to a cellular connection when no Local Area Network is available.

“Convergence presents carriers with a compelling opportunity to build subscriber loyalty and migrate more users to mobile applications such as email, Web surfing, and multimedia downloads,” commented ABI Research analyst, Philip Solis, in a statement. “We expect to see a number of U.S. carriers launching convergence programs over the next 12 months.”

The way we look at it is there is no Wi-Fi industry anymore because these segments are joining, added Frank Hanzlik, managing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance, in a speech at CTIA. All of us are part of a larger broadband wireless industry. The criticisms that some people in the industry had about fixed/mobile convergence are falling away. Three years ago, I wouldn`t have even been invited to this show, but since last September, we`ve had a deal with the CTIA and launched our program to certify [FMC-enabled] phones. We`ll see those certifications in the first half of this year.



 

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