Chris Kranky

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FMC – fixed mobile convergence, just drop the “F”

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Wireless voice wins, game over. Working in the VoIP application space, the company's CTO was always calling me from down the hallway on my mobile phone despite me having a nice Polycom desktop set. I asked one day, "Why don't you call me on my desk phone?". His reply – "I don't have the number programmed in". The light didn't go on in him, but it did for me.

Recent studies are showing that of the current PBX originated calls (meaning outbound), that 60% are destined to be calling a mobile number, 31% calling to fixed line number and a mere 9% to an internal extension.

In an era of instance messaging and email, it's easier to use these methods to reach a colleague than to call and let's not forget the old fashioned method of just walking down the hallway. So as the industry talks about FMC – fixed mobile convergence. The question is why bother, it would seem the market is making it's own decision, drop the "F" and just converge to pure mobile.

Now this sure sounds like a great opportunity for a vendor to sell "new" applications for enterprise voice to a mobile operator. But wait, the mobile operator, to date, has done virtually nothing other than their standard service and yet business people are making mobile calls even while in the office. So why would they incur capital/operating expenses when they're already getting the business for free.

It's not yet clear what, if any, enterprise mobile voice application has real take-up rate, but what is clear, with each passing day, the enterprise PBX be it a Cisco Call Manager or open-source Asterisk PBX, the overall value to the business is diminishing.