Will Wireless-Wireline Convergence be a big blah?


With all the news about convergence between wireline and wireless networks, we are eagerly awaiting a “converged future.” Carlo Longino says, “I’d love to be able to get the rates of my Vonage connection, particularly on international calls, on my mobile phone from any hotspot. Just thinking about what that could do to ridiculous international roaming rates sounds great, too…but I’m beginning to get a little skeptical converged products will live up to the hype.” I think he might be right, but the carriers are going to push it anyway!


Irwin Lazar

Jesse, there are numerous accounts of folks making VoIP calls over EV-DO (which according to Verizon provides 400-600 kbps, which is plenty good for VoIP). See: http://www.evdoinfo.com/Tips/PC_5220/Using_VOIP_over_EVDO_-_Testing_Vonage_over_EV-DO_20050321138/.

Numerous media outlets have covered Verizon’s own efforts to develop a VoIP over EV-DO offering for launch in the next year or two, but that effort will be dependent on the next upgrade to EV-DO (1xEV-DO Revision A), which will deliver up to 1.8 MB of downstream bandwidth.

And finally, Skype announced a deal with German provider E-Plus to deliver VoIP over its UMTS network. See: http://www.telecom.paper.nl/index.asp?location=http%3A//www.telecom.paper.nl/site/news_TA.asp%3Ftype%3Dabstract%26id%3D94259%26NR%3D860

Jesse Kopelman

Irwin, curreently neither UMTS or EVDO provide the uplink speeds or the latency to properly support VoIP. Eventually something might and at that point the carriers will need to be selling something other than voice if they want to survive.

Irwin Lazar

So how do the cell providers survive when they find that their users are buying flat-rate data plans and using high-speed data services such as UMTS and EV-DO to make calls using their own VoIP clients? I could cut my cell bill in half if I can make calls using a VoIP client on my Treo.

Charlie Sierra

Isn’t the true story of convergence the rush of companies trying to get in our wallets?

Sorry. Couldn’t pass up a snide comment.

More seriously, many moons ago there was blog meme along the lines of us vs. them companies. Convergence is definitely a “them” story, thus I think (hope!) it will peter out.

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