The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) and the Fixed Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA) has entered a formal partnership to increase global delivery of converged devices and services.

The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) and the Fixed Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA) have entered a formal cooperation agreement that will see the two leading bodies collaborate towards ensuring widespread availability of fully interoperable home gateways, access points and devices that deliver the best user experience possible. The two industry bodies together represent 36 telecom operators and over 1 billion customers around the world who stand to benefit from the development of Convergence services.

With customer needs at the very heart of this relationship, the two organizations will formulate a common message on product interoperability and ease of use requirements, harnessing support from leading vendors as well as standards bodies to further enhance industry alignment and adoption of convergence products and services.

"This agreement is a great step toward hastening the delivery of converged services to customers around the world," said Rodrigo Donazzolo, FMCA Programme Director. "The two organisations will be able to rapidly share technical information and knowledge about convergence requirements for the home environment, drawing on each other's experiences and reducing the time for innovative new services to hit the market."

Marking an important milestone in the increased availability of Convergence services, members of the HGI and the FMCA will jointly review the product requirements and technical specifications generated by their various working groups. The focus will be on the delivery of a richer user experience in the broadband home, allowing customers to benefit from far greater interoperability, ease of use and seamlessness of gateways, devices and applications.

"The HGI and the FMCA are both driven by customer requirements and are jointly addressing convergence issues and challenges to stimulate the environment for truly global convergence solutions." said Chief Technology Officer at the HGI, Paolo Pastorino. "The synergy between the home gateway and convergent devices within the residential network, such as SIP handsets or Set Top Boxes, is essential in driving the use of advanced services in the home. The close working relationship that we have with the FMCA, and with other major industry bodies, is key to our success as we strive to unify the product requirements of the world's telecom operators."

Underpinning the relationship will be the strategic alignment of the HGI's Release 2.0 and the FMCA's Product Requirements Definition, PRD Release 3.0. These are detailed technical documents providing telecom -operator guidance for the convergence of services, networks and devices in the broadband home

Both the FMCA PRD Release 3.0 and HGI Release 2.0 are scheduled for completion in Q3 2007.

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