It is difficult to think of a term which is used more than "convergence"--as in WiFi-cellular convergence--to describe trends in wireless communication. Andrew Burger discusses the difficulties convergence will have to overcome before it becomes commonplace. Here is a short list of the difficulties standing in the way of the vision of converging quad-play services that integrate fixed and mobile telecommunications:
- A multitude of emergent technical standards and formats constrain the distribution of content. A lack of standardization of network speeds, routing management, data storage capacity, power usage and digital rights management all continue to hobble the industry.
- More participants from different markets and disciplines are moving into the smartphone market.
- Even though WiFi radios are cheap, the software--especially for roaming--is cumbersome, and energy consumption is still a problem.
- Poorly designed user interfaces are an impediment to increased smartphone usability.
- Upstream access and application issues are problems, especially when it comes to m-commerce.
For more on the state of convergence:
- see Andrew Burger's ecommercetimes discussion