There's been a ton of buzz this week coming out of the 3GSM conference in Spain concerning the coming wave of fixed-mobile convergence, with VoIP-on-mobile-phones being one area that gets lots of attention. However, if you pay attention to the details almost all of the announcements are about handsets hitting the market. There's very little about mobile operators being willing to offer handsets that will offer cellular service and VoIP service. That's because, as has been pointed out repeatedly, doing so would eat away at their voice minutes. So, remember that every time you hear some analyst firm talk about how big these converged offerings are going to be. That said, there will be some adoption going forward, as some mobile operators will take the plunge in attempts to differentiate their offerings. How far they push things, though, will be an important indicator. With all of that said, it's still amusing to see articles talking up just how big a "threat" the internet is to mobile operators. When you read news articles talking about how something is a threat, smart executives start combing through that threat to figure out where the opportunity is -- because any threat is usually a misunderstood opportunity to open up a bigger market by serving customers better. The real question is whether any of the big incumbents will recognize that -- or if they'll do their best to stomp out any upstarts who try to show them the way.
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