About this blog

News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Is FMC on track?

I read a report that says that FMC is firmly on track. However, my understanding had been that FMC has suffered casualties, for instance Deutsche Telekom abandoning its T-one service and BT not getting enough uptake for its fusion offering.

To investigate further, I followed the trail of the report to FMC services elsewhere- UMA in the Netherlands, Denmark, USA, Italy, France, and the UK, and dual-mode WiFi-GSM services in France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Scandinavian countries-these are examples cited in the report, which I think is missing a point. FMC services have got some takers for sure, but then these (some 400,000 subscribers globally by end of CY 2006 representing less than 3% triple-play subscribers) users are the hep crowd who get the latest to stand out. This number includes users who have bought the latest service package, and aren't necessarily users of FMC. What I mean by that is, someone buying the latest Nokia E-series phone doesnot necessarily become a 3G user, the consumer can be using the latest device to make simple voice calls. We will need to look at other statistics such as network usage or service usage to determine the uptake of FMC. Saying so, I agree that for operators and investors, what matters is sales of FMC service packages. Currently, the usage of FMC services is pitifully low and the sense of fashion parity is yet to kick-in with the mainstream. In the current state of the industry, its a very costly proposition to stand out in this market. With ever changing industry dynamics (what with all the consolidation), constantly revised marketing schemes, launch of new devices have left the consumers feel lost in this myriad of change. The sense of catching-up with the latest will happen for sure, but at a cost. The conumdrum will have to solved, allowing a set of simple and clear propositions emerge offering customers choice and value. Will FMC in its current form achieve this state, I don't know. I remain, the skeptic!

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