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Femtocell FMS in the Enterprise

In the previous post I explain in short what Fixed-Mobile Substitution (FMS) and Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) are. FMC has been around for more than 5 years, but has never achieved wide enterprise adoption. In a recent article in RCRWireless Josh Holbrook of the Yankee Group claims that FMC has proved to be a failure in the enterprise, although the functionality it enables is compelling and the technology is mature.

Femtocells represent a new opportunity for FMS in the Enterprise. They provide the same functionality of FMC, but with a few critical advantages. One is that femtocells are controlled and managed by the cellular operator. Another advantage is that they work with any mobile handset, and not only with the small selection of UMA-enabled handsets.

An interesting example is the enterprise GSM service of Spring Mobil in Sweden. It was founded in 2002 with the goal of providing FMS services to the Swedish Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market, and started full-scale commercial operation in 2005. Using femtocells in the customer premise, Spring Mobil offers a complete FMS service with the full range of PBX functionalities inside as well as outside of the office.

Spring Mobil is the first in a group of similar operators called OnePhone. OnePhone has recently announced a joint venture with Dutch KPN to launch its service in Germany. It is targeting enterprises with 30-1500 employees, and intends to achieve “a double digit percentage market share in Germany’s business customers’ segment.”

OnePhone appear to be early movers in a market I believe has great potential. It will be extremely interesting to follow-up on their progress.

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