Nearly a month ago, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs told me that wireless telephony is moving toward wVoIP and fixed mobile convergence at a rapid pace: "Basically what's happening is we're headed toward flat rate pricing plans and buckets of minutes, once that happens subscribers become a cost to the operator and not revenue anymore. So the operators are interested in fixed-mobile convergence. If you can off-load traffic while maintaining call-continuity, the same number and all that then they'll do it not because it's a coverage issue but because it's a cost issue."
Last week we noted that some industry pundits believe the AT&T/SBC megamerger was a play for IMS and a wireless VoIP-enabled enterprise: AT&T's citywide WiFi network in Riverside, CA was once a threat to Cingular's 3G business, which both SBC and AT&T had a stake in, but now the merged company can freely sell 3G or WiFi access to customers--or both. You can bet that AT&T's managed WiFi hotspots and the proliferation of WiFi networks in the enterprise is leading toward a wireless VoIP enterprise. Soon enough AT&T will retail dual-mode handsets. AT&T has a lot of Fortune 500 clients, many of whom will be wVoIP-equipped before the carrier rolls out IMS.
wVoIP begs more attention and FierceWireless has answered that call: Next week, we'll be one week away from wVoIP 2006 (Nov 7-8 in San Francisco), the wireless industry's only event focused on wireless VoIP. This is our second annual executive summit on wVoIP and you can expect the same great line-up of wireless luminaries with some recent additions, including:
- Scott Miller, Head of Business Development, North America, Skype
- Jim Bagnato, Director of Voice Services, EarthLink
- Niall Murphy, Co-Founder & CTO, The Cloud
- Jeff Thompson, President & COO, Towerstream
- Rachna Ahlawat, Research Director, Wireless Networking, Gartner
- Mukesh Ahuja, VP of Marketing and Sales, MINO
As you may recall, U.K. service provider The Cloud launched an "all-you-can-eat" pricing scheme that includes wireless VoIP calls. The $15 per month plan includes 7,000 WiFi hotspots around the U.K. and in all major U.K. cities. This is probably the first test of how alternative wireless VoIP providers will impact the mobile market. Register for wVoIP today! And use my last name "DOLAN" as your promo code to save an additional $300.- Brian