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FMC market to see robust growth

Posted: 26 Aug 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fixed-mobile convergence  Wi-Fi dual-mode  AIRAVE  femtocell 

The fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) market is on the brink of very interesting times, according to ABI Research. UMA-based Wi-Fi dual-mode solutions have seen some significant penetration in both Europe and North America due to successful market introductions by T-Mobile in the US (T-Mobile @Home) and Orange (unik) in France, Spain and the UK.

The first real competitive solution that could rival Wi-Fi-based products has now appeared, in the form of Sprint's nationwide (US) femtocell-based AIRAVE solution. The questions remain: is there room for both types of convergence in the market and which solution is best placed to succeed?

ABI Research forecasts a total of 10.3 crore (103 million) access points of both types to be in service by 2013. "We expect cellular-based femtocells to have taken over the baton from UMA- and SiP-based Wi-Fi solutions by 2013, seizing 62 per cent of the market," ABI vice president and research director Stuart Carlaw says. "Although UMA-based Wi-Fi solutions have seen early gains in greenfield markets, these solutions have not proliferated much outside their current carrier footprints. This can be attributed partly to the carriers' desire to assess femtocell developments, but also to lingering concerns regarding the concept of Wi-Fi based fixed-mobile convergence," he adds.

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