British Telecom Drops Fusion Fixed-Mobile Convergence System; Is FMC DOA?

from the next-time-don't-be-so-optimistic dept

British Telecom has pulled the plug on its Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) offering, Fusion. In 2005, the concept of Fixed Mobile Convergence was red hot. FMC involved using a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radio in a cell phone to transfer calls back and forth between the cellular network, and a broadband-based network in the home of office. Ostensibly, this would be appealing to subscribers because it would allow them to access cheaper VoIP tariffs, rather than cellular minutes, on the broadband network — thus saving money. However, we were initially skeptical of the appeal of this complicated product because last we heard, many subscribers don’t even use the mobile minutes they have bought each month. The complicated FMC phones cost more, use more battery, and offer very little by way of choice.

Meanwhile, carriers that did offer the service (Orange in France) had early success, but were then easily matched (warning: pdf!) by mobile carriers without FMC (Bouygues Telecom) that simply lowered their tariffs on calls made from the home cell tower. But in 2005, I got over-enthusiastic about British Telecom?s Fusion offering, because if FMC made sense for any carrier, it was this one. BT is the incumbent provider of broadband services in the UK, already offers the consumer premise equipment to subscribers, owns an outdoor Wi-Fi network, but does not own a mobile network. They pay wholesale rates to Vodafone and sell mobile as an MVNO. Thus, any traffic they can get off of Vodafone and onto the DSL would save real costs. Unfortunately, the subscribers didn?t see how lowering the costs for BT was particularly important to them. No surprise, really, since Mike noted that BT failed to pass over the lower costs to the subscribers. But in conclusion, if FMC failed at BT, where it fit best, it will be difficult to make a business case for it elsewhere.

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Companies: british telecom

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Comments on “British Telecom Drops Fusion Fixed-Mobile Convergence System; Is FMC DOA?”

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dorpass says:

Ok, may be comment on US market?!

Your link to T-Mobile commentary is for 2005. We are pretty solidly in 2008 right now, would you like to comment on T-Mobile’s @home offering? For those people that travel, wifi capability and hence VOIP, is quite a boon, since most hotels catering to businessmen offer wifi hotspots.
The 2005 commentary about the phones being complicated and power hungry no longer has as much relevance any more either, seeing how more than one phone offers this feature (I bet you can name one yourself off the top of your head) without much of a usability penalty.
This type of service might not become the de facto standard, but it certainly has its place in the market.

Most of the people I know says:

Place in the market

Most of the people I know who use this kind of service travel outside of the US. This allows them to have a US local number even when out of country if they are in reach of a wi-fi spot. This prevents them from having to use long distance calls or local sim cards while on travel.

And then there’s folks like me who just flat out don’t have any cell reception at there house. What would be really nice though is if I could get it to recognize my wifi network at home and then let me answer on any of my home phones with voip service.

jack (user link) says:

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nitestorm says:


Would actually be good if the handset worked within 5 meters of the wifi point… had a samsung handset and was completely useless in hotels and at home.. plus every time i tried to call BT to pay they had a billing system faliure or a complete system faliure or the guy on the end of the phone had such a strong foreign accent I could’nt understand them… oh and couldnt register my account for online billing as it didnt recognise my account, so left several messages asking about it….guess what…a system problem… switched to vodaphone, appauling service.

sirgeraldbirkiin says:


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!! A recent article states that “FMC Telecom is adding SMS to the company fold”. This is nothing but MORE name-dropping and empty technology dribble to form ANOTHER “shell” holding company for Ed Berkhof. Who does he think he is? Allen Stanford? Ed Berkhof and his previous co-conspirator, Sidney D. “Trip” Camper used name dropping, donations to St. Jude’s, and falsified tax documents to gain trust and get private investors to hand over thousands of dollars in cash, trips to England, and ultimately control of their company. Ed berkhof is NOT a president or COO of anything – Ed Berkhof is a third rate bass player looking for another victim to give him money so he can pay his creditors = PONZI. SEC files state that Sidney Trip Camper was fired from Elandia by Allen Stanford when the Ahkoy family’s business fell victim to investment fraud. Before the ink was dry on his resignation letter, Trip Camper and Ed Berkhof were already busy ruining ANOTHER company – in Los Angeles. Trip Camper and Ed Berkhof illegally signed over company stock to themselves and eventually performed a hostile takeover and ruined an honest and profitable company. The FBI has nabbed Allen Stanford and is now looking for other schemers in his network like Sidney D. Trip Camper and Ed Berkhof.

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