Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) has several aspects. From the point of view of technology it refers to the use of capable technologies of providing access (broadband) to both residential and business users (fixed), and users that are moving (mobile). Potential technologies for fixed-mobile convergence are numerous and depend on the starting point of the operator who uses them. They can be 3G and higher mobile technologies, xDSL and FTTx technologies complemented for wireless solutions (Wi Fi or WiMax, for example), satellite technology, or a mixture or evolution of them. From the business point of view fixed-mobile convergence can be identified with the “quadruple-play” (television, Internet access, fixed telecommunications, mobile telephony) and aims to offer users all the information and communications services in an integrated manner and using a single invoice. From the point of view of users (or market) fixed-mobile convergence is the search for a single platform for broadband connection regardless of the type of location and user access (home, work, or no localized).
In its more advanced sense, FMC integrates the functionalities of PBX with Wi Fi and mobile phones, also adding the benefits of presence technology, instant messaging (IM) and collaboration of own unified communications (UC). In what is known as UC Mobile, a mobile device is integrated in Wi Fi corporate worldwide and public supporting cellular world, as VoiP, unified communications tools such as e-mail, presence, IM and contacts, and telephone functions of the PBX, such as extension dialing, forwarding and transfer calls.
FMC solution must successfully meet the simplicity, efficiency and transparency criteria. Companies should seek simplicity and availability of a common dialing experience regardless of device, whether a mobile phone, a landline or a video interface, has to provide a single identity for telephony and messaging as well (example: a single point of communication). Moreover, an FMC solution gives the opportunity to optimize the investments they recently made, both in the migration to IP networks and mobility.
Also, if a few years ago the acronym used to describe FMC solutions was simply offered as a package, currently, the goal is that these solutions work in an integrated way.
Benefits for business
Fixed-mobile convergence offers businesses access and ubiquitous connections, providing productivity gains and streamlined or even reduced, costs. This advanced convergence, known as FMC (Fixed-Mobile Convergence), works by merging telecommunication resources with fixed and wireless networks. It gives mobile users the functionality associated with their fixed phone on a mobile device.
This kind of converging technologies and services allow companies to grow internally and externally, adapting new policies to maintain or enter new markets by relying on technological progress to increase their competitive edge.
These are the main benefits of mobile fixed convergence for business:
- Personalized services: We can access our data through the device we choose, when and where we want.
- Mobility: continuous service, it does not matter the place we are and if we are moving or we standing still.
- Reliability and security: the same guarantee as with unique services. Converged services will provide communications without spam, viruses or frauds.
- Transparency of the service: Services will be continuous depending on the Wi Fi range, GSM, WiMax and it is extending to mobile and fixed devices.
- Simplicity: It is easy to use.
- Ubiquity: It is available whenever and wherever we are.
- Flexibility: Customized services, it tends to a unique identification number.
- Compatibility with switchboard (PBX) of VoiP in the market (Siemens,Cisco y GlobalPhone) and the majority of dual devices (Nokia S60, Blackberry and Windows Mobile).
These services have probably lagged behind in technological development with the incorporation of new advances in cellular telephony. We think that the concept was not well understood and failed to reach the public or the business world as it was expected.
Verizon and iPhone
The American mobile operator, Verizon, will finally have its own iPhone 4 in its product catalog. It is a 3G model (not LTE as rumored) and has a hotspot function for up to five devices. The terminal is very similar to any other iPhone 4 in design and features but with one difference: it has a new antenna (since it is a CDMA unit, not a GSM one). This is why it’s not possible to fix or update future versions.