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VoWLAN Business Models:

How the wireless VoIP market catalyses fixed-mobile convergence

By Dean Bubley, June 2005

Note: this report was published in 2005, but correctly predicted the slow uptake of dual-mode devices, the underlying problems with UMA-based dual-mode solutions, and the rising importance of SIP-based alternatives. The qualitative commentary & quantitative forecasts remain accurate and relevant. All new purchases of this report will be updated with a free teleconference with the author, and preferential rates for on-site briefings and workshops. Please inquire for further details.












The report

Disruptive Analysis’ report, “VoWLAN Business Models: How the wireless VoIP market catalyses fixed-mobile convergence” is the most comprehensive review of the market for voice-over-WLAN products and services available with detailed analysis and recommendations.

The study provides rigorous argument and detailed quantitative forecasts of the future of VoWLAN. It assesses residential and corporate usage cases, both standalone and in “dual-mode” form with cellular telephony. The report examines the role of VoWLAN in driving forward various fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) business models.

Based on a research effort spanning 200+ interviews with key providers of handsets, network services, semiconductors, operator infrastructure and corporate networks, the study provides actionable, substantiated insights into this nascent market.


Key questions answered by the report

  • Does VoWLAN pose an opportunity or threat to mobile operators?
  • What are the practical issues that could derail new service launches?
  • Can fixed operators use VoWLAN to recapture revenues from mobile?
  • What are the differences between VoWLAN in enterprise and residential markets?
  • What are the underlying drivers for FMC and VoWLAN?
  • Which other FMC approaches and technologies compete with VoWLAN?
  • What will be the market size for VoWLAN phones and subscribers?
  • Is UMA a viable solution for VoWLAN? Or is it just a stop-gap?
  • Is “seamless roaming” really that important?
  • What will be the role of dual-mode, WiFi-enabled smartphones?
  • Is the market for VoWLAN-only phones important?
  • Who are the market leaders in providing VoWLAN and FMC solutions?
  • How can VoIP service providers and IP-PBX vendors gain leverage?

Selected topics and forecasts covered in the report

  • Market forecasts for 2005-9 for single- and dual-mode VoWLAN phones and users.
  • Segmentation and quantification by enterprise vs. consumer, and UMA vs. SIP-based solutions.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of key mobile operator, fixed carrier and enterprise-based VoWLAN solutions.
  • Competitive positions in handsets, IP-PBXs, network equipment and WLANs.
  • Specific actionable recommendations for each group of market participants.
  • Practical and commercial factors impacting uptake of technically-capable solutions.
  • Case study and analysis of BT Fusion, one of the first operator FMC launches.

Who will benefit from the report?

  • Mobile handset suppliers: understand the opportunity for dual-mode phones, and the key issues for user and operator acceptance .
  • Mobile operators and MVNOs: assess the threat of competitive wireless VoIP offerings, and understand if UMA or SIP better protects your revenue streams in the short and longer terms.
  • Fixed operators and competitive carriers: examine the potential of VoWLAN to reverse fixed-mobile substitution and form the basis of new services, in residential and enterprise context.
  • Broadband and cable service providers: evaluate alternative approaches to exploiting the VoIP and cellular opportunities, on your own or with partners.
  • ISPs and VoIP specialists: gain insight into how VoWLAN can help you win a slice of both fixed and mobile businesses.
  • IP-PBX vendors: understand the different business models emerging for enterprise FMC platforms, and whether cellular solutions pose a threat.
  • WLAN equipment suppliers: learn how to leverage the growth in WLAN deployments by optimising your products and marketing to support voice.
  • In-building wireless systems suppliers: determine whether you should be focusing on indoor cellular solutions, or embracing VoWLAN as a key part of your offering.
  • Semiconductor vendors: quantify your market opportunity for handset-based WLAN, and assess the requirements for different types of devices.
  • Cordless telephony manufacturers: assess the threat to conventional cordless posed by VoWLAN.
  • Mobile software suppliers: understand the key software and user interface needs for emerging VoWLAN phones.
  • Enterprise IT and telecoms departments: gain insight into the potential benefits of VoWLAN – and the possible practical issues that may limit its near-term deployment.
  • Investment banks: gauge the likely impact of VoWLAN at various points in the value chain, and understand potential indirect impacts on operator service pricing and profitability.
  • Venture capital firms: identify necessary new components of the VoWLAN ecosystem, and understand bottlenecks that could impede development of early business models.
  • Consultancies and integration houses: gain insight into the key issues in deployment of FMC solutions, for both service providers and enterprises.
  • Regulators: gain early warning of the changes that FMC and VoWLAN could bring to existing national and international markets for VoIP and mobile services.


Published June 2005

210 pages

Table of Contents

Table of Figures

Press release

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