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Fixed Mobile Convergence (McGraw-Hill Communications Series)

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It would be an understatement to say that a book on fixed-mobile convergence is very he was convinced that mobile phones work off the satellites up in the sky—how an educated person in our enlightened times can be so technically unaware! We then kept him amused for about 15 minutes with a description of a highly developed terrestrial infrastructure of cell sites, access network, backhaul transport network, core network, and so on. That small incident, however, got us thinking: What does user experience have to do with the underlying technology? People have other things to worry about when selecting a service or product. It has to fill a set of needs, be easy to use, and have a reasonable price—as any MBA student should readily confirm.

Take telecommunication, for example: Why should today’s subscriber to telecommunication services be constantly aware of the technology being used and juggle between different and often very dissimilar devices, phone numbers, and bills? Why should you, the consumer, have to search for a mobile phone to look up a contact in a contact list to make a call on landline? Why are up to 20 percent of all SMS messages sent to landline numbers (in countries with a common numbering prefix for landline and mobile numbers) and lost forever? Why are up to 10 percent of all enterprise and institutional users keeping their landline phones forwarded to their mobile phones 50 percent of the time, and as a result often paying double fees?

Pity the poor user! Individuals and organizations paying a premium for fixed and mobile telecommunication services do not have to be content with a thus-degraded user experience or an antiquated landline communication model dating back more then 100 years. The users should not be forced to rely on their technology savvy to make the most of the service or product. And that is just the beginning of our problems. There is a greater hurdle (stemming from the technology gone rampant) to overcome: complexity.
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