Delivering FMC remains critical, even while users adopt 5G. Can you offer converged services?
Despite the surging interest in – and growing adoption of - 5G, business communications needs remain largely unchanged. What matters is ensuring true convergence, across all available networks. While some markets lack such solutions, they are, in fact, readily available.
5G isn’t the answer by itself – currently, it’s just another network
A recent article by industry analyst Michael Finneran neatly summarised some of the issues regarding the gap between capability and experience that are beginning to emerge with 5G. Focusing on “capabilities”, the author makes the serious point that, ultimately, what matters is, “what can 5G do for me”?
Businesses are asking this question, right now, so mobile network operators ought to have a ready-made answer. However, while 5G gives better speed and capacity, many of the future B2B applications have little to do with personal (person to person) communications, and more to do with industrial control processes or healthcare applications, for example. So, while personal communications remains essential, it’s not necessarily obvious that 5G confers any specific advantage. So, what does matter?
What really matters for business communications?
As the author notes, what matters is unifying communications and enabling effective team collaboration. It doesn’t matter how big or small a business is, these concerns apply to all. The scope of the collaboration or extent of communications needs may differ with the increased complexity of larger organisations, but the fundamental needs don’t change:
- People want to be able to ensure that calls to the organisation are answered
- People inside and outside the organisation need to be able to reach the right person
- Teams and organisational units can be created, with effective communications between and within them
The author goes on to provide a historical overview of efforts to deliver such services by various providers. With reference to mobile initiatives, he writes: “But these solutions were terminally hamstrung by limitations in the device architecture (resulting in the “inconvenient phone call”) along with a cellular network that offered no network connection equivalent to a “trunk,” the bridge we would need for meaningful interconnection of the PBX and cellular environments.”
He adds, “these offerings seems to operate in its own isolated silo, and none has managed to deliver enough user interest to move the mobile Centrex needle off zero.”
This is where we beg to differ. Cellular and mobile networks can easily be bridged with fixed environments, including legacy PBX platforms.
FMC has long been a reality – with true mobile integration
It may be that in US markets, viable FMC propositions haven’t emerged, but that’s definitely not the case in Europe. While plenty of organisations have used cloud-hosted collaboration platforms, the fundamental communications devices remain mobile and fixed phones – albeit that the latter seems, finally, to be in decline in some countries. As a result, ensuring tight integration for business communications across mobile and fixed remains a fundamental necessity – and is readily achievable.
After all, it’s what we’ve been doing, across different generations of network technology, for nearly 20 years. So, given that 5G is inescapable, what does this mean for the delivery of FMC solutions? In the short term, not much.
Delivering FMC across all networks is now essential
Business communications needs haven’t changed. They may have broadened in scope, but the need to ensure consistent experiences across mobile and fixed access remains. And, many operators in Europe have successfully deployed fully converged fixed and mobile communications for businesses, based on our solutions – more than 8 million business users enjoy the capabilities they offer.
So, the answer to the question is that 5G is simply another (faster) way of accessing the same services. The question really should be, can you as an MNO ensure that your business communications service portfolio can adapt to encompass all connected networks?
If the answer is no, then you should talk to us – we can help you with a converged solution that spans mobile and fixed IP Centrex, with complete integration with your networks.