Comptel Hosts a Very Special Christmas Party for Children in Foster Families

Posted: December 18th, 2013 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

December is a busy month for businesses, families and friends. At Comptel, we’ve been busy planning and hosting a Christmas party for our employees’ children and a Christmas party for Comptelians… but the most exciting event we’ve helped host this month was a Christmas charity party for children in foster families.

Why We Chose This Cause

Coinciding with the December celebrations, many companies in the Bulgarian market traditionally look after those who are less fortunate, especially children who are looking for loving homes. Orphanages enjoy generous gifts and attention from numerous private and corporate benefactors.

But children who aren’t living in orphanages often don’t get a chance to receive these kinds of gifts. With so much attention focused on orphanages, kids in foster families can get overlooked. Every child deserves their Christmas, and Comptel decided to help make that dream become a reality. We helped throw a Christmas party for the children entrusted to the gentle care of foster families registered with the Sofia Municipality while awaiting their adoptive parents.

The Party

The celebration took place on last Sunday, 15th December in the Joya restaurant. Twenty-eight parents and thirty children aged 0-18 years attended, and twelve volunteers from Comptel hosted the party. The volunteers showed outstanding abilities working with the little ones. The kids read books that were donated by our colleagues, and two of the volunteers (who are international chess champions) demonstrated how to play chess and discussed the strategy.

Our partners and co-donators – creative colleagues from Impressia store – also organized amazing art classes for making Christmas decorations. The beautiful Snowhite (in the role is Andji) danced and played with the kids. And the Christmas-themed cake (courtesy of Luxury Cakes Surprise) was a dream come true!

Of course, Santa Claus also made a visit and gave gifts to everyone – parents and children!

***

In today’s dynamic world, where free time is one of the most valuable things, everyone at Comptel is proud that we managed to make this Christmas party a success for children in need. We worked hard to make sure that everyone in the room had a reason to smile. We hope that these childrens’ smiles multiply every year – and that we can be there to help make this happen!


Around the World: Connectivity in Africa, Big Data Analytics and Adaptation

Posted: November 12th, 2013 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

This week, there were a number of new insights across the telco industry. At Comptel, we’ve been keeping track of the ones that have really caught our eye. Here are three interesting articles that have come out recently:

Developing Telecoms

LTE Investment Key to African Connectivity

A panel of experts was asked by West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) how they would invest $100 million to improve Internet access in Africa, where connectivity is currently at the lowest rate in the world. Developing Telecoms’ editor James Barton believes that installing new 4G/LTE networks would create the best return on investment. He added that once people in Africa start accessing next-generation mobile networks, new competitive markets can open and, in turn, make Internet access more affordable.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the upcoming boom in mobile devices in Africa. By 2016, it is forecast that there will be more than one billion phones across the continent. The $100 million investment proposed by WIOCC may be hypothetical right now, but the need for 4G/LTE in the continent is a reality.

Information Management …

Big Data and Analytics Help Business Transform and Gain Competitive Advantage

Communications service providers (CSPs) are turning to Big Data analytics tools to cope with the constant changes in technology and consumer behavior. Through the use of these solutions, they can better adapt to new customer trends and prevent churn. CSPs, in particular, deal with a heavy amount of data, because of the high volume of calls, texts and data usage traveling across their networks each day. All of that information can be harnessed to create more targeted marketing offers, support better business planning and drive innovative infrastructure deployments.

Ulla Koivukoski argues that Big Data could potentially bridge silos across an organisation, too. By working with CTOs and CIOs, CMOs can create personalised campaigns by drawing contextual intelligence out of the network, customer and other data available to them. Consequently, silos can be overcome, and CSP executives can work toward the common goal of enhancing the customer experience.

Billing & OSS World

CSPs, Other Businesses Aren’t Adapting to Customers

A recent study by Ovum found that 90 percent of CSPs and other businesses are at risk of being irrelevant to their customers in the near future. Because of organisational silos and slow decision cycles, dynamic customer responsiveness is lacking. The findings show the need to create a fluid customer process that ensures each individual receives personalised attention in a timely manner. Building relationships with customers and earning their trust can help organisations remain relevant, and increase overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Around the World

Posted: August 27th, 2013 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

As usual, there’s been a lot going on in the telco industry these days. Comptel wants to bring you the best, most interesting stories and studies we’ve found, so communications service providers (CSPs) can stay on track.

Here are three in particular that caught our eye:

Billing & OSS World…

Big Opportunities From Big Data, But Barriers Remain

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed think that the main, long-term driver is generating new business models. Informa Telecoms & Media has released a new survey of telecom operators which shows that Big Data has the potential to create great opportunities for businesses in the future. The respondents also agreed that Big Data’s short-term driver is solving internal challenges.

Forty-eight percent of operators said that they have Big Data solutions implemented already. On average, they spend ten percent of their IT budgets on Big Data, and this is expected to increase to twenty-three percent within the next five years. However, a major barrier that continues to be an issue is that operators still lack a business proposition and a trained team to handle the implementation.

Comptel’s own Matti Aksela recently spoke to Telecom Asia on this latter issue: “Vendors operating in this space can have a very skilled team behind their analytics solutions, and knowledge on integration and decision-making based on the analytics, and can quickly achieve benefits for CSPs. It may be even easier to ‘tear down the silos’ coming from the outside than just working internally.” Read the full article on whether telecom operators should manage analytics in-house or outsource it here.

Analysys Mason…

Analytics Applications Provide Rich Functionality and Low-Risk Deployment to Help Drive New Use Cases

CSPs have been using traditional analytics tools to help review data, analyse it and report it. However, new analytics applications can be deployed and configured specifically for a CSP’s use case, automating the best practices learned throughout the industry while eliminating the need for scarce data scientists to help segment and manage the data.

The real challenge in deploying a new analytics solution is infrastructure. CSPs must be flexible about changes in operations, so the business can accommodate new tools into the workflow Infrastructures are usually created with a specific use case in mind, but when an application is on top of the old infrastructure, there’s always the risk of compatibility. Lastly, CSPs will have to depend on vendors for updates to the application. Analytics applications are beneficial for CSPs, but operators must have the means to implement a new system of data analytics for the analytics applications to be successful.

Matti Aksela spoke with Big Data Republic in June about Big Data’s ability to reduce churn through advanced, predictive analytics tools. Robi Axiata experienced the results first-hand – once the factors of churn were identified, strategies could be taken to predict and eliminate them in the future.

BillingViews…

Should experience come before the engagement?

With Big Data helping CSPs identify the granular aspects of the customer experience and customer engagement, it’s easier to see where in the organisation improvement is needed. While customer experience represents the sum of what a customer has experienced at a given time, engagement represents the sum of the customer’s experiences over time. For the customer experience to be improved, specific departments can be targeted and strategies can be recalibrated. Customer engagement, however, needs an enterprise-wise approach to be improved.

A customer’s lifetime value must be determined and closely nurtured by the entire organisation to ensure that engagement is positive and, as Ulla Koivukoski wrote, CSPs can uncover new revenue streams and grow businesses by focusing on engagement. Predictive analytics can play a major role in fostering departmental collaboration and, in turn, delivering high-quality customer experiences.


Around the World

Posted: July 18th, 2013 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Around the WorldBilling & OSS World
Operators Exaggerate the OTT Threat

Ovum recently released a report further highlighting the need for telcos to innovate in order to negate the threat of Over-the-Top (OTT) providers. After evaluating more than 3,500 new service launches since 2009, the global analyst firm concluded it’s fine to compete with OTT providers, but that the real trick may be to collaborate more. The analysts examined the approaches taken by companies such as Google and Apple to establish themselves in the app ecosystem, and noted the lackluster success of CSPs should really come as no surprise. Simply put: telcos were too selective when choosing partners and overburdened their prospective allies with unrealistic revenue expectations.

The report goes on to recommend using partnerships to scout for new ideas, indicating the importance of prioritising innovations that exploit the centrality of operators’ networks. Similar to the approach recently suggested by our own Steve Hateley, Ovum suggests telcos use the notion of “net innovation benefit” – comprised of “net new revenues,” “net cost savings” and “net non-monetary benefits” – to measure the success of their innovation activities.

CommsMEA
Telcos Ignore Big Data at Their Peril

Big data should not be ignored, and telco operators that choose to give it the cold shoulder are doing so at their own risk, is additional advice Ovum is touting. The research firm asserts operators can benefit from big data analytics in numerous ways, including predicting and reducing churn, promoting loyalty, upselling and cross-selling offers, and personalising services.

However, telcos are running into some red tape due to a lack of necessary data management and analytical skills in-house. Ovum cites the high demand and low supply of data scientists as the main reason for the lingering big data inefficiencies, noting this makes the analytics area ripe for vendor support.

In fact, telcos are generally turning to one of four sources for their big data analytics needs:

  1. Their existing BSS/OSS providers
  2. Trusted IT vendors
  3. Telco analytics specialists
  4. Incumbent network equipment providers

Ovum suggests telcos take a page from the playbook of OTT providers, and become more data-centric, leaner and more agile. Once this issue has been resolved, the firm says, telcos will be able to effectively monetise the increased volume, variety, velocity and value of the network, subscriber and other data that they collect.

Comptel’s Matti Aksela recently asked if big data is actually relevant for telcos’ business strategies, and according to Ovum, the answer is yes.

Telecoms.com
LTE: Strong Starter

LTE is for everyone, or at least it will be eventually. According to third quarter 2013 data from Informa’s WCIS Plus, the global LTE subscriptions are at 88.48 million, comprising 1.35 percent of the overall cellular market. By year’s end, it is predicted to be the fifth largest network technology behind GSM, WCDMA, CDMA and TD-SCDMA.

Informa believes that the debates surrounding LTE are more about routes than destinations, however, and stress that operators’ choice of paths will go a long way to determining their success. This also holds true for how LTE is launched into the market in the first place, and the traditional mass marketing approach may not be the best option. Learn more about why not here.


Around the World

Posted: August 29th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | 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: August 3rd, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

CNET…
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.

The Guardian…
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?


Around The World

Posted: July 13th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

GigaOM…
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.

Pipeline…
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?

MarketingLand…
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!


Comptel User Group Video: Q&A with Simo Isomäki

Posted: July 6th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , | 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.


Comptel User Group Video: Q&A with Matti Aksela

Posted: June 29th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , , | 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!


Comptel User Group Video: Q&A with Jeff Cotrupe, Stratecast

Posted: June 26th, 2012 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 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.