Internet Solutions (IS) has begun development of its fixed mobile convergence (FMC) services, with corporate "on-campus" calls the first sector to benefit from projected cost savings.
“Statistics show that up to 80% of corporate employees are mobile, in or around their main office building. They are what we refer to as the ‘corridor warrior’,” says Justin Spratt, head of FMC services at IS.
“Many GSM calls start and end inside the same building due sometimes to laziness. or convenience. Cost-wise, for a corporate, it’s a totally unnecessary expense.
"Corporates are spending up to 30% of their call costs from fixed line to cellular. Companies are also frequently subsidising GSM bills and many calls made by employees as they are made from a cell phone to numbers within the campus or to a fixed line, where using a fixed line to make this call would be far more cost effective. Employees use the most convenient and easy methods at hand.”
FMC from IS will initially address seamless switching between GSM and wireless connections.
Advancements in wireless technology with meshed wireless networks makes this a simple reality at relatively low capital costs.
“Imagine receiving a call from colleagues on your cell phone without using the GSM network at all. Or, in a wireless area, making a call from your cell phone which uses your corporate PABX to terminate the call over fixed line – thus using cheaper least cost routing (LCR) – or back wirelessly to another colleague who is actually on campus,” says Spratt. “The cost savings to the company are significant.”
The technology requires handsets which support wireless connectivity, interfaces into a VoIP network and a wireless connection.
“Most handsets these days have built in wireless, corporate have wireless networks, and with the growth of clients using VoIP and IS VoIS (Voice over IS) community, we will have the ability to make a difference to corporates telephony bills in a very real way,” says Spratt.
“Add roaming to our country wide hotspots available in more than 300 locations around the country and we have a good starting network, especially since around 70% of all calls emanate from inside buildings, home or work, or wireless areas.
“The FMC services can also be expanded to locations such as hotspots as well as wireless networks at home, or through SIP clients on users' desktops.
"The initial wireless/GSM handoff is really just the tip of the iceberg, with PABX functionality and consumer services, single number integration and presence awareness for multiple numbers being only small leaps from the initial offerings.
"IS plans to launch FMC services within the next couple months as proof of concept to corporate clients. We expect this to be a large growth space and something corporate and consumers alike will be watching with eagerness,” Spratt adds.