A lot of the new business models around fixed-mobile convergence, or triple/quad-play, seem to assume that a whole household will willingly switch to a single service provider.
I can certainly see why operators would dearly love this to occur - ARPU and margin uplift from bundling, customer lock-in, and easier support calls (no finger-pointing or 3rd party equipment).
But is this unreasonable? It strikes me that "in the real world" there's a whole host of reasons why operators may have to deal with heterogeneous, multi-provider households:
- One family member has a company-supplied mobile phone with a different operator
- Family members unwilling to switch ISP, owing to use of email addresses
- "Content lock-in" - eg if someone is silly enough to have their music collection tied to a specific operator's services
- A given market has two "dual-mode" operators, each providing their own home gateway, and two family members independently buy one of each
- Shared households of students / young professionals
- Increasing use of long-term contracts over 24 months inhibiting migration
- Regulatory reasons prohibiting "single phone number" or "fixed+mobile" services
- People moving home to areas with different DSL / cable availability
... and so on. All of these strike me as possible problems in reaching the "single operator utopia". Together, it wouldn't surprise me if this reduces the addressable market for such services to under 30% of what more optimistic planners may expect at first.
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