Perfect Storm of Demand Stimulators Combine for Cellular/VoWLAN Pull Strategy

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InfoTech releases mobile communications study delineating “pull” strategy in enterprise cellular/VoWLAN solutions.

A classic “pull” strategy is unfolding around enterprise cellular/VoWLAN solutions, according to a new mobile communications study issued by InfoTech.

“Deliberate or not, we have a number of activities working together to stimulate enterprise demand for dual-mode solutions that barely exist. This, in turn, exerts pressure on lagging players to participate in getting the nascent dual-mode capability to market,” stated Jeanine Sterling, vice president and senior program director of the “InfoTrack for Enterprise Mobility” (IEM) program.

Half of the U.S. enterprise decision-makers recently interviewed by InfoTech for its Dual-Mode Cellular/VoWLAN Solutions: Enterprise Preferences and Plans report already have had a cellular/VoWLAN solution pitched to them by an outside party – typically by an IP-PBX manufacturer.

U.S. companies are also more likely than their EMEA counterparts to be hearing about dual-mode solutions from multiple parties. And enterprises are enthusiastic about what they’re hearing. Despite the technology and standards challenges that still exist with a cellular/VoWLAN solution and its implementation, 76 percent of U.S. interviewees and more than 90 percent of EMEA interviewees predict they will have at least some of their mobile workers using a dual-mode phone by early 2009.

“Cellular carriers have been described as one of the last holdouts when it comes to buying into providing a converged Cellular/VoWLAN capability,” added Sterling. “But one of the realities they have to be facing up to is the growing strength of end-user expectations and demand.”

In marketing terms, a pull strategy is developing. Enterprises are being pulled in by a perfect storm of demand stimulators. And they are beginning to create a level of expectation that the cellular carriers cannot ignore. Interest in cellular/VoWLAN solutions is being stimulated in the enterprise market on a number of simultaneous fronts – including the introduction of handset prototypes, the selling tactics of IP-PBX vendors, the imminent opening of retail stores (and direct touch) by device manufacturers, and a steady stream of high-profile articles in industry publications.

“The enthusiasm expressed by our U.S. and EMEA interviewees for the converged cellular/VoWLAN concept should give industry stakeholders a sense of the magnitude of pent-up demand that is building,” stated Sterling. “In our competitive telecom market, no one wants to look like a laggard. We all know the significant barriers that exist to implementation of this technology. But the question in the business user’s mind is not ‘if’ – it’s ‘when.’ Industry stakeholders, including cellular carriers, must be prepared to answer customer questions and furnish timelines around converged cellular/VoWLAN communications.”

About InfoTech:

InfoTech, part of The Telecom Intelligence Group, publishes a series of 10 reports per year on enterprise mobile communications as part of its InfoTrack for Enterprise Mobility program. Its just-released report, Dual-Mode Cellular/VoWLAN Solutions: Enterprise Preferences and Plans, examines current enterprise thinking around emerging cellular/VoWLAN communications solutions. It also analyzes resulting impacts on the single-mode WLAN-only phone as its dual-mode counterpart enters the market.

For more information on the IEM program and the Dual-Mode Cellular/VoWLAN Solutions report, please contact Craig Born, (973) 602-0123.

About The Telecom Intelligence Group:

The Telecom Intelligence Group includes market intelligence provider InfoTech; TelecomWeb and TelecomWeb news break; newsletters Wireless Business Forecast, Broadband Business Forecast, Telecom Policy Report and Inside Digital TV; tariff consultancy Tarifica; and the Web-based business telephony product database TelecomTactics.


Sharon Valencik, research director



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