Some interesting facts & figures from this morning's UMA webcast done jointly by Kineto & Orange.
France Telecom has an installed base of 4.8m LiveBox gateways (mostly in France), and has >140k Unik subscriptions & has sold >200k phones (also mostly in France). Current run rate sounds like around 25k phones a month.
Have to say I'm surprised by the statistic that 15-20% of calls involve a handover - much higher than I'd have anticipated, although there's a possibility of self-selection here: I imagine the proposition is much more attractive to people who use their phones at home a lot. It could also be they've tuned the LiveBox WiFi to a smaller range & so there's some occasional accidental handovers to the macro network.
By contrast BT is reported to have (still) only around 40k Fusion users, although it's a bit opaque about whether that's acccounts or phones. It has an installed base of "more than 1m" Home Hubs (I think it also said the same thing at end-2006, so I'd guess the number is a fair bit more by now).
Interestingly, although BT is being castigated for its slow growth, it looks like the penetration of dual-mode into homes with operator-provided gateways is broadly similar -around 3-4% (ie 140k against 4m LiveBox in markets where Unik has launched).
I've been saying for a while that UMA-based dualmode is only really an option when sold in conjunction with an operator's home gateway, in order to minimise costs of support & complexity of configuration, as well as enabling better QoS. It will be interesting to see if T-Mobile's promised full launch in the US will work around this and run over anyone's box/connection - as well as whether it incurs the wrath of Net Neutrality issues for running it's mobile service "across someone else's broadband".
One other thing occurred to me - I think that the French aren't quite as voracious as the British in demanding the latest, most expensive, flashiest phones (ideally subsidised down to £zero). This could mean that Orange has had an easier time than BT in pushing the early unsexy, low-end UMA phones. Unik also has more attractive pricing, reflecting France's hugely competitive voice marketplace, and can offer free on-net calls to other Orange mobiles (incurring no net interconnect costs obviously), which BT cannot match in the UK.
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