Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dean Bubley: Quadplay, FMC and multiple gateways

Dean Bubley posts at the Disruptive Wireless blog about a "problem emerging with the new class of quadplay and FMC services. Most of them need some sort of "box" in the home, usually with WiFi included for local-area connectivity." Bubley writes the culprits are:

  • the usual DSL/cable router
  • TV set-top box for cable/satellite/digital terrestrial
  • an operator-custom FMC gateway for dual-mode phones (probably integrated with the router)
  • operator-provided residential pico/femtocells (again, possible integrated into a router)
  • cellular-backhauled fixed modems
  • some sort of WiMAX termination
  • anything integrated with the TV/gaming/audio system using WiFi
  • probably a bunch of other things I've forgotten about
Bubley states"the problem comes with households with multiple people. All the operators I speak to have the vision of being the sole household quadplay provider, with one "Hub" gateway box for all the family's services." However he thinks this is unrealistic. What happens where one of the parents gets a work-provided mobile from another operator? Or if one of the kids really likes an MVNO like Helio which gives dual-mode phones? Or if people upgrade to a Fusion-type device and it comes with a free hub?"

Bubley concludes that the:
Bottom line is that some (most?) families are likely to get multiple FMC/gateway/picocell type boxes. Do they keep switching them over? Buy an ethernet hub & connect all of them? "daisy-chain" them via WiFi?