Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dean Bubley: Siemens... mixed messages on FMC

Dean Bubley writes at Disruptive Wireless about his attendance at the Siemens Industry Analyst Conference in Munich. Bubley states there was a big focus on both FMC and IMS with the Carrier division "still pretty much focused on mainstream operators in mobile and fixed domains. Not a big surprise, as these tend to be the players with the big capex budgets, but I thought that a lot of the stories around IMS, beyond-3G radio networks and mobile TV seems to be a bit catering too much to carriers' wishful thinking."

He responds to the industry thinking that as the "networks get deployed & the handset guys lag a while longer, but will have to sort it out, as carriers will push them." He says, "given my research on IMS handsets, these sort of assumptions on devices tend to be overoptimistic to begin with, so I hate to think what the reality will be like. I can't see a sub-$150 MBMS-phone with decent battery life (ie suitable for a typical prepay subscriber) emerging before 2010 or later."

Bubley reports that "the enterprise group seems pretty clued-up on devices. They talked about dual-mode, commenting that they'd been trying out a new Windows-powered WLAN/cellular PDA from Fujitsu Siemens, but were also pushing hard on HTC/Qtek devices, looking at a Nokia Symbian E-Series port, and also considering Linux." Bubley concludes with:

They also had a slide with a mobility management appliance, controlled by the enterprise itself to help "control mobility costs", by enabling least-cost-routing over VoWLAN. This caused much consternation among some US analysts, unused to the idea of a corporation buying "vanilla" phones & sticking any-old-SIM from any-old-operator into them. They wouldn't divulge whose Mobility appliance they were using, but after meeting DiVitas at the Wireless Event last week, it seems a remarkably similar proposition..... Siemens has even been thinking about the thorny issue of dealing with SMS-over-WLAN (probably with an SMS-IM gateway), which seems to have come as a nasty surprise to some of the less European-centric IP-PBX vendors.