Cisco Live! London, 31 January to 3 February

Posted: January 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Cisco Live!I am attending the Cisco Live! event in London this week. For the first time in three years, the event is organised in London rather than Barcelona. Upon my arrival to ICC London ExCel today to set up our booth and demos, I found that the venue is showcasing Cisco’s technology and offering the “ultimate venue experience” by running on top of Cisco Catalyst® 6500 series, which supports data, wireless local area network, VoIP and IPTV services.

Some interesting things to note about the event as it gets underway:

  • This year’s World of Solutions Expo has more than 100 exhibitors registered—compared to 64 last year and 53 in 2009. There should be a lot more traffic in the exhibition hall—even before the show starts.
  • It is expected that nearly 4,000 IT professionals will attend this year’s Cisco Live! from 31 January to 3 February, along with 2,000 participating virtually.
  • Cisco Live! is featuring hundreds of workshops—from breakout sessions to networking activities—relating to communications networks and service providers. And Cisco’s CEO John Chambers will present the keynote speech Tuesday morning.

Comptel is exhibiting (booth #E31) and demonstrating our fulfillment and cloud chargeback (based on Comptel Convergent Mediation) solutions, which are key to our Cisco partnership.


Around the World

Posted: January 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

FierceWireless…
Sprint Increases Unlimited Smartphone Data by $10 Per Month
Sprint announced last week that it has raised the price of its unlimited smartphone data service by $10 per month.  The communications service provider’s (CSP) spokesperson, Cristi Allen, told FierceWireless that the change is “reflective of where the mobile data market is going.  It’s just not that customers are buying more smartphones, which they clearly are, but they’re using more smartphone features.”  Allen also stated that Sprint is committed to its unlimited pricing philosophy—unlike other U.S. carriers, such as AT&T, who last year scrapped its unlimited data pricing for smartphones in favour of two usage tiers ($15 per month for 200 MB and $25 per month for 2 GB).  Sprint believes that the change will allow it to meet customers’ needs, maintain simplicity in pricing and continue to invest in its network to meet subscribers’ growing demand for data. What do you think about the CSP’s move?

Total Telecom…
Bharti Airtel Sees 3G Stabilising ARPU, Adding to Earnings
Despite Indian telecom operators’ low average revenue per user (ARPU), Bharti Airtel sees its third-generation services helping to stabilise it. The CSP’s 3G service will allow multimedia capabilities on mobile networks and is likely to improve Bharti’s operating performance since it can charge higher tariffs—which is especially important for a market like India where cut-throat competition has impacted not only ARPU but also revenue growth, margins and profitability. Bharti expects its 3G offering to attract customers from rival networks, especially after mobile number portability, which lets users change operators without changing numbers.  Do you see 3G being a game changer in this region?

Light Reading…
Telcos Shift Their Focus
Light Reading kicked off its Service Provider IT (SPIT) event in London this week, and international managing editor Ray Le Maistre found that CSPs are “finally starting to practice what they preach.”

As Ray noted in his video, Heavy Reading analyst Ari Banerjee was also at the event, where he asked CSPs about their areas of focus and plans for the future. Ari found that by 2014, carriers want to deliver a much better customer experience and get services to market more quickly—and many CSPs are beginning to do this by delivering better networks and better services—in different ways—so that they can be disruptive in the market like competitors, such as Google. Ari also saw CSPs put an emphasis on services that tie into people’s social networks and noticed that CSPs are thinking about customer experience before services are brought to market—rather than after. Were you in attendance at the event? If so, do you have any other observations to share?


Around the World

Posted: January 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Wireless Week
CTIA, RCA Oppose FCC Bill Shock Proposal
Three major wireless industry groups have come out against the FCC’s bill shock proposal – Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the Rural Cellular Association (RCA) and the Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) all have filed comments opposing the commission’s move to mandate subscribers’ usage alerts and other billing information that will help customers avoid unexpected charges on their monthly bill.  Here’s what the three bodies have to say:

  • CTIA argued that such mandates are unnecessary because carriers already offer customers adequate tools to monitor their usage.  They also claimed that the FCC lacks the authority to impose usage alerts and other information disclosures, and that the proposed rules would violate U.S. First Amendment protections.
  • The RCA said that the FCC’s proposed customer service rules would be unduly burdensome for rural and regional carriers, and that [the] national [ones] were the main culprits behind unexpectedly high wireless bills.
  • Like CTIA, the RTG maintained that carriers would have to reconfigure their billing system to accommodate the new mandate, and it would “impose substantial costs on all carriers and have an inordinately harmful impact on smaller [ones].”

What do you think of these groups’ arguments?  Should the FCC mandate CSPs or let them manage cost control on their own?

Light Reading
Where in the World Is LTE?
To close out 2010, Light Reading compiled a list of the world’s commercial LTE services.  While there is much hype in the industry about the technology, only nine were actually deployed –not including pilot networks or user trials.  Moving forward to 2011, Rethink WirelessCaroline Gabriel noted in a post that the Global mobile Suppliers Association says there are now 180 operators in 70 countries that are deploying, trialling or evaluating LTE; however, these figures mask the fact that most carriers will stick with tests or small scale ‘hotzone’ roll-outs for several years.  Will 2011 be a repeat of 2010 in terms of LTE deployments?  How do you see LTE rolling out this year across the globe


CommsMEA
Gathering Momentum
Editor Roger Field reflects back on his conversations with industry experts and believes that the innovations and trends from 2010 will move into the mainstream for 2011 – the key themes he sees in the Middle East and Africa this year are:

  • Consolidation in the operator space, particularly in Africa, because of the low average revenue per user (ARPU) and increased competition
  • Larger strides in broadband deployments to bring subscribers a new level of data services
  • Demand for 4G infrastructures to support consumers’ consumption habits with smartphones and tablets – and even on the fixed side – with IPTV and video-on-demand

While telcos in the region may be facing a decline in mobile and fixed voice ARPU, Roger points out that it is reassuring to see that huge investments are being made in infrastructure, which will allow telcos to offer a new breed of bandwidth-hungry apps – and tap into new revenue streams.