Posted: August 29th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: data, Germany, LTE, LTE Spectrum, mobile operators, Network, telco, telecoms, UK, Value Added Services | 4 Comments »
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.
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?
Posted: August 3rd, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: ABI Research, broadband, Comptel, data, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, mobile data traffic, OECD, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, United States, wireless | No Comments »
South Korea hits 100% mark in wireless broadband
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that South Korea is the first country to surpass 100% penetration for wireless broadband, with 100.6 subscriptions for every 100 inhabitants. To reach this conclusion, OECD analysed the standard mobile phone high-speed wireless Internet and data-only wireless Internet subscriptions. Additionally, the agency looked at its own data, which was based on the rate of high-speed Internet access versus the South Korean population.
The OECD is comprised of 34 countries, and based on the organisation’s metrics, the average domestic penetration percentage for high-Internet mobile wireless is 54.3%. Of this, Sweden comes in a close second to South Korea at 98 wireless broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. The United States rated 76.1 followed by Finland at 87.8 and Japan at 82.4. Of the additional OECM member countries, the lower end included Mexico, at 7.7, Turkey at 8.9 and Hungary at 12.9.
Superfast broadband will be available in 90% of UK by 2015, says Ed Vaizey
Britain’s culture minister Ed Vaizey has said that 90% of the country will have access to extremely fast broadband by the year 2015. The government is working to install an infrastructure that would both ensure the service’s longevity and enable consumers who want to connect to a “really, really fast” network to upgrade, if they choose.
Vaizey stated that when it comes to the speed of the network, “… most people define [superfast broadband] around the 35 megabits a second (Mbps) speed but we have said that 100% of the country should have access to 2Mbps. To put that in context, for example, if you want to watch the iPlayer on your computer you would need about 1-1.5Mbps.” To support this endeavor, a total of £1.2 billion has been dedicated to the project, plus additional funding for pockets of cities where broadband connection is poor.
However, a recent report by the House of Lords warned that the government’s broadband policy should shift its focus from delivering speed, and instead emphasise greater access through a national broadband network. After a six-month investigation, the committee concluded Britain would need a better overall broadband network in order to keep up with future technologies. It has raised concerns about Britain’s network, and the possibility of expanding the gap between those communities with fast Internet access and those without.
FierceBroadbandWireless and GigaOM…
ABI: Mobile data traffic growth to plummet below 50% after 2015
Mobile data growth rate to decrease by 2015? Doubtful.
A recent ABI Research report predicts mobile data traffic will soon level off, with 2015 being the last year that volume will grow by more than 50% annually. Although the rate of growth will start slowing down, the global mobile data traffic will exceed a whopping 107 exabytes by 2017. The forecasted slower growth rate is attributed to technology like Wi-Fi offload and more intelligent smartphones. For instance, on-demand video content will be increasingly viewed on non-cellular networks, such as Netflix’s iOS application, which utilises Wi-Fi.
GigaOM, however, argues this outlook may be flawed. Journalist Kevin Tofel points out that Cisco has estimated only 22% of mobile traffic will be delivered over Wi-Fi in 2016 – leaving a lot more for networks to handle. Tofel also says that as smartphones become more affordable and networks improve their service, it’s likely that mobile users will increase, thus accumulating more mobile data traffic. What do you think? Will mobile data traffic taper off as ABI predicted or does GigaOM have it right?
Posted: July 13th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: Around the World, bandwidth, Comptel, CSPs, Customers, data, Facebook, Internet, MVNO, SNA, social media, streaming, Tiers | 1 Comment »
Why Are MVNOs So Hot Right Now? Thank the Carriers
The number of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) nearly died out in the past decade due to over-segmentation. Today, however, they are making an astounding recovery by reselling bundled voice and data services at affordable prices. According to GigaOM journalist Kevin Fitchard, “MVNOs are thriving because the big network operators are letting them.”
Historically, the larger operators made it difficult for MVNOs to take advantage of their data networks. They would charge prohibitive rates and force partners to pay for megabytes up front. But the market has recently changed, and operators like AT&T and T-Mobile are selling more airtime, while others are working directly with MVNOs to craft plans in exchange for a percentage of revenue. There are pros and cons to working with each operator, but it’s clear this shift is benefitting MVNOs.
The trend, however, hasn’t been as good for operators who risk losing their competitive advantage. The article points out that they, most likely, either feel forced to cooperate or are trying to reap the wholesale benefits of selling to MVNOs. Ultimately, these types of customised offerings and bouquet of service options benefit customers that now have more choices when it comes to selecting their network operators.
Moving Customers to Tiers
Data capacity and bandwidth constraints continue to be a major concern for communications service providers (CSPs). According to Cisco, the consumption of over-the-top (OTT) video is predicted to quadruple by 2016, at which point more than 1.2 million minutes worth of video will be travelling through the Internet every second. Additionally, as smartphone quality increases so too does their use for bandwidth-intensive activity, like video streaming. And as users are increasingly becoming data-centric, CSPs must figure out the most effective method for implementing controls on usage.
Some operators, like Comcast, are offering tiered data services to manage the network. While this may be a viable option, it’s also likely that subscribers will push back on this change in plan. However, keeping customers satisfied could simply come down to the variety of tiers a provider is offering like charging based on the type of data used instead of the volume, or paying more for priority data during peak hours. Ultimately, CSPs have the ability to differentiate diverse types of data in ways that they never have before. This means more targeted services and the potential to really stand out in the market.
What options other than tiered pricing do you think can be effective?
Airlines & Telecom Companies Are Best At Facebook Page Customer Service
A recent study revealed telecom and airline industries are tops when it comes to providing customer service on Facebook. T-Mobile and Sony Mobile were the most active brands in responding to customers and prospects, while telecom companies showed their customer-centricity by replying to 60.4% of user posts between March and May of this year.
This is crucial as Conversocial, a social media tracking site, indicated in a recent study that 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies that ignore complaints on Facebook. It’s clear customer service should play a key role for CSPs not just on social media channels, but also as a standard practise throughout the business. For instance, CSPs can tap into the customer data they have on hand and determine – at an individual level – who to engage with, the right message to use, and the right time to do so. They can also monitor for issues within the network and proactively reach out to customers– before they head to Facebook to address the issue, the CSP has already responded. Now that’s customer service!
Posted: July 6th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: Comptel, Comptel User Group, innovation, Simo Isomaki, video | No Comments »
Rounding out our series of videos from the 2012 Comptel User Group is Simo Isomäki, vice president of global business support at Comptel. In this video, learn why Simo was drawn to Comptel – more than a decade ago – and what he considers to be the most dramatic technological invention of our time.
Posted: June 29th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: analytics, CIQ4T, Comptel User Group, contextual intelligence, Making Data Beautiful, Matti Aksela, video | No Comments »
Curious about what ‘Making Data Beautiful’ means to Matti Aksela, Comptel’s vice president of analytics? Watch this video in which he discusses how communications service providers can truly benefit from leveraging their data and taking a “Contextual Intelligence for Telecoms” (CIQ4T) approach. Don’t miss the surprising fact Matti shares about himself as well!
Posted: June 26th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, Comptel, Comptel User Group, fulfillment, Jeff Cotrupe, Juhani Hintikka, Simon Osborne, Steve Hateley, Stratecast, video | No Comments »
At the 2012 Comptel User Group in Copenhagen, Stratecast analyst Jeff Cotrupe took a few minutes to explain what he considers most exciting about analytics and how communications service providers can leverage network and other data across their organizations. Watch the video below for more!
And in case you missed them, Comptel User Group videos with Comptel’s CEO, Juhani Hintikka, vice president of the fulfillment business, Simon Osborne, and director of product marketing, Steve Hateley, are also available.
Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: Comptel, Comptel User Group, innovation, Steve Hateley, video | No Comments »
Adding to our series of videos from the 2012 Comptel User Group in Copenhagen, Steve Hateley, director of product marketing, shares what his favorite ‘co’ word is and the technology innovation that excites him most. Watch and hear a surprising, little-known fact about him, too!
Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: Comptel, Comptel User Group, Juhani Hintikka, video | 4 Comments »
At the Comptel User Group this week, CEO Juhani Hintikka filmed a quick Q&A in which he discusses the company’s strategic vision. Watch this video to hear him explain how Comptel can add value to communications service providers’ businesses and why he was happy to be at the historic Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen.
Posted: April 13th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: 4G, 5G, bill shock, data, leakage, LTE-A, revenue assurance | No Comments »
New York Times…
A Ballooning Megabyte Budget
Limited data plans are pushing customers to carefully budget their megabytes and more closely track their mobile usage. Confusion abounds, however, as many consumers aren’t sure how to quantify megabytes, and upgrades to faster devices and networks speeds are encouraging people to use more data-intensive applications but are leaving them to deal with unexpected charges .
To avoid data plan confusion and bill shock, mobile operators are offering tiered data plans and promoting transparent billing by giving customers options for monitoring their data. Some operators, for instance, are sending text messages to update consumers on their allotted and remaining data usage.
According to the article, many customers aren’t aware that data monitoring tools exist or have not used them to budget their data use. Therefore, operators need to improve their customer interactions and demonstrate the value of these resources to help customers take the right steps towards budgeting their megabytes.
Leakage Could Cost Mobile Operators $296bn in 2016
According to Juniper Research, if mobile operators fail to update their revenue assurance systems, their revenue losses from leakage could balloon to $296 billion in 2016, up from $58.4 billion. To minimize the risk of fraud, the firm recommends installing a real-time system to monitor and react to criminal activity, in addition to processing and validating all billable transactions.
Supporting this, research from KPMG shows that 50 percent of operators in Africa and the Middle East lose more than one percent of revenue through leakage. Losses can often be linked to improper billing operations, placing additional impetus for operators to ensure their billing systems are properly integrated into the operations support system (OSS) and business processes. As the head of KPMG says, the hope is that these figures act as a “wake up call” for the industry and encourage operators to invest in revenue assurance and fraud management systems to prevent increasing revenue losses.
Ready or Not, Here Comes LTE-Advanced
Even though Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) networks won’t be a mainstream technology until 2015, some operators are making their commercial debut with the technology and claiming to be “LTE-A ready”. This is spurring a debate over what is and isn’t 4G—and even 5G.
As marketplace confusion with network labels grows, savvy customers are increasingly asking, is a network truly LTE-A only when it uses multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) orders of 4×4 or higher? At 8×8, does it become worthy of a 5G marketing moniker? The answers to these questions could dictate how operators are able to differentiate their services and respond to customer needs.
According to a Heavy Reading report, despite the debate surrounding LTE-A, the emerging network is worth paying attention to because its ultimate impact will be widespread. Do you agree with the report’s prediction that LTE-A will dominate the global market? And what do you think is the value of knowing an operator is “LTE-A ready”?
Posted: March 22nd, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: 4G, cloud, Europe, Informa, Latin America, LTE, MEA, OTT | 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.
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?
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?