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103 Million Consumer Fixed-Mobile Convergence Access Points In Service by 2013

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

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 103 million access points of both types to be in service by 2013. Vice president and research director Stuart Carlaw says, “We expect cellular-based femtocells to have taken over the baton from UMA- and SiP-based Wi-Fi solutions by 2013, seizing 62% of the market.”

He goes on to add that, “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.” [ABI Research]

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