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Summary:

Fixed mobile convergence, the merger of wired and wireless networks, is a topic that always seems to top the list of telecom trends every year. T-Mobile made the topic interesting last year when it started a service for consumers in the Seattle area, and the WSJ […]

Fixed mobile convergence, the merger of wired and wireless networks, is a topic that always seems to top the list of telecom trends every year. T-Mobile made the topic interesting last year when it started a service for consumers in the Seattle area, and the WSJ even recently picked up the topic looking at mostly consumer offerings (subscription).

But businesses are really the ones that are closely examining FMC choices, as the technology can save them money and make their workers more productive — well, they hope. Here’s three new choices in the enterprise FMC arena from Siemens, DiVitas Networks and Tango Networks:


Siemens: Today Siemens says it will start selling a product called HiPath MobileConnect to enterprises, which enables users to roam between cellular and wireless LAN networks. The SIP-based solution needs an appliance in the enterprise network and a client on dual-mode handsets. The product will start shipping in April and costs anywhere between $6,000 (for 10 users) and $50,000 depending on how many employees are using the service. The carrier isn’t involved, and the solution only works over dual-mode select handsets (works with Nokia E 60 series).

DiVitas Networks: Mountain View-based startup Divitas, which is backed by $23 million from Menlo Ventures and Clearstone Venture Partners, started making its product widely available last week. Like Siemens the product consists of an appliance and a client handset. Divitas says it product can be used over not only dual-mode handsets but also cellular-only smart phones, and Wi-Fi-only phones. The setup for 10 users starts at $5,495. The carrier isn’t involved here either.

Tango Networks: Unlike the offerings above Tango Networks wants to get the carrier involved in part of the deal. That has brought them some large backers from the traditional telecom world. The company based out of Richardson, Texas said earlier this month it has raised $25 million in a series A from investors like Motorola and Nortel. There is no handset client software, and the company offers a network-based solution.

Companies could always just wait for carriers to upgrade their networks for FMC, or look at any of the UMA-based solutions with the carriers. But why wait. ABI says by 2011 capital expenditure on FMC infrastructure will exceed $450 million by 2011, and some 250 million users will be using converged fixed-mobile networks and access points.

  1. FMC is over hyped.

    1. Enterprises won’t adopt FMC for several reasons
    2. wVoIP is FREE!
    3. Small businesses simply will use cellular plans. They are not interested in FMC.

    Good technology, but not much business potential. Several startups for last 2-3 years have been burning cash with little or no revenue.

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  2. Jesse Kopelman Monday, February 26, 2007

    FMC is under-hyped.

    1. It is the real solution to finally getting decent coverage in everybody’s house and office, not this nonsense about femtocells that has been going around lately.

    2. wVoIP on your cell phone is FMC! FMC is a large tent that covers any strategy to have a single device work on both cellular networks and LANs.

    3. Any business that has its act together will use FMC because it delivers on the idea of a single user device that works everywhere and delivers integration with your unified messaging platform of choice.

    I agree there is not much money to be made by startups in this field, but there is plenty to be made by the Ciscos and Motorolas .

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  3. For years, people have been talking about what FMC is and what it can do. Sure, it can do lots of things (FMC corp’s mission statement: Feeding the world, protecting health, and providing the conveniences of life. fmc.com :-))

    Regarding Enterprise FMC, it is over hyped. Unified messaging platform, but not even $1B market opportunity? According to ABI, by 2011 only $450M! When was the last time market research firm under estimated market size? Remember, they do sell reports:-)

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  4. Remember the $450M figure is for capital expenditure on FMC infrastructure only.

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  5. Hard to argue that FMC is the direction things are going, but, as for a number who knows. As part of the overall convergence / mobility discussion, the 451 group released a report last month about notebooks replacing desktops and enabling enterprise mobility via WLAN. Add a softclient and voila! The report is here: vantelo.com along with links to many other IT analyst reports.

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  6. [...] longer the status symbols of the privileged few who work in international finance or software sales. Fixed-to-mobile convergence, which involves companies issuing cell phones to employees in lieu of actual desktop phones, means [...]

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  7. [...] longer the status symbols of the privileged few who work in international finance or software sales. Fixed-to-mobile convergence, which involves companies issuing cell phones to employees in lieu of actual desktop phones, means [...]

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