Sunday, May 6, 2007

Trends in fixed-mobile convergence

Kudos to my colleague, Idhries Ahmad, for having put together a wonderful piece on fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Click here to read this special!

I would just like to highlight the trends on FMC in India. FMC is definitely at a very early stage in the Asia-Pacific region itself, and probably nascent in India.

Akshay Agarwal, Ecosystem Partner Manager - India & Korea, Texas Instruments, India forecasts that service providers in India may start with pre-IMS, skip UMA and may jump to IMS directly. Besides, the successful adoption of FMC would also depend on the deployment of 3G and Wi-Fi. Pre-IMS services could mainly be applications such as instant messaging and photo sharing.

The contribution of value-added services (VAS) has been steadily increasing and is likely to form a major portion of FMC revenues in the near future. Even as the FMC services market gains traction, the go-to-market strategy of service providers should be to provide a variety of FMC-compliant dual-mode handsets to customers.

At this point, the Indian telcos are still focused on meeting the high demand for basic voice services, and are gradually opening up to generating demand for converged service offerings.

Rising income, declining handset prices, and an increased awareness of viable mobile services among masses has led to the growing adoption of mobility solutions. The major areas of growth will be the youth segment and the rural areas.

FMC could be the solution to provide rich media services to the end customers. It may facilitate both fixed and mobile operators a magical solution to provide high-end services to subscribers, further entail the convergence of access networks, and help the operators to integrate their forces to tap the huge potential of rural India.

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