Monday, March 03, 2008

VCC?!?! Still??? Really???

VCC, or voice call continuity, seems to still be hanging around in parts of the industry. I must say I continue to be shocked that anyone would even consider it.

First, it must be getting close to done, but for some baffling reason is not completed yet. I think VCC started back in 2005, the same as UMA. If you recall, UMA was actually ratified by the 3GPP in April 2005 (2G) and has since added 3G support, all in the same timeframe that VCC is still languishing.

My position has been and continues to be that VCC is for fixed operators. They have SIP core switches (a VCC requirement) and no direct connection to the mobile service core. I think dual-mode service for fixed operators is a tough sell for many reasons far beyond technology.

Of course, UMA is a 3GPP technology, therefore CDMA networks don’t have an equivalent approach. Some have suggested that these operators may opt for a dual-mode handset/VCC offer, but I think mobile operators in general are too smart to fall for the vendor community’s push on VCC.

VCC offers a different set of services to subscribers when on Wi-Fi than what’s available on the macro network. This is because the handset connects to the SIP core when on Wi-Fi, and to the MSC when on cellular. Different core networks support different services. It’s inconceivable to me that any mobile operator would attempt to roll out a service which didn’t work the same across the entire network.

Frankly the CDMA operators are simply going to do femtocells for their ‘home zone’ service offers. Witness Sprint and Airave. They must have a response to Wi-Fi-based home zone offers like T-Mobile’s HotSpot @Home, and femtocells are a viable alternative.

UMA is the only viable technology for dual-mode services. Period.

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