In relation to the convergence of services, the following charts are available:
The electronic communications market is increasingly moving towards convergence at the level of the network, electronic communication services and equipment. Convergence of networks in general means the merging of existing networks for voice transfer, networks for data transfer and the radio network.
Network convergence is accompanied by integration or melding of services, and both together present one of the most important trends in the global telecommunications development. Convergence of services allows operators to offer end users so-called bundles of services. Converged (combined) or multi-play offers include at least two different types of services: fixed telephone service, mobile telephone service, data transfer, and TV.
There are several types of converged service bundles:
- Double play (with a lock-in or without) bundles combine two of the following services: fixed-line telephone voice services, mobile telephone voice services, fixed television and radio services, mobile television and radio services, fixed-line broadband access and mobile broadband access services.
- Triple play bundles (with a lock-in or without) comprise three types of basic services (voice, TV & radio, data transfer), with data transfer services being tied to broadband access.
- Quadruple play bundles (with a lock-in or without) are triple-play bundles with at least one mobile component added. This represents fixed-mobile convergence.
Operators can provide the converged service plans with a lock-in or without one.
Operators sell service bundles to their own end users at a single price (the price of the plan), however certain services from the plan may also be provided by a different operator. The price of a bundle is generally lower than the total of prices of individual converged services if sold by the operator separately.
The subscriber concludes a single agreement for all the converged services (fixed telephone service, broadband internet access, TV, mobile telephone service) combined in the bundle with one operator, and receives a single invoice for all of them. Operators usually do not charge for on-net calls or the prices of these calls are very low. Electronic communication services in bundles are usually cheaper, which is also the reason why end users opt for the operators’ bundles.