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Telecoms Join To Develop Wireless-Wireline Convergence

An alliance of large telecommunications operators from around the world was formed Wednesday to encourage the convergence of fixed line and mobile telephony and data services.

Founding members of the Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance (FCMA) include U.K.'s BT, Brasil Telecom, Korea Telecom, Japan's NTT, Rogers Wireless and Swisscom. In a statement, the company said that, in addition to the founding members, 15 other telecommunications operators from around the world have expressed interest in joining.

The group said that one of the key aims is to work with telecommunications equipment vendors to create standards-based infrastructure equipment.

Some members of the group have already pressed ahead in converging wireless and wireline communications. BT, for instance, has previously announced it will release phones later this year that can access both wireless and wireline networks.

One of the founding members of the group, Swisscom, described fixed-mobile convergence as technology that will "remove the distinction between fixed and mobile networks creating seamless services using a combination of fixed broadband and local access wireless technologies."