Converging Paths - FMC: Where Wireline & Wireless Meet
FMC is driving fixed-line and wireless service providers to minimize their voice revenue line loss
Tues, January 30. 2007
The Wi-Fi/Cellular Connect
With consumers and businesses increasingly adopting Wi-Fi to transmit data, the promise of FMC is its ability to enable users to transfer their voice calls between the Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Key to this market segment is the advent of the DMH (dual mobile handset) that has both Wi-Fi and traditional cellular capabilities in one. DMH services are finding utility in both the residential and business sectors with the promise of lower calling rates, continuity, and management of calls between the cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Infonetics Research predicts that the Wi-Fi phone market will climb to $3.7 billion by 2009. A big contributor will be from dual-mode handsets that deliver Wi-Fi and VoIP on one device, but that success will depend on the availability of low-cost phones.
While there are a number of approaches vying for prominence, UMA and VCC have been leading the charge for FMC:
• UMA (unlicensed mobile access): UMA, a recognized 3GPP standard pioneered by Kineto Wireless, gives the user access to the GSM and over the unlicensed Wi-Fi network connection via dual-mode mobile handsets.
• IMS-VCC (voice call continuity): Supported by traditional (e.g., Nortel) and emerging (e.g., New Step and Outsmart) vendors, the VCC function can support roaming and handover between the IMS network and circuit-switched domain for dual-mode handsets. In addition to providing a connection from any wireless network technology (e.g., CDMA, WCDMA) and any VoIP access, VCC provides a single phone number (or SIP identity) in addition to Wi-Fi-to-cellular handovers.