Friday, June 16, 2006

Converging Paths For Wired & Wireless

Processor writes that "service providers are offering more strategies for convergence than ever before, and SMEs are eager to put them into place. At this point, cable companies and telcos are intent on erasing the boundaries between the two services and putting together bundles that can boost wireless capability and keep operations running smoothly whether plugged in or free roaming."

Kathryn Weldon at Current Analysis said, “The lines are becoming blurry between wired and wireless, finally. If you’re an SME, it’s likely you’d want to get all your service from one place, and that’s now an option, especially with regional carriers. There’s a quest for differentiation, especially among telcos. In the old days they were able to do that by taking over different territories, but now they’re trying to get an edge with services.”

Weldon noted that "consolidation in the industry has limited the number of vendors, but it’s also made convergence easier." She said, “In this situation, their problem is figuring out how not to cannibalize their own wireless services. But that’s not their customers’ problem. It’s to an SME’s advantage to see these low-cost bundles that bring everything together.”

The article states that "one step toward this unification is UMA (unlicensed mobile access), but sheer need is also driving the convergence. SMEs care more about mobility than which networks are driving their service, and providers are taking advantage of that desire for a single vendor. Managed services are especially growing, notes Weldon, especially for SMEs that don’t want to juggle multiple wireless device types and wired network management."

Weldon mentioned that "In the near future, there’ll be more and more device convergence. You’ll see dual-mode devices, wireless LANs, and a fair amount in terms of data services. In the future, everything will be in the network infrastructure. Whether it’s wired or wireless won’t matter.