Globally Evangelising #MWC13 – “Barcelona-in-a-Box”

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona had the highest attendance ever with 72,000 visitors. Every year, many of our customers do not have the opportunity to attend or meet us there, and to that end we created a customer workshop concept ‘Barcelona-in-a-Box’.  The idea is simple – if you couldn’t attend MWC, we bring it to you.

We built the workshop concept on three key industry topics which were discussed during MWC and continue to be on the agenda of almost every CSP.

To set the scene for the Barcelona-in-a-Box sessions, we shared our observations on the industry, based on extensive and in-depth discussions with major operators across the globe, insight we have gained from industry analysts and an independently commissioned report.

These observations addressed increasing smartphone penetration and how it’s driving up data usage, but not necessarily increasing revenues – largely due to pressure by OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype, YouTube and Facebook (to name a few). Secondly, we discussed how bundled tariffs and packages are increasingly attractive to mobile subscribers, assisting CSPs with customer “lock-in” and positively driving up revenues. We highlighted the next evolution of the bundled approach through creation of fully shared data plans, as seen in the US market for example. Finally, as an observation we deliberated that while LTE rollouts are still in their early stages, the importance of attracting the right high-use customers to adopt the highly valued (and highly subsidised) handsets is key for accelerating ROI on those infrastructures.

To ensure that we have the correct data on consumer needs in place, we at each session discussed the locally relevant results of the consumer survey, Customers Yearn for the Personal Touch from Their Mobile Operators, we made at the end of 2012 with Vanson Bourne, an independent research firm. We polled 6,000 consumers from 12 countries across EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific on their service usage and spending habits, as well as their relationships and satisfaction with their mobile operators.

In addition to vivid discussion on the common challenges and local consumer needs, some of the sessions included live demonstrations that showcased the solutions that Comptel has developed to address the needs of its customer. We showed the benefits of the Comptel Event-Analysis-Action strategic framework with:

  • Robust and highly automated Comptel Fulfillment that supports service innovation and better customer interaction while reducing costs
  • ‘Plug ‘n’ Play’ Catalog-Driven product creation that allows building and adapting marketable products quickly from established service components, accelerating new revenues and allowing agile responses to market changes
  • Comptel Social Links, predictive analytics to improve and automate every-day decision-making at each customer touch point and serve customers based on their individual needs and techniques of finding the right customers for new products.

We have already taken Barcelona-in-a-Box across the Middle East, Europe and Asia receiving great acclaim for our initiative and its content, being quoted as having “a fresh approach” to actively engaging with our customers. The Comptel team has enjoyed the lively debates and sense of shared understanding of the industry state and prospects for the future. Based on the feedback, we have validated that Comptel is in-sync with CSPs and our solutions suitably address their needs. We are excited to see which topics are on top of the agenda for Barcelona in 2014!


Around the World

Posted: August 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

FierceWireless Europe…
Telefónica ready to spend €1.5B on UK LTE auction

It seems that the adoption of LTE is continuing to burgeon around the world. Telefonica, a Spanish-based telecoms operator, announced it would invest around €1.5 billion to acquire LTE spectrum licenses at an upcoming UK auction. The new mobile licenses are designed to bring fast download speeds to the country, and UK regulator Ofcom said it will auction the LTE spectrum for the 800MHz and 2.6 GHz bands with the expectation that operators will launch commercial service in 2013.

Interestingly, Telefonica has already been working closely with the UK markets, as the region represented 11% of the company’s total revenue in the first half of 2012. The company has also made strides to expand its services to other parts of Europe. In 2010, the operator also acquired LTE spectrum in a German auction, bidding a total of €1.379 million, on top of a €842 million bid last year to acquire LTE spectrum in its domestic market.

On another note, Telefónica’s is enjoying the benefits of China Unicom’s strong performance this year, as the company holds a 5% stake in the Chinese company.

Light Reading India…
Smart Strategies For Telco Growth

According to Jatinder Singh, the principal correspondent for Light Reading India, the telecoms industry in India has been in a crisis due to dwindling revenues and the saturation of the urban market. Therefore, it’s time operators reassess their strategy and begin to innovate and expand their services.

Singh points out several key areas in which operators can focus on to turn around the telecoms market. The first is to leverage 3G technology. More specifically, the price of 3G technology has begun to decrease, and the time is ripe to push this technology in hopes of bringing awareness to tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Next, the article states that Value Added Services (VAS) have shown recent growth in the market, and telecom companies need to create an ecosystem in which operators and VAS companies share revenues.

Finally, to turn around the telecoms sector in India, operators need to focus on providing services to the enterprise businesses and expand into global markets. It’s noted in the article that the business landscape is dominated by small and medium business, but the enterprise space in the country is largely untapped.  Also, many analysts believe the expansion into other parts or the world, like Africa, is the key to the growth and success of the telecom companies in the future.

Fierce Wireless…
Is Unlimited Data Making a Comeback?

We highlighted a story in July that discussed how operators, like Comcast, are offering tiered data services to manage their network. Now Fierce Wireless reports that some operators are offering unlimited data plans to attack the tiered — and arguably unpopular — data pricing model.

Since the industry moved towards a tiered data pricing structure to manage bandwidth costs, both T-Mobile and Metro PCS have seen dramatic subscriber churn. In fact, each has lost 205,000 and 186,000 net customers respectively in the second quarter alone.

According to Mark Lowenstein, managing director of Mobile Ecosystem, unlimited data offerings can help wireless carriers get their foot in the door with consumers, and set them apart from their competitors. Unlimited data “starts the conversation,” he explained, noting that consumers will then evaluate the other aspects of the providers’ service.

Do you think tiered data plans are going to the wayside? Which do plan do you think will provide more success in the future?


Around the World

Posted: March 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RCR Wireless News…
Latin America Counts 32 HSPA+, 5 LTE Networks
According to a 4G Americas report, Latin America is increasingly deploying HSPA technology and rolling out LTE. Currently, the region has 72 commercial deployments of HSPA technology in 31 countries, with five commercial LTE networks and 300,000 LTE connections expected by the end of 2012.

Along the same lines, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) recently published a report showing that 300 operators worldwide have committed to commercial LTE network deployments or are engaged in trials, technology testing or studies. This is a significant increase—50 percent, in fact—over the previous year.

The LTE evolution is clearly catching on in Latin America, just in time for the region’s networks to be ready for the data boom expected during the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

TelecomsEurope…
CEE Operators on the Ball in OTT and Connected TV
Over the past year, there has been an explosion of activity in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) online video sector, with operators jumping head first into new market opportunities by offering a variety of new services.

Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that online video Internet traffic in the region will account for 27 percent of total Internet traffic by 2015. Additionally, the number of connected devices is set to dramatically increase, and the growth of such devices will continue to fuel over-the-top (OTT) service launches. However, operators are increasingly adapting when it comes to OTT services by investing in the development of full multi-screen services to attract subscribers and, in some cases, by teaming up with OTT providers.

The boom in OTT offerings provides an opportunity for operators to embrace innovation and introduce new value-added services. Do you think operators are able to effectively collaborate with OTT players to create mutually beneficial offerings that will appeal to customers?

CommsMEA…
A Busy Agenda
In 2011, the telecom industry came to terms with two major global shocks—the global economic downturn and the disruption caused by mass digitisation. The downturn accelerated the commoditisation of traditional telecom services, pushing operators to cut costs and increase efficiency. The digital boom encouraged operators to boost network capacity and connectivity, and introduce new services that take advantage of mobile payment platforms and cloud computing.

Due to these global changes, the telecom ecosystem is becoming much more competitive as new players from adjacent industries and technological innovation challenge operators. This year, operators will spend more on infrastructure as 4G/ LTE goes mainstream, and make strategic choices by leveraging existing capabilities and building new ones.

With the unprecedented choice of services and devices, customers will likely emerge as the winners of the drastically changing telecom landscape—do you agree with this prediction?


Around the World

Posted: August 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pipeline…
Where Does IMS Stand?
Tim Young asserts that IMS is making a comeback in large part due to the growth of LTE. While LTE is all IP, there is virtually no support for voice, and as such, IMS has become a real contender to fill this gap, specifically as it applies to Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

This trend toward increased usage is supported by a recent Infonetics Research survey, which found that 78% of respondents will have mobile-specific services deployed over IMS by 2013, a significant increase from 35% today. The analyst firm also identified the desire to offer converged services and deploy LTE as key IMS growth drivers.

When IMS first entered the industry, some critics noted slow carrier interest and grew skeptical of its longevity. Now years later, do you think this renewed carrier interest foreshadows a promising future for IMS?

Billing & OSS World…
Gov’t Plan, Smartphone Adoption to Drive Data Growth in Colombia
A Pyramid Research report predicts that the Colombian government’s plan to increase broadband access and the adoption of smartphones will fuel data growth throughout the next several years. The government wants to quadruple the number of Internet connections in the country to 8.8 million, and is putting special emphasis on the availability of infrastructure for broadband coverage. This plan, along with handset vendor competition, more spectrum availability and decreasing smartphone prices, is expected to maintain Colombian telecom market growth.

This view reinforces predictions that Latin America will see broadband penetration skyrocket over the next five years and the amount of subscribers increase to 150 million-plus. Managing these new customers and services will be critical, and OSS/BSS will certainly play a significant role, allowing the region’s communications service providers (CSPs) to focus on their core business.

allAfrica.com…
Nigeria: GSM at Ten in Nation
August marks the tenth year since GSM was introduced in Nigeria. GSM made telephone access available to everyone, eliminating the age-long dominance of the wealthy on telephone use. But, the most prominent result of GSM can be seen in the tremendous growth of subscribers, rising from 450,000 fixed lines in 1999 to 90 million active lines, fixed and mobile, today. This figure is expected to rise even higher to 118 million mobile subscribers by 2014.

As IDC analyst Andy Hicks notes, developed market telcos can learn from the achievements of CSPs in emerging markets such as Nigeria. These include aspects like offering compelling services and real-time solutions, as well as identity management. What are some telecom trends you’ve seen in emerging markets that others can draw inspiration from?


Around the World

Posted: August 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Computer Business Review…

Mobile Network Operators Face Surging Data Delivery Costs: Study

According to Juniper Research, mobile data delivery costs could go up to $370 billion by 2016—a sevenfold jump from $53 billion in 2010. The analyst firm reported that mobile network operators can reduce costs with Wi-Fi network build-out, femtocells and network sharing initiatives.  Juniper also suggested that mobile network operators in developing countries transition to renewable energy for off-grid networks.

The bottom line though: data usage is outpacing operators’ revenues. This only continues to underscore the need to strike a balance between encouraging service use, controlling resources like bandwidth and ensuring maximum payback. Policy control gives operators the levers to manage mobile data delivery and monetise the services.

Alcatel-Lucent Blog

Customer Experience Management and the Thieves of Time

Did you know that it costs about five to ten times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer? As Alcatel-Lucent’s Vincent Kavanagh notes, unfortunately, “money talks”— and most companies typically end up incorrectly distributing their marketing spend. They’ve also ignored the fact that happy customers have proven to stay longer and spend more, and not made customer experience management (CEM) a priority.

Luckily, operators are paying greater attention to CEM. They are being increasingly conscious of customers’ time and interacting with them more over multiple channels including social media. One important area that they have yet to tap into though is their OSS and network data, to gain a holistic view of subscriber activity. By doing so, operators can open up a myriad of possibilities and turn them into something that can be monetised.

TYN…

Cloud Computing: Latin American Market Will Be 69% in Five Years

IDC recently conducted its Cloud Solutions Roadshow in Argentina, and after meeting with various Latin American company executives, one of the research firm’s vice presidents, Ricardo Villate, has dubbed 2011 as “the year of the cloud.”

IDC survey results have shown that 14.5 percent of Latin American companies with more than 100 employees have implemented cloud services. This is nearly three times more than in January 2010, and the market is expected to continue this steady growth pattern, reaching 69 percent in five years.

It’s exciting to see barriers to enterprise cloud adoption like security and performance management being broken down, much like Comptel demonstrated through several TM Forum Catalyst initiatives.


Around the World

Posted: June 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Light Reading…
A Brief Guide to India’s Telecom Market
In this article, Ray Le Maistre gives readers an overview of India’s telecom landscape. There is an insatiable demand for mobile communications services! By the end of 2005, about 80 million mobile lines had been activated, and just five years later, mobile connectivity had grown to a whopping 750 million users. This is a clear reflection of the desire for communication services from the Indian population, which is in line with a previous Around the World blog post we highlighted detailing a Frost & Sullivan report on India’s tremendous growth over the next five years.

Additionally, Ray notes that introducing Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services, which are likely to run over the world’s first large-scale Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) networks, should help deliver some of the tangible growth that the Indian government is looking for. However, the Indian government is concerned that not enough local telecom companies are benefiting from the operators’ combined annual capital outlay of more than $30 billion. As a result, there have been talks of introducing local manufacturing quotas. Ultimately, legislation will play a big role in what’s to come, and as Ray states, because India’s market is changing so quickly, it’s hard to predict what market-altering new legislation or regulation might come along next.

ZDnet…
WiMAX to Survive as ‘Niche’ Tech
WiMAX seems to have lost to LTE as the dominant mobile broadband standard, but it will survive as a “niche” technology, author Liau Yun Qing reports. According to In-Stat analyst Chris Kissel, the former may find a place to survive in under-developed markets such as Latin America or Africa, where technology can still be built in areas with little or no mobile service. There could also be room for WiMAX in small markets focused on wireless DSL and in the smart grid market. Chris notes that ultimately, the problem with implementing WiMAX is that mobile operators had to build it from the ground up since it’s not backwards-compatible to any existing UMTS standard. Despite WiMAX’s decreasing popularity, LTE is thriving in China, India and elsewhere. In fact, according to a Global mobile Suppliers Association report in May, there are 208 operators worldwide investing in LTE—98 more than in June 2010. Do you believe WiMAX will survive as a niche tech with this rapid rise of LTE, and if so, for how long?

Nation Multimedia…
More Plan to Buy Smartphones: Survey
The popularity of smartphones is both undeniable and rapidly growing. According to an online survey conducted by Nielsen, almost 42 percent of online customers in Thailand without smartphones said they will definitely, or are likely, to buy one in 2011. At the end of 2010, Nielsen survey research showed that Southeast Asia’s average smartphone ownership was 25 percent. Will Wang, director of the firm’s telecom practice, states that while Thailand still awaits the arrival of a full-scale commercialized 3G network, citizens are willing to buy a smartphone so they can integrate with social networks and enjoy gaming experiences via Wi-Fi or existing data services. However, it’s important to remain focused on what will keep smartphone users satisfied, especially as smartphone usage increases. As Oliver Suard points out, it’s critical that industry leaders remember to focus on customer satisfaction on all types of mobile users, and remember to also cater to those who do not own an iPhone or are heavy users of mobile broadband value-added services.