FMC will find a home

If last year's promises of fixed-mobile convergence deployments are to be believed, 2007 will be the year FMC finally finds a home. European carriers like the U.K.'s O2, British Telecom and France's Orange have already announced some details about their planned FMC launches this year. O2 has even made the bullish move to deploy femtocells to extend 3G coverage in the home, in lieu of using a technology like Kineto's UMA to make the connection. Femtocells used for FMC could have an added bonus: Current Analysis has suggested that carriers with cable MSO partnerships, like Sprint, are more likely to deploy femtocells in the home because the extended 3G coverage will make using multimedia services far more fluid. Femtocells, after all, would offload traffic onto the DSL provider, sometimes a cable MSO, so an inexpensive network licensing deal with them would be necessary to make the pricepoints work.

While I don't expect any of the big four U.S. carriers to deploy an FMC solution this year, we should see plenty of trials by year-end. Agressive MVNOs like Helio are also likely to launch FMC services this year, but the majority of deployments for 2007 will be in Europe.