Australia is behind the rest of the world when it comes to being ready for fixed mobile convergence, according to Ovum consulting senior analyst David Kennedy.
Speaking at an Alcatel conference in Sydney yesterday, Kennedy said the world falls into three different categories of readiness -- those set to go, those not ready and those that are unsuitable including Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
He said in FMC-ready markets like Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore there are high levels of fixed and broadband penetration.
"Customers understand the benefits of fixed-mobile integration," he said.
In Australia and New Zealand low broadband penetration is reducing the scope for IP networking.
"Without the opportunity for full IP service, it is not as attractive," he said.
Alcatel Asia Pacific vice president Christian Reinaudo said customers want personalized and user-centric broadband services and in the future there would be increasing demand for multimedia services, especially video services.
"The number of IPTV users will increase from 2.6 million today to between 70 to 100 million worldwide; in Asia Pacific IPTV users are expected to increase from just under a million to 16.5 million by 2010," he said.
"The adoption of convergence in Asia Pacific is big and diverse -- it is at the top of the agenda. Across the whole platform, cost-effectiveness is the key driver."
Reinaudo said the cost of infrastructure is important in developing markets.
Alcatel CTO Vince Pizzica said the roadmap in 15 to 20 years is moving to voice-based services but recognized IP as "pretty important". There will be more similarities and the networks will become more blended.