UMA and dual-mode subscribers will quadruple in number in 2007, from fewer than 400,000 in 2006, and reach 18m in 2011, forecasts Pyramid Research in its latest report: Fixed-Mobile Convergence: What Works, What Doesn't and the MNO's Path to Substitution.
"There will be a large number of launches in the next 2-3 years, but our outlook on FMC adoption is moderate," says Svetlana Issaeva, Senior Manager of CMT and author of the report. "We expect to see more teething problems with FMC services in the short term, and only a few of the commercial offers will become immediate commercial successes."
The report found that as expected, total FMC revenue generated in the pioneer markets will remain minute. Pyramid Research forecasts global revenue from FMC will grow from about US$130m in 2006 to nearly US$9bn in 2011. However, that figure will account for only 1.9% of the total mobile demand at that time.
"European markets—and after 2007, Japan and Korea—will lead the adoption of consumer FMC services," adds Issaeva. "However, the demand among the mass market users is still unproven, the number of devices is small, and the search is still on for the right positioning and pricing of FMC services. All this will hold back the consumer adoption."
The demand among business customers already exists, yet the IMS technology underlying the future FMC business services will not be ready for another several years, which means that adoption in this segment will also remain small.