Mobile phones are normally operating in cellular network for long distance communication to take place. While all these involve cost imposed by service provider that set up the infrastructure, but if there is chance that the user can utilize existing wireless technology such as WiFi 802.11a/b/g or even latest 802.11n for communication in the home, it would save you some bucks without utilizing airtime or long distance charges. Looking into this opportunity, Qualcomm and Nortel are putting in effort to roll out testing phase with dual-mode mobile phones that can hop between cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Apparently, this FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) technology has able to get much traction especially in the mobile market that is almost saturated with no breakthrough from manufacturers. As you aware, more and more services are made available by service providers and with the Nortel’s VCC (Voice Call Continuity) network solution and Qualcomm IMS/VCC client chipset integration, this could be one of the positive steps that we are looking forward. You can think of it as when you are moving from one place to another, you are still hopping to cellular network in different cells. But when you reach home, office or any available WiFi spots, the cellular network will switch to WiFi network directly for cost saving. Good thing is, the handover is totally transparent to the users with all the conversation uninterrupted.
The solution is expected to be available for the mobile market in the first quarter of 2008.