Convergence is a term widely used in technology with different meanings:
– Device Convergence: mobile phone, digital camera, PDA, GPS, media player, email, data modem, e-wallet, etc. all into a single device
– Fixed / Mobile Convergence. Fixed and Mobile operators offering similar services across networks.
– Prepaid/Postpaid Convergent rating. Mobile operators looking for a single rating engine, so that they do not have to replicate it for Prepaid and Postpaid systems, and so that Postpaid users are also controlled in real-time, as Prepaid users are.
– IT / Telecom Convergence. Many network systems are already based on IT technologies, using same databases (MySQL, Oracle) and OS (Linux, Solaris), only reinforcing the defense mechanisms to make them “Carrier-grade”. Vendors as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia-Siemens and Ericsson are already transforming into Telecom-specialized IT/Systems Integrators.
But no Convergence has a bigger impact and transforming power as the Convergence of Telecom, Internet and Media.
As Scott McNealy, Sun Chairman, reportedly said : “I have explained to every telco that either you become a destination site, or the destination site will become a telco.”
Telcos are investing not to get marginalized to only bit pipes, but rather use content as part of their value proposition, and capture the Advertisement revenues, that otherwise will flow directly to Internet and Media companies. Below, some examples of Tier 1 telcos running for Convergence: