Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dean Bubley: VCC gaining traction

Dean Bubley post at his Disruptive Wireless blog "about VCC emerging as the key SIP-based approach to fixed-mobile convergence." After spending two days at the FMC Summit in Amsterdam, Bubley notes that VCC "has come up over and over again - not just from vendors, but from some of the largest operators in Europe."

Bubley has "the distinct impression that standardisation [of VCC] is the only thing standing in the way of ditching UMA in favour of SIP." He writes:

This fits with my understanding that low-level UMA deployment is pretty cheap. It has severe limitations, but it works OK as essentially an extended trial technology - enabling the carrier to get some detail and experience about customers' preferences and key operational practices (billing, marketing, bundling, user interface, pricing, coverage etc). It's also got some handsets already shipping.

Conversely, VCC/SIP fits better with operators' medium-term strategies around integrating quad-play services, many of which won't use a mobile core network, unlike UMA's Voice & GPRS. I'm being told that these services will integrate a dual-mode handset (or even a WiFi-only one) with IPTV, Internet services, gaming, and a whole slew of hybrids.
Bubley concludes that:
My only concern is that none of the handset manufacturers have yet nailed their VCC colours to the mast. To be fair, it isn't standardised yet. And there are some handset software suppliers already advocating it (the MobileIgnite alliance members, for example). However - if there's anyone out their in handset-land that's relaxing after getting their UMA platform sorted, I'd suggest knuckling down and getting VCC on the roadmap ASAP. The same goes for chipset suppliers and SIP software client specialists.