Unlicensed Mobile Access Opening up Residential Telephone Market to Mobile Carriers

55 million Dual Mode Subscribers Forecasted by 2010


Deployment of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology will enable mobile phone carriers to accelerate residential telephone fixed-to-wireless substitution while increasing ARPU and decreasing churn. This convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular networks will generate an estimated $1.6 billion in new revenues for these carriers by 2010 in the U.S. alone. These are some of the key findings from a new research report: “UMA and Beyond: Mobile Operators Benefit from Wi-Fi and Cellular Convergence"

The new report assesses the technology and market potential of UMA and other Wi-Fi and cellular convergence solutions in the residential, enterprise, and hotspot market. It includes an extensive forecast of worldwide demand and revenues for converged Wi-Fi and cellular services, and an in-depth analysis of the effect that Wi-Fi and cellular convergence will have on traffic over fixed and cellular lines.

Other key findings from the report:

  • UMA enables GSM mobile operators to offer fully converged connectivity using their existing core network. Subscribers will be able to seamlessly roam from the cellular network to a WLAN, maintaining their call as they move from one to the other.
  • Traditional landline telephone companies stand to lose revenues from the increased fixed-to-wireless substitution. Minimum loses for these companies are forecasted to reach US$399 million by 2010.
  • Development of UMA-enabled handsets will create the economies of scale needed to lower the price and improve the performance of Wi-Fi and cellular handsets.
  • VoIP service providers may find UMA services to be a new source of competition. Mobile carriers are expected to offer plans comparable to current VoIP unlimited plans and the functionality offered would be very similar.
  • Carrier revenues from phone calls in hotspots are incremental to residential service but by itself do not represent either an opportunity to generate huge new revenues. Hotspot service is also not expected to cannibalize existing incomes as the density of hotspots is too low to give wide coverage.


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