Convergence – AT&T’s and Cisco’s Strategy

Posted on: March 11, 2010
Posted in Strategy

Convergence - AT&T's and Cisco's Strategy
The below device is called a femtocell / microcell. Femtocells are really the first real-life incarnation of what’s known as “fixed / mobile convergence”, so they deserve some attention in that context.
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AT&T’s microcell is designed by Cisco. This is another consumer end market Cisco is pushing into, and indicative of why they need you to care about their revamped “human network” strategy and branding.

Basically a femtocell gives you 5 bars in your home/office. Think about how many dropped calls you get while at home. These would disappear (assuming your phone did the dropping).

Real quick background: femtocells connect to a broadband router. The cellular signal only travels from your cell phone to the femtocell. That’s it. No talking to an outside basestation (calls/data are immediately converted to IP packets over the internet backbone).Truly a converged device.

Here is why mobile convergence is a strategic part of AT&T’s vision:

Here is whymobile convergence isa strategic part of Cisco’s vision:

Back to femtocells / microcells: Initially, perhaps only households with poor signal will be attracted. But Gen 2 boxes will integrate the femtocell technology into home gateway boxes whether you use it or not (it will be activated as a feature if you need it).

Of course the femtocell is just one auxiliary device in the convergence that’s happening, but it’s strategically important fort both companies, and it could be a real winner when AT&T starts nationwide mass deployments (likely Q2 this year).

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