DT kills off FMC offeringDT kills off FMC offering
March 14, 2007
German carrier Deutsche Telekom is reported to have quietly pulled the plug on its domestic fixed mobile convergence (FMC) service, T-One, almost a year to the day since it launched.
T-One, which launched at the CeBit trade fair last year, provided users with a device that allowed them to make reduced price calls over wifi either at home or at a hotspot, or cellular calls when out and about.
The service followed in the footsteps of similar FMC offerings from BT and France Telecom but slipped up in a market considered something of an anomaly in terms of fixed mobile substitution.
Germany has seen explosive growth in adoption of home zone services, such as the @Home service provided by T-Mobile, which launched in the spring of 2006.
Home zone services do not require the user to have any fancy gadgetry and as it only uses the cellular network, there is no messy handover bit.
All that is required is a regular mobile phone and cheap, fixed line replacement calls are only made from the ‘home’ cell. T-Mobile’s home zone services allow users to make cheap calls up to 2km from their home, whereas FMC over UMA is limited by the range of the connection technology (Bluetooth or wifi).
More than 1.1 million customers in Germany had selected T-Mobile @Home by the end of 2006. By comparison, T-One is thought to have bagged only 10,000 subscribers in the past year.
Carrie Pawsey, analyst with Ovum, said that T-One, as a SIP-based service, suffered from a lack of seamless handover and handset choice. T-Mobile only introduced one compatible device.
However, the analyst notes that while homezone offerings have become the de facto tariff in Germany, operators suffer from large cell sizes, which mean they potentially lose revenue from calls made outside the home.
And whilst not a problem in Germany, poor indoor coverage is expected to mean that FMC services in other European countries do not come under the same threat from homezone services as they did in Germany. Although Deutsche Telekom is thought to have another FMC service in the works.
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