Fixed-mobile Convergence - Carrier FMC Compared

Carrier FMC Compared

The path of a call transits both the service provider network and the enterprise network, and the mobility controller can be located almost anywhere on that path. If it is in the service provider network the system is termed carrier-based FMC, if in the enterprise network, enterprise FMC. This is the defining characteristic of enterprise FMC.

Most carrier FMC is aimed at the consumer market, but some implementations support enterprise features like PBX mobility. Carrier-based FMC can support PBX mobility either by installing a PBX mobility control device near the PBX in the enterprise network (the method used by Tango Networks), or by offering the PBX functionality as a network service such as Centrex (the method used by Sotto Wireless) or by offering a mobile device abstraction service as a network service whereby the cell phone is emulated into a SIP end-point at the level of the mobile network (the method used by ESCAUX Fixed-Mobile Unification).

Carrier FMC normally uses one of two technologies to implement session continuity, VCC or unlicensed mobile access, also known as Generic Access Network or UMA. UMA is an older technology, which transports GSM packets through the IP network; the handset uses the same GSM signaling stack for Wi-Fi calls as for cellular. With the predicted conversion of the carrier networks to all-IP, UMA has been superseded by VCC, which uses SIP signaling.

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