Fixed Mobile Convergence Analysis
Posted on 31/10/2013
Mark Curtis-Wood, Head of Network Services, Nimans
Current State Of Play
If you look at various forms of technology - whether that’s around SIP or different devices and mobile applications being used to carry voice traffic - Fixed Mobile Convergence is very important. In reality a fixed call is now just becoming another application. The whole voice cycle has been turned on its head where we now have desk phones and audio conferencing units using SIM cards to make voice calls. We are seeing one form of technology morph into another.
In the next 12-18 months I think we may see parity between a local rate call and a call to the mobile network, so the cost implications are driving the market in a different direction. We are already seeing consumers are simply not using their landlines to anywhere near the same extent that they used to. These trends have spread into the corporate arena and they will only become bigger. In the next five years or so it’s predicted that most young people won’t even have a home phone. That day is drawing ever nearer. The advent of 4G will only quicken the process. Most people now only have a landline because it’s needed for a broadband connection.
Are Resellers Ready?
There’s a shift taking place in the market. Speaking personally I have a desk phone at work but most of my life centres around my mobile and tablet. All my contacts are stored there and they give me the freedom to move away from my desk and still be able to communicate and access information. They become my office. Wherever I am they follow me around.
I think resellers have got the message. Mobile is becoming the preferred method for lots of people. Demand is growing on a monthly basis and that will continue next year and beyond. People want to move around without necessarily being tied to the same desk. We are seeing growth in SIP and also voice applications and application development.
The Growing Role of Wireless Interfaces
Wireless will become key because Wi-Fi is becoming an expectation, as it’s the key to accessing new technology. That could be in the car, your home, a coffee shop, in front of the television or in your office. Sharing and accessing information is critical.
We are going to see huge growth in new access points as operators turn increasingly to Wi-Fi and handset makers launch devices that connect seamlessly to the networks.
Smartphone and tablet users will connect to Wi-Fi without even realising it as new technologies enable Wi-Fi access points to communicate directly with the mobile networks.
The mobile operators are investing in Wi-Fi access points to prepare their networks to take advantage of these new handset features, and to relieve pressure on the mobile network. But there are still some technical hurdles that must be overcome before Wi-Fi can be an integral part of the mobile network.
This change in technology will have an impact on mobile security and to truly enable BYOD a strong mobile device management platform is crucial.