My impressions of Visiongain’s fixed to mobile convergence conference

Note: We are still having problems with Move able type – apologies for that. But the text of the blog should still be readable.

Earlier this week, I was a part of a panel on the Visiongain – fixed to Mobile convergence conference.

Although not a very large conference (reflecting the nature of the topic perhaps), this was a truly useful conference and I learnt a lot from it. Both the quality of the speakers and the attendees was very high (mostly Operators, device manufacturers etc)

Here is my synopsis of this session and the key learnings and impressions from my notes

Firstly, in relation to my session: I was a part of a panel with Jari Hämäläinen, Director Strategic Technologies, Multimedia Strategy and Technology – Nokia and Bill Leslie, Chief Technology Officer, LongBoard – discussing ‘Readiness, availability and cost of converged services ‘

The biggest surprise for me was this:

Traditionally, my views don’t conform to the industry convention (Open Gardens, fixed rate pricing, VOIP, Naked SIP etc etc) .. However, I found an industry almost accepting some of these ideas as inevitable. Thus, I think we may well see a lot of change to the current status quo – which is a good thing!

The four key ideas I expressed in my panel discussion were(and these are reflected in my blog in general)

a) If a FMC salesman came calling, what would he say?

b) Most likely, it would be a ‘cost reduction’ proposition. That’s a big problem. The customers don’t believe it and its not a good business proposition

c) What’s the motivation for us, as an industry, to pursue FMC? In most western countries, there is 100% market penetration for both fixed and mobile devices. So, the only way to expand is for the fixed guys to poach mobile customers and vice versa. This explains the mating games between Fixed and Mobile Operators. This is in the industry’s interest – but is it in the consumer’s interest? Do they care what the industry’s problems are?

d) Finally, we all talk of IMS. All IP etc etc. But do we realise that the ethos of the Net leans to the Dumb pipe i.e. the value shifts to the periphery and the network becomes less intelligent?

This generated some interesting discussion. Most interesting for me was the views from Jari(Nokia) – which were very similar to my own. As was Jari’s presentation later on in the day. I have been always optimistic about Nokia and Jari’s vision was very interesting

Also, Luis Angel Galindo Sánchez, Senior Technology Strategy Expert, Telefonica España gave a presentation earlier in the day, which also reflected the same themes. Coming from an Operator, that was also very refreshing.

Besides Jari and Luis’s presentation, here are some other thoughts

a) FMC is still largely about Voice!

b) Enterprise apps may have many of the early gains

c) Avaya is certainly a disruptive solution and I suspect it is eating the Operator’s lunch with a simple, cost saving value proposition at the corporate level(single number, cheap calls from anywhere in the world routed through a single voice gateway)

d) Oddly enough, the Avaya service had no SMS – just voice! Odd!

e) IBM’s Jeanette Carlsson’s presentation(The impact of convergence on traditional business models: opportunities for the future) was one of the most comprehensive I have seen. It covered the full Quad play(including IPTV and Cable) and one of it’s key messages was the impact of the advertising model – something I agree to as well. I hope to blog more about Jeanette’s presentation when I get the softcopy because there was so much to cover and many interesting insights

f) Finally, Filip Lindell, Senior Manager Wireless Strategies, Ericsson gave a fantastic presentation from the device perspective – very technical and very comprehensive. Loved it! Also the topic of more than one future blogs

Amongst the attendees, were Dr Mun Geon Kyeong – Principal member of Technical Staff – Mobile Telecommunications Research Division ETRI(Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) – South Korea(same class of research institute as MIT )

We had a fascinating discussion on the potential of Software radio – something I must read up a bit more on

Many thanks to conference producer Dr Richard Walledge and his team at Visiongain (Shona McPartland,Shiobhan O’Shea and Andrew Beales) for this excellent conference and for inviting me on the panel and to Marina Gibbs Partner – Spectrum Strategy Consultants for chairing the session


  1. Ajit Jaokar says:

    test comment

  2. ken says:

    Do you have any thought on the grey sim switching that seems to be taking the market by storm.