Operators Take First Steps to Convergence With UMA, Finds Report
Mobile network operators are taking a cautious approach to wireless LAN and IP access with the adoption of UMA, says Unstrung Insider
Mobile operators looking to deploy Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) to kick-start fixed/mobile convergence must quickly integrate it with other, more disruptive, IP-based services to make the gamble pay off, according to a new report from the subscription research service Unstrung Insider (www.unstrung.com/insider).
The report, entitled Wireless VOIP & UMA: Friends or Foes?, provides an assessment of the forces that are driving UMA adoption, combined with analysis of UMA technology, standards, equipment provider initiatives, and operator deployment scenarios. The focus is on how UMA can exploit a narrow window of opportunity (around three years) before SIP-WiFi and IMS solutions are standardized, mature, and ready for the mass market.
"UMA appeals to operators because it's standardized, it works, and it preserves the traditional call model," says Unstrung Insider analyst Gabriel Brown. "But to develop services with truly mass-market appeal, UMA must integrate with more disruptive IP-based mechanisms, such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and wireline VOIP."
Potential integration scenarios could include a service that uses UMA for seamless in-call mobile handover in combination with fixed-line communications services to the home that use SIP-based call control, with each service integrated in the service provider's back office to provide common features such as a single bill, cross-platform network presence, and shared address books.
Among the report's key findings: * UMA is being used a marketing tool to show investors that M&A between wireline and wireless players, partially justified as "positioning for convergence," can produce integrated services relatively rapidly. * UMA is not just about low-cost access; it also has a role in creating new types of converged services, including integration with SIP-based applications or the delivery of high-speed multimedia services to handheld devices in the home. * Home gateways are a thorny issue for telcos. To gain the control they want over subscribers, they will likely have to ship and support subsidized CPE and build this into the service price over a long contract. * Handset choice is the primary challenge to UMA. A large selection would help operators overcome their concerns about the impact of UMA on their business models. * On the infrastructure side, Motorola and Alcatel appear most committed to UMA. Both vendors can use it as a small but effective component of their strategies to expand their presence in the mobile core (which is relatively less than their peers) and can link it to other convergence initiatives in which they are involved.
Service providers covered in this report: BT Group plc (NYSE: BT) (LONDON: BTA) ; Cingular Wireless LLC (a joint venture of BellSouth Corp. [NYSE: BLS] and AT&T Inc. [NYSE: T]); KT Corp. (NYSE: KTC); Orange SA (a subsidiary of France Telecom SA [NYSE/Paris: FTE]); Saunalahti Group Oyj (Helsinki: SAG1V); SunCom Wireless Inc. (NYSE: TPC); Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI); TeliaSonera AB (Pink Sheets: TLSNF; Stockholm: TLSN); and T-Mobile USA Inc. (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG [NYSE: DT; Germany: DTE]).
Equipment providers in this report: Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGE); Azaire Networks Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO); Ericsson AB (NASDAQ: ERICY:)(NASDAQ: Stockholm:)(NASDAQ: ERIC); Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT); Netrake Corp.; Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK; Helsinki: NOK1V); and Reef Point Systems Inc.
Wireless VOIP & UMA: Friends or Foes? is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Unstrung Insider, priced at $1,350. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.unstrung.com/insider.
For additional information, to request a free executive summary of the report, or for details of multi-user licensing options, please contact:
Jeff Claudino Director of Sales Insider Research Services 619-229-9940 [email protected]
For press inquiries, members of the media may contact Gabriel Brown at [email protected]
About Light Reading
Light Reading Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CMP Media, is a B-to-B network information provider. Light Reading publishes www.lightreading.com, the leading global content site for the telecom industry; www.byteandswitch.com, a storage networking site; and www.unstrung.com, dedicated to wireless networking. Light Reading is also affiliated with www.heavyreading.com, a market research site for quantitative analysis of telecom technology to carriers, service providers, and vendors.
About CMP Media
Through its market-leading portfolio of trusted information brands in the technology, healthcare, and lifestyles industries, CMP Media has earned the confidence of more professionals and enthusiasts in these fields than any other media company. As a result, CMP is the premier provider of access, insight, and actionable programs designed to connect sellers and buyers in each of these industries in ways that yield superior return on investment.
SOURCE: Unstrung Insider