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Fixed Mobile Convergence
T-109.7510 Research Seminar on Telecommunications
Business
Johanna Heinonen
Outline
• Introduction
• FMC overview
• Standards
• FMC network architecture
• End user services
• Influence to operator Business models
• Vendor strategies
• FMC challenges
• Conclusion
Introduction
• Fixed operators
• Many fixed phones replaced with mobile phones
• Mobile operators
• Lacking of high bandwidth
• Hybrid operators
• Expensive to maintain two separate networks
• Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs)
• Need to offer their services via different kinds of access networks
=> New strategies needed, FMC is one possibility
Introduction
• FMC gives possibilities to different types of operators:
• Fixed operators
• Possible to enhance their coverage area towards mobile access (WLAN, UMA)
• Mobile operators
• Possible to enhance their coverage area (e.g. UMA)
• Hybrid operators
• Can reduce costs by optimizing their networks
• Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs)
• Possible to utilize both fixed and mobile operators networks
Fixed Mobile Convergence
• FMC concept is not new
• FMC target:
To have all services seamlessly available from any network and with any terminal device
• Separate wireless and wireline networks will merge to one – several access
technologies available to access the network
• IMS architecture and SIP protocol are the main building blocks
• IMS handles SIP sessions between the terminals
Standards
• 3GPP
• IP Multimedia subsystem (IMS)
• IMS core in release 5
• Additions in release 6 (e.g. CS-IMS interworking, UMA)
• Standardization continues in release 7
• IETF
• SIP protocol
• ETSI TISPAN
• Fixed telephony network standardization
• Specifies IP and SIP based NGN architecture based on 3GPP IMS release 6
• OMA
• SIP based services
• Push-to-talk, presence
FMC Network Architecture
End User Services
• FMCA – Fixed mobile convergence association has listed convergence service scenarios
• Converged contacts – personal contact and address book in the network-based storage which
is accessible from anywhere
• Personal multimedia - secure access to the user’s multimedia content that is stored in home or
in the network from any device
• Multimedia call with data sharing service – possible to for the user to switch between voice
only GSM call and multimedia call containing e.g. picture or broadband-enabled TV
• Combinatorial services - based on availability of multiple connections (circuit and data) during
the same communication session
• Electronic Programme Guide service is listing available programmes that can be watched on
the mobile device or recorded on video recorder
• Automation control and monitoring service makes it possible to control various home based
tasks via the mobile device such as temperature and access
• Convergent call control provides the ability to automatically handle the call based on some
events. For example based on the information of the user’s electronic calendar, the location of
the user and the importance of the caller the call will be connected to the user or to the voice
mail
• Multimodal services include several scenarios where voice and data sessions are mixed
Influence to Operator Business Models
• FMC offers two main benefits to the operators:
• Interoperability
• reduction of the costs because common resources can be used
• FMC introduced step-by-step
• Operators want to exploit their existing investments
• Interworking with existing networks is important
• FMC solutions must be adjusted to each operator
• Investment plans of Finnish operators (Ficora)
• the amount of investments is going to increase because of the equipment needed for
convergence and next generation networks
• operators believe that they will get remarkable cost savings by using IP based
techniques
• Also they believe that convergence will bring new services for end users
Influence to Operator Business Models
• FMC is a continuously changing and complex environment which creates
uncertainties at technology, demand and strategy levels
• The technological uncertainties are caused by rapid technological development and
the developing standards
• What are the services that the users are willing to pay will be seen in the future. This
is causing uncertainty in demand level
• A clear framework is needed to prevent the operators to do costly mistakes by
entering and subsequently exiting non-core businesses and markets
Vendor Strategies
• Operators want to reuse their existing networks
=> This has to be taken into account by vendors
• Many vendors have different kinds of evolution paths and step-by-step network
introduction to the FMC and all IP networks
• Most of the vendors have taken an active role in many standardization bodies
=> standardization is a key issue if vendors want to provide solutions that can be
integrated to the equipment of other vendors
FMC Challenges
• Number plans and number portability
• Fixed and mobile numbers come from separate blocks and they have prefixes that contain
information for interconnection charging
• Currently there is separate fixed number portability and mobile number portability available but
not fixed/mobile number portability
• Directory services
• Fixed operators provide directory service to their customers. This catalogue contains information
on all fixed line customers
• Currently mobile operators do not offer this kind of service and mobile numbers are considered
as personal data
• Handset availability
• Always a problem in the early stages of any telecommunications technology
• Role of regulators
• not a task of regulators to decide the rules for FMC. Regulators should only set up the
environment so that the market forces can guide direction, extent and pace of FMC
• Since the definitions of information, data and entertainment has changed the rules related to
network and service providers should change accordingly
Conclusion
• FMC gives lots of possibilities but on the other hand it means also new
investments to operators
• Very complex networks
• Common standards have a great importance
• How much the end users are willing to pay for the services?
• Should VoIP services should be free of charge? (Skype)