Francois Mazoudier, CEO at Speakanet, which offers the GoHello all-mobile telephony solution, argues that fixed-mobile convergence may be just another short-lived solution the telephony industry has latched onto
With CTIA 2008 taking place this week, the technology news will be littered with articles on the benefits of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Event exhibitors will be raving about their so-called solutions that enable FMC in the office environment, but few will have given much thought about whether it is really the best solution for their customers.
Already this week, we have seen UCStrategies.com announce a new enterprise whitepaper which focuses on FMC and the solutions that businesses can deploy to benefit from unified communications. UCStrategies.com acknowledges that mobility is a key driver to unified communications, but still states that to stay connected, businesses need to integrate mobile with wired networks, creating FMC. Although the paper claims to identify the core benefits of FMC, providing an objective assessment of the available options, it really shouts about the complexities that come with installing FMC technology, and ultimately becoming unified.
Who needs fixed-line?
FMC pushes for a united fixed and mobile world, where communications can be passed transparently between networks. However, in todays mobile environment, there is no need for the fixed-line telephony bit. Businesses can be unified by being all-mobile, without the unnecessary complication of integrating mobile with the wire line.
But what are the alternatives to FMC? Up until recently, mobility was designed as an extension to office desk phones and hardware systems, being perceived as too expensive to handle all office calls. But now it is the fixed-to-mobile element that is too expensive, so mobiles have rapidly grown into individuals main and preferred choice of communication.
Speakanet identified this trend early, and invented GoHello to address this situation. GoHello allows businesses to make traditional telephony systems (analogue and VoIP) obsolete, while removing the high costs of mobility and giving employees just one phone their mobile but with full PBX functionality. The simple-to-use system can be provisioned and activated instantly via the web and takes just 10 minutes to set up.
Put bluntly, GoHello eradicates all the complexity of a fixed line, and therefore an FMC solution, as there is no need for hardware, techies, long-term contracts and expensive upgrades. Handover between fixed and mobile is inherent, because its all-mobile. It could be said then that FMC is just another momentary fad. A favourite talking point of the industry which telecoms companies have jumped on. FMC is really about the move to mobile, where everyones phone is wireless, so lets stop talking about FMC, and instead talk about accelerating the move to mobile.