Whatever profit you're making on those customers, getting that extra year or so out of them can make the difference between profitability or not. A lot of carriers are toeing a fine line.

It's getting competitive with some of the quality you get on cell phones. It isn't likely to rival what you have on the standard telephone today.

It was a hobbyist pursuit that served a much narrower niche.

I'd look for it to happen this summer. In terms of the way the company functions, it's been splitting for the last year.

There's a pretty dramatic innovation rate enabled by these fully functioning chipsets. That kind of integration -- the better use of battery power, the lower cost, and tighter integration -- will let manufacturers roll out product that is technology-agnostic.

Whether the companies really follow through on some of the things they are outlining is the real question. It's about price and it's about timing.

The last thing carriers want to see is something that can increase churn when they're desperately trying to drive it down.