Tracking the Conversation Around The Emerging NFV Ecosystem

Posted: July 6th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The spotlight is shining brightly on network function virtualisation (NFV) as software vendors, hardware manufacturers and operators step up their investment in and engagement with this technology. As my colleague, Malla Poikela, wrote in a recent blog, ongoing NFV trials and projects were featured prominently at this year’s TM Forum Live. In the Storify post below, we track recent conversations and developments around this radical new NFV ecosystem. Take a look to see how the NFV discussion is constantly evolving.

And don’t forget to join us in November for our can’t-miss anti-seminar, Nexterday North, where the emerging NFV ecosystem will be one of many topics of discussion. Industry experts and innovators will be on hand to take a fresh look at telecoms through a new lens, and discussion will be framed around the three pillars of Thinking Ahead (looking at other industries to examine our collective blindspot), Thinking Again (re-examining industry learnings to challenge the status quo) and Thinking Beyond (learning from emerging startups who are disrupting the digital world).

TM Forum Live! 2015 Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on Telco Digital Transformation

Posted: June 9th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Comptel was in Nice, France for TM Forum Live!, where the discussion surrounded the innovative technology, emerging consumer trends and unique businesses challenges that face the digital and communications industry now and in the coming years.TM_Forum Live 2015

The event’s overarching theme involved making the concept of a “digital business” real. We enjoyed the opportunity to hear thoughts and ideas from some of the leading voices not only in telecoms, but also in the greater technology community. We also took advantage of the chance to lend our unique viewpoint on the significant revenue opportunity available to operators who embrace innovative sales, service and marketing strategies through their own Operation Nexterday.

Here are three big takeaways we observed from the event’s keynotes and summit sessions:

1. Digital Transformations Require Radical New Views and Approaches

TM Forum’s new CEO, Peter Sany, led off the keynote schedule with a discussion on the significant ways in which digital technology is transforming our world. He explained that we’re living in a time of major change and opportunity, which is evident by the development of today’s sharing economy, the ongoing innovation of connected devices and the democratisation of technology accessibility.

To manage these transformations and make the most of the opportunities they provide, Sany says operators need to shift their perspective to place the customer front and centre. He also advocates the forming of non-traditional partnerships in telco to enable faster, dynamic innovations.

Sany’s thoughts mirror the views we shared in our book, Operation Nexterday. As we explained, consumers today require instant gratification, maximum flexibility and a high level of personalisation. Operators must embrace a new way of selling, marketing and offering their services, so customers’ needs are put first. That may require unusual partnerships with companies they may now currently view as competitors like over-the-top (OTT) providers – more on that shortly.

TM Forum 2015

2. Infrastructure, Affordability – Two Key Barriers to Digital Expansion

While there are 7.2 billion people on Earth, only 3 billion are connected to the Internet, and connecting those remaining 4.2 billion is a slower process than some might expect. Markku Mäkeläinen knows this – he is the director of global operator partnerships for Facebook, and he is one of the leading minds working on making those connections.

The chief barriers to connectivity that Mäkeläinen has noticed throughout Facebook’s project are infrastructure, relevance and affordability. Facebook is trying to solve the relevance challenge by providing free Internet access to users in developing countries, so that those individuals who aren’t aware of the Internet might understand its value in supplying free news and education.

At the same time, operators share the burden of solving the other two challenges – infrastructure and affordability. Much of the developing world only has access to 2G connections, and a significant portion of these regions won’t support the construction of towers or radios. Meanwhile, 500 MB of data is affordable only to 34 percent of users in this part of the world. Facebook is working with operators to sort out these challenges with concepts like a lightweight version of Facebook that consumes fewer resources than the full version, and the operators involved will need to deliver innovative and creative ideas.

3. To Stay Relevant, Telcos Must Collaborate with OTTs

Recently, it’s been a popular observation that we live in a world in which the largest accommodations provider, AirBnB, owns no real estate, the largest taxi service, Uber, owns no cars, and the largest retailer, Alibaba, owns no inventory.

Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO of Bharti Airtel, India’s leading provider of pre- and post-paid wireless and fixed digital communications services, brought up this point as an example of the threat facing operators. Although most innovations in telecoms rely entirely on the infrastructure built and owned by operators, they are not the ones coming up with these ideas, proving that there’s no guarantee that the player who owns the platform has the power.

OTT providers have swooped in to provide new services that speak directly to consumers’ changing behaviours and desires. As many operators stand on the fringes and watch, their own assets are being leveraged to support innovative digital services. Rather than remain on the sidelines, Mehta encourages operators to engage in the business of “enriching lives” and start thinking of ways to partner with OTT providers.

Moharmustaqeem Mohammed, VP of Mass Market Marketing Operations at Telekom Malaysia, shared a similar sentiment in a separate session when he said the true operator struggle of the day is not to identify uniqueness, but rather relevance in a digital ecosystem crafted by consumers. This is also a position we advocate in Operation Nexterday – that to remain relevant in a changing telco landscape, operators must first recognize consumers’ overwhelming influence.

Want to learn more about Operation Nexterday and the telco digital transformation? Contact Comptel Marketing ( to find out when our Beyond the Event Horizon roadshow is coming to your city

Comptel Customer Chorus Wins Second GTB Innovation Award for Innovative Broadband Project

Posted: May 18th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Fibre optic technology continues to fulfil its promise as the fastest way to deliver Internet and communications services worldwide, and over the years, we have helped operators successfully and cost-effectively deploy the technology.GTB Innovation Award 2015

For one, Comptel is pleased to be associated with partner GE Digital Energy and operator Chorus, who received a 2015 Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Award in the category of fixed network infrastructure innovation. It is the second consecutive year in which our team was honoured for our work on the ambitious project in New Zealand.

Chorus is the largest telecoms infrastructure provider in New Zealand. The company was created shortly after the 2009 launch of New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative, which seeks to deliver fibre-optic broadband to 75 percent of the country’s population by 2020. Challenged to meet the UFB’s aggressive short-term implementation deadlines – schools, hospitals and 90 percent of businesses in New Zealand needed to be fibre-enabled by 2015 – Chorus turned to Comptel.

GTB Innovation Award 2015 ChorusIn the first phase of their project, we initiated an “intelligent evolution” of Chorus’ infrastructure, which evaded traditional upgrade procedures in favour of a holistic approach. As a result, Chorus was able to reduce the time required to provision fibre services to customers’ homes by 40 percent, reduce the time needed to train staff on fibre technology and complete the entire project in just one year. You can read all about that first phase in this fibre provisioning case study from Analysys Mason.

Our team’s win in this year’s GTB Innovation Awards is for the second phase of our work, which comprised the integration of logical and physical inventory. We worked together with GE Digital Energy and relied on TM Forum Frameworx to combine our inventory systems in a way that best served Chorus’ needs. As of early 2015, Chorus achieved an end-to-end provisioning solution that enabled the automatic processing of service requests, which means little manual work is now needed to process orders for fibre service, send installation instructions to field crews and activate the service.

An efficient provisioning solution and accurate physical inventory also means technicians spend less time clarifying records, which unlocks better efficiency in the field, faster install times for customers and a stronger foundation for improved fault resolution and asset maintenance.GTB Innovation Award 2015 Chorus

“The feedback I have received so far from the field seems to be very positive,” said Gemma Cleland of Transfield Services, a Chorus contractor. “They are especially happy with the additional inventory information that they are now getting provided.”

Comptel is proud to once again be recognised as an innovator in the provisioning and delivery of a new generation of communications services. We recognise both the emerging telecoms trends that push operators to innovate, as well as the challenges operators face in deploying the solutions that address those trends. As a result, we’re ready to help our customers meet these challenges head on, while acknowledging that our work has only just begun.

Both Comptel and GE Digital Energy will be in Nice, France for TM Forum Live! from 1 – 4 June, 2015. Email to arrange an in-person meeting at the event. And download our new book, Operation Nexterday, to learn more about the creative ways leading digital and communications service providers can meet new market challenges.

Service Orchestration Overhaul Helps Mobily Optimise for Mobile’s Future

Posted: April 28th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Compelling Cases | Tags: , | No Comments »

Like their counterparts around the world, Saudi Arabian consumers are hungry for mobile services. The most recent available government data showed that the country had a mobile subscription penetration rate of 176.9 percent in 2013, and that figure is only expected to grow.

Mobily, for one, now stands to benefit from this mobile service appetite after improving its service architecture. As we described in our new book, Operation Nexterday, Mobily successfully addressed several back-office inefficiencies, enabling the operator to capitalise on the demand for mobile services.

The company embarked on an ambitious plan in 2011 to re-engineer its entire service architecture for better flexibility, improved cost efficiency and faster time-to-market.

Complex Architecture Bogged Down Service Potential

Mobily has enjoyed steady growth in its customer base since launching in 2005, boasting 18.2 million mobile subscribers in its 2013 annual report. As we cover in Operation Nexterday, today’s consumer wants a multi-channel, automated, personalised, instantaneous digital buying experience. Generation Cloud wants services that move at their speed, and acknowledging this reality, Mobily decided to evaluate its back-office infrastructure to ensure it was well-positioned to serve these customers.

Mobily historically had developed its operation and business support systems (OSS / BSS) internally. In-house departments often developed applications independently of other parts of the company, which could sometimes result in out-of-sync design principals, inconsistent process terminology and redundant applications. This could complicate new products or services launches, which encouraged Mobily to seek out a simplified service architecture.

A Game Plan and Platform for Success

Mobily committed to a service overhaul in 2011. The operator relied on TM Forum standards as a framework to document its existing process flows, gaps and redundancies, which made it easier to develop a strategy to address those weaknesses.

That was followed by a switch to a new Comptel service orchestration platform, which offered a consolidated, simplified and automated operational back-end. After the revamp, Mobily was able to reduce operational and support costs and ensure faster time-to-market. Execution timelines for new product launches were reduced from two days to 30 minutes, and fulfilment order processing shrank from 15 minutes to 10 seconds.

The initiative unlocked $95 million in direct operational savings, but most crucially, it allowed Mobily to establish a more flexible foundation for service development. Today, Mobily is in a much better position to address the needs of Generation Cloud and profit from a dynamic digital buying experience.

Analysys Mason Mobily ComptelDownload this case study from Analysys Mason to learn how Mobily re-engineered its service architecture with Comptel OSS Solutions.


Study: Enterprises Hungry for Digital Services, If You Can Deliver

Posted: April 7th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | No Comments »

Enterprise customers desire an easy way to purchase and even re-sell digital services, but operators are missing out on this opportunity because they don’t offer an intuitive and engaging digital buying experience, according to a recent report.ICT Intuition Enterprise study

ICT Intuition and Coleman Parkes Research released the results of its “Enterprise Multi-Client Study,” which surveyed more than 1,000 global business leaders across a variety of industries to better understand what enterprises want from connected digital services offerings – as both users and potential resellers. These offerings include, among many others, security and IT infrastructure management applications, business insight or data analytics programs and sales management tools.

The survey – findings from which were also published in our book, Operation Nexterday – revealed several insights into the steps operators need to take to monetise the digital services opportunity. As ICT Intuition president and founder Nancee Ruzicka explained, “operators are not taking advantage of a potentially lucrative market in which businesses are eager for connected digital services.”

Missed Opportunities

ICT Intuition Enterprise study_2According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents are currently using connected digital services to improve productivity, generate revenue or reduce business costs. Of the 19 percent who are not, all said they are considering these services.

On top of that, 71 percent would even like to bundle such connectivity into the products they sell, and among that group, 95 percent said they would want to partner with a digital or communications service provider to achieve this.

The report also explored the types of digital services businesses would pursue and their buying criteria. Businesses today largely prefer to purchase cloud and managed services that require minimal upfront development and maintenance, said the report, because they themselves lack the technology expertise and resources to build up their internal IT capabilities.

Turnkey connected digital services are, therefore, the preferred choice among many business buyers, especially if operators are able to help with implementation and development. Additionally, enterprises don’t necessarily need digital services that integrate with legacy systems, as they are happy to replace existing IT applications with faster, better technology, according to the survey.

How Operators Can Improve

Ultimately, the chief revelation was that enterprises are much more comfortable with digital services than previously expected. In fact, as Ruzicka writes, businesses today desire the same advantages and experiences that digital services offer consumers – if only operators would make it easy for them to partake.

“Businesses don’t have the time or resources to build business functionality themselves, and even for unique, industry-specific applications, only 2 percent are not considering as a Service (XaaS) options,” Ruzicka wrote in the book. “This is a seller’s market, so why aren’t digital and communications service providers selling?”

One big difficulty is that many operators currently lack a simple digital platform through which business customers can quickly search for and purchase digital services – something similar to the mobile app store experience consumers already enjoy.

That’s an experience operators will need to develop, something that can be achieved through next-generation operations and business support system (OSS / BSS) solutions. The insights drawn from such a platform can also inform future value-add services and revenue opportunities, thus fuelling future growth.

Ultimately, enterprises are ready to start talking about digital services, if only their operators could get on board. Savvy digital and communications service providers that embrace forward-thinking technologies stand to benefit in a big way.

Get a copy of Operation Nexterday for additional survey findings, insights and analysis.

Reduce Order Fallout to Compete in Complex Network Environments, Says New Analysys Mason Whitepaper

Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

With enterprise customers contributing a considerable portion of revenue to CSPs – even up to a third of total revenue for some Tier 1s – telcos’ focus on the business services segment is greater than ever before. As CSPs look to the B2B arena for new revenue growth, creating and maintaining a positive customer experience is becoming a key driver for their success.

In a recent whitepaper, analyst firm Analysys Mason explored one of the most common barriers to achieving an optimal customer experience: order fallouts.

Specifically, the firm notes that the impact of order fallouts most often comes to bear on customer service. It especially affects the “Join” and “Onboarding” touch points, when orders are captured, processed and provisioned, and services are set up and paid for. Resulting prolonged service delivery can frustrate many customers, even leading them to cancel orders completely, despite all efforts by the operator to resolve the issue.

Plus, it’s not just diminished customer service (and, consequently, a diminished overall experience) that is at stake. Order fallouts can hurt CSPs in other ways too, for example, by increasing their operational costs and creating longer lead-to-cash cycle times.

Analysys Mason outlined some of the top factors contributing to order fallout propensity, one of which is the complexity and newness of a service. For service offerings that have existed for many years (like POTS), CSPs have established a good understanding of how to accurately capture orders, validate them, and design and deliver them at minimal costs. But as newer services like Ethernet, IP VPN, unified communications and VLAN increase in complexity, the volume of failed orders steadily increases in kind. Now, imagine the service complexity and ensuing order fallouts that CSPs will see as they transition to virtualised environments like SDN and NFV!

The top reason for order fallouts, Analysys Mason determined, is poor order quality. Order entry systems typically rely on standard templates without consideration for things like specific configuration requests, or up-to-date information on the availability of network and IT resources. As a result, a gap emerges between what the system thinks can be delivered, and what can realistically be delivered.

Exacerbating the issue, this kind of validation technique is often applied later in the order orchestration process, causing duplicated efforts and even further delays, and ultimately damaging the customer experience – something CSPs cannot afford.

Clearly, there is a strong need for CSPs to deploy more robust order validation techniques, especially during the earlier stages of the order capture process, to reduce order fallout potential.

Joining forces with cloud-based solution providers Salesforce and CloudSense, Comptel is fulfilling this by offering a service order validation solution, which improves order quality and reduces order fallouts with real-time, pre-order service design feasibility and validation via the cloud. Bringing enhancements like this into order management systems will be essential as network services continue to evolve towards virtualisation, and accurate and efficient service order orchestration becomes a primary competitive differentiator.

Want to learn more about order fallouts? Download the Analysys Mason whitepaper, “Reducing order fallouts: Key to success with business services.”


Reimagine: Dispatches from Dreamforce 2014

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Beach party or customer conference? That’s what many were wondering on Tuesday here at Dreamforce 2014 in San Francisco, after Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff kicked off with a “Good Vibrations” performance from the Beach Boys, followed by a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony. The rumour-mill was turning for the industries’ worst kept secret and we felt that there was a reveal on its way…

But everyone soon got down to business, with more than 1,400 expert-led sessions across every industry imaginable. From a philanthropic-geared keynote given by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the launch of a new wearable smart watch, Puls, from musical performer, the spirit of innovation was high, and the conversations were exciting.

The common thread throughout it all was to reimagine – whether it is reimagining our approach to climate change with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, reimagining music for the masses with musician Neil Young or reimagining new business models with Kris Davies of AT&T.

Here are some of our highlights from the sessions:

Reimagine: Customer Engagement

One thing is being made clear at Dreamforce this week: more than ever, the customer is king. Salesforce and attendees hammered home the importance of businesses truly evolving to become customer-centric companies.

According to executives from Telefonica and Fastweb, telcos, in particular, have some work to do in the customer experience and satisfaction department. But challenges from over-the-top (OTT) disruption, industry consolidations and new emerging communications service providers (CSPs) are setting a high bar for managing the customer journey.

What’s needed most are simple, relevant and proactive systems that can better steer and enhance the modern-day customer buying experience. Our own announcement at Dreamforce this week reflected this. Through a collaboration with CloudSense, we’re providing an intelligent platform that improves the B2B customer experience, through automated, multichannel sales, customer order management and service delivery.

Reimagine: Analytics

With the influx of web services and devices, it’s no surprise that more than 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years. What’s more, with an estimated 50 billion connected “things” expected by 2020, that volume of data is expected to grow exponentially.

The REVEAL: Salesforce responded this week, announcing a new cloud-based analytics platform, Wave, to provide customers with predictive analytics features, integrated with its own SaaS-based customer relationship management (CRM) offering. The platform is designed to make it easier for everyone to explore data, uncover new insights and take action instantly from any device.

Reimagine: Collaboration

As technology continues to evolve, collaboration is becoming even more integral to success. We’ve seen this first-hand in our successful Communications Industry Showcase alongside other industry leaders at Dreamforce this week. The ability to collaborate around sales, customer engagement and projects forms a live feedback loop that nurchers continuous process and product improvement and can help to align better with customers.

Musician Neil Young demonstrated the importance of this in a very different way with the introduction of the PonoPlayer, an audio device designed to change the way we listen to music. The history of recorded sounds is in jeopardy if we continue to listen to “Xeroxes of Picassos,” said Young. His new device allows for the digital remastering of vinyl masterpieces to properly capture the full experience intended by the recording artist.

PonoPlayer is the first music company to use the Salesforce Community Cloud, a collaborative environment that leverages communities of fans to discuss the merits of music tracks and beyond. It’s a great example of how new technology can improve the buyer’s journey and positively impact commercial success.

Reimagine: The Future

As we wrap up an exciting week at Dreamforce, we’re reinvigorated by the ideas and innovation that are shaping the future of telco and all industries. We’re already looking forward to seeing what Dreamforce 2015 will bring!

For more information on our latest collaboration with CloudSense, please click here. To learn how CSPs can benefit from the cloud and deliver an improved customer experience, click here.

What Comptel, Hillary Clinton and Bruno Mars All Have in Common

Posted: September 29th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

It’s not every day that Comptel can say we have something in common with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or pop singer Bruno Mars. But, this October, all three of us will be in attendance at the annual conference, Dreamforce. Comptel was personally invited to be a part of the Communications Industry Showcase, so with the host of amazing keynote speakers, more than 350 exhibitors and an expected 130,000 event-goers, we couldn’t be more excited to be part of the action.

This year, we’ll be showing off a number of different ways that Salesforce and cloud technology can operate in a telecommunications environment. New cloud-based, front-office solutions are appealing to businesses across many industry verticals, but none more so than in communications. Comptel Fulfillment will be part of an industry-wide showcase that offers the blueprint for integrating a cloud-based enterprise platform like into a telecommunications operating environment.

In addition, we’ll be showing off Comptel Service Order Validator, an app on the Salesforce AppExchange that enriches the traditional lead-to-activate process with better order accuracy and reduced service delivery time by validating B2B customer requirements in the cloud. This app bridges the gap between enterprise sales and operations, and makes customer and service order orchestration much more efficient.

Comptel will also be introducing an exciting new partnership and integration with a leading order management and CPQ cloud alliance partner, showcasing network-aware sales process automation, and intelligent telco lead-to-activation.

We’re eager to show how communications service providers can improve and succeed by automating the interactions between IT, services and the network in the cloud. If you’d like to meet us at Dreamforce, send an email to to arrange a meeting or visit us in the Industry Showcase, Moscone South as part of the Cloud Expo Campground 13-16 October, 2014.

Hope to see you there!

Want to learn more about how CSPs can benefit from the cloud?

Download the Stratecast whitepaper, “Operations & Monetization Platforms in the Cloud: Why the Time May Be Right for Back Office as a Service (BaaS).”


When Refrigerators Talk: The Role of Telcos in the Internet of Things

Posted: July 30th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Telecommunications is at a crossroad. The demand for data is reaching unprecedented levels and there’s no sign that it’s going to be slowing down. In fact, in the very near future, our refrigerators may be using just as much data as our phones.

Olaf Swantee, the CEO at EE, recently wrote that this era of connected living will soon usher in smart homes, wearable tech and a multitude of other connected gadgets, leading to an explosion in connected touch points that need to be managed by communications service providers (CSPs). At Comptel, we couldn’t agree more. The question, then, is: how will telcos adapt to this new reality?

What will the world look like when our cars are talking to our coffee machines and synchronizing with our cloud-stored media or our refrigerators are updating our shopping list apps in real-time? What will the world look like when, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicts, the entire world is online?

The rapid proliferation of touch points and the amount of new and varied applications they bring will drive the need for increased agility and cost-effective growth in infrastructure, operations and management processes. The true era of connected living is dovetailing with another technological revolution: software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV).

The Adaptability Game

The introduction of SDN technology will offer CSPs ways to operate an expanse of digital services at break-neck speed. The flexibility to build and host applications in the cloud will add to the ability to react quickly and roll out supporting features for new services.

This kind of adaptability will be crucial in a connected economy. With so many more touch points in the mix, operating across a wide spectrum of use cases, CSPs will need to be able to smoothly manage policies and bandwidth alike. A single user’s data plan could soon encompass not one or two devices, but twenty, thirty or fifty. How would a data plan for a refrigerator look? And what if one refrigerator has a video display to show users when they need certain groceries? Or, in terms of wearable technology, how can CSPs work with healthcare providers when it comes to medical devices that are connected to the cloud?

With the legacy and multiple OSS/BSS systems that many CSPs still have in place, it may seem like an overwhelming problem to manage. But with SDN and NFV, operators can more easily and economically manage the end-to-end deployment and orchestration of these complex services across all these devices, deployed across virtual networks.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will necessitate – and possibly expedite – the virtualisation revolution that’s already underway in telecommunications. The control plane is evolving, and at the tail-end of this transformation, we’ll see an artificially intelligent, agile orchestration layer that can understand the role of each and every device in the broader context of user behaviour and network patterns.

The excitement around SDN and NFV that we’ve already seen at TM Forum Live! is only going to grow as more connected devices come online. In this case, at least, we may actually see two trends where the hype is matched by the reality.

SDN and NFV aren’t the only things that help businesses become more agile. Learn how to use predictive analytics to predict network stressors before they result in a site failure by downloading our whitepaper, “How Predictions of Critical Alarms Helps CSPs Reduce OPEX, Prevent Revenue Loss and Improve Customer Experience.”


The Football Stress Test: Streaming Video, Networks and Telecommunications

Posted: July 16th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights, News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Football is inarguably the most popular sport in the world. That’s why the viewership numbers for the recent games in Brazil kept breaking records. The Brazil vs. Chile match, for example, drew 11.5 million viewers just in the UK. According to The Mirror, that’s more than half of the total share of people watching TV at that time. The Germany v. Brazil match attracted 10.77 million viewers. The final match between Germany and Argentina drew well over 26 million viewers in the US.

Given those extremes, it shouldn’t be a surprise that social media channels become frenzied with activity, either. Individual football matches are attracting millions of tweets – the US-Portugal match saw 10 million people engaging in 20 million interactions on Facebook. On Twitter, fans tweeted about eight million times. The opening match, between Brazil and Croatia, garnered 12 million tweets.

But that’s not only what communications service providers (CSPs) are feeling. The Wall Street Journal reports that about 3.5 million viewers tuned into the Germany – US and Portugal – Ghana matches … by using the Internet. A third of those users were in North America, and a quarter watched from mobile devices.

In a way, football games are becoming a great stress test for operators. The matches in Brazil are an interesting case study in how multichannel video streaming and constant social media activity can quickly create a capacity crunch, and might help show CSPs exactly how much their networks can handle and offer insight as to how they can optimise quality of service (QoS) and the quality of experience for end users.

The Football Stress Test

The past six weeks have shown us a glimpse of the future. CSPs know that the data needs of users are increasing dramatically, but not everyone is necessarily watching the same thing from the same device. Research from video advertising company Yume shows that many viewers are planning to watch matches from computers (33 percent), tablets (22 percent) and smartphones (11 percent).

We’ve discussed the growing need to cater to end users’ unique demands, as well as creatively monetise mobile data plans in new and more flexible ways—and the matches in Brazil are one of the strongest cases yet.

What if CSPs had policy and charging tools that allowed them to create and deploy a service plan that allows for unlimited streaming of a football match, based on a user’s country or team of choice and the time of the game? That might be better than letting users reach their data cap or just force them to watch on their TV. Many may be willing to pay a bit more to view the game on a mobile device – they just don’t want to purchase a whole month’s worth of data for it.

The more insight CSPs have into mobile device usage, the more personalised mobile data plans can become. The right solutions allow operators to monitor usage in real time, and when too much traffic is straining the network, they can adjust the access and QoS for specific services and specific users to balance capacity (according to one survey, 67 percent of IT admins are experiencing IT problems and network management issues that can be directly related to employees streaming the matches from their computers).

While it may be too late to deploy these kinds of strategies for the football matches this year, perhaps, during the next big football event, CSPs will be able to offer both consumers and enterprise customers alike a real-time, dynamic plan that meets their needs.

Want to learn how to proactively predict network stressors before they result in a site failure? Download our recent whitepaper, “How Predictions of Critical Alarms Helps CSPs Reduce OPEX, Prevent Revenue Loss and Improve Customer Experience.”