I can see a bit of a problem emerging with the new class of quadplay and FMC services. Most of them need some sort of "box" in the home, usually with WiFi included for local-area connectivity.
The culprits are:
- the usual DSL/cable router
- TV set-top box for cable/satellite/digital terrestrial
- an operator-custom FMC gateway for dual-mode phones (probably integrated with the router)
- operator-provided residential pico/femtocells (again, possible integrated into a router)
- cellular-backhauled fixed modems
- some sort of WiMAX termination
- anything integrated with the TV/gaming/audio system using WiFi
- probably a bunch of other things I've forgotten about
The problem comes with households with multiple people. All the operators I speak to have the vision of being the sole household quadplay provider, with one "Hub" gateway box for all the family's services.
I reckon that's unrealistic. What happens where one of the parents gets a work-provided mobile from another operator? Or if one of the kids really likes an MVNO like Helio which gives dual-mode phones? Or if people upgrade to a Fusion-type device and it comes with a free hub?
Bottom line is that some (most?) families are likely to get multiple FMC/gateway/picocell type boxes. Do they keep switching them over? Buy an ethernet hub & connect all of them? "daisy-chain" them via WiFi?
I see technical support nightmares ahead.....