FMC services appeared on the telecommunication market about 10 years ago. Firstly, the great hopes were put on it but they didn’t balk and the interest in FMC noticeably waned. However, it is growing again and this phenomenon has become the theme of the conference “FMC — 2009”.
In the latest 90th of the last century when the FMC (Fixed Mobile Conference) concept appeared, it seemed that uniting the opportunities of the fixed and mobile communication would have brought marvelous result that would allow mobile and traditional carriers competing for the place on the market with the internet arrivistes like Google or Skype. However, the first and the further projects launched in the West and in Russia showed that there won’t be the mass demand on the FMC in the nearest future. None of “boom supplies” which by A.Golyshko (Intellect-Telecom) should force 100 million people to spend extra $10 monthly won’t be.
Despite the serious age by the telecommunications market, the FMC conception in commercial equivalent has not drawn to a head, and demand on FMC-products has not formed yet. The marketing departments of the operators are not ready to explain the clients the advantages of the convergent services. There are not so many of them on the Russian market: united telephone number, the call transferring and access to the corporate data bases via mobile phones.
Nevertheless, FMC products are offered by many Russian operators. “The Big Three” is taken in it seriously. And their involvement into this process scarcely will have allowed in the nearest future solving regulatory problems of FMC in Russia (clause “Elimination of the baseless obstacle for FMC services rendering” is figured in the plan of the work group based in Mincomsvyaz RF). Actually, the operators have learned to create the schemes to render the services without the Regulator claims, so the official “elimination of the baseless obstacles” won’t cause the boom.
“The Big Three” delegates that appeared on the conference agreed that FMC didn’t yield a great return. According to V.Kuzitchev, Megafone-Moscow Development Director the major priority for operators to develop FMC is “not being worth the others”, otherwise, the part of the subscribers can move to the competitor because it has such service. Y.Babkina, “Vympelcom” FMC Officer, agrees: “FMC products are a way to keep current clients but not to get new ones”. Besides, FMC products give an opportunity to sale the other services that bring the more significant profit. Many subscribers have necessity in the additional services, but necessity in FMC is so low. To create in the competent work is necessary. And firstly it is important to teach the sales managers that have knowledge only in mobile or in fixed telephony field (such a problem “Vympelcom” faced with when merged Golden Telecom).
The most important reason for client to choose FMC solution is ability to save. As noted V.Kuzitchev, if the fixed and mobile services provided by the only operator are cheaper than to buy them separately so the negotiations will be, visa versa, the client won’t listen to the product advantages.
Economical “hook” has become the recipe for success of the “Mobile office” — the last FMC product offered in 2008 by Gars Telecom, the Russian FMC market veteran. “Mobile office” allows transferring the standard functions of the fixed telephony to the mobile ones and some cases to save refusing the fixed telephony service. Certainly, this product disclaims becoming the massive. It is obviously the niche one. But it is popular in its niche and exceeds any expectations of the developers of the product according to P.Gorenkov, Gars Telecom CEO.
Even the each FMC product that has ever existed on the market used to be the niche one. However it isn’t decrease the FMC conception value. It’s important, that companies don’t spend lots of money on the losing attempts to make such product massive. There is the happiness in the niche.