Posted: March 21st, 2017 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: Analysys Mason, Data Refinery, Digital Customer Journey, digital transformation, FASTERMIND, intelligent mediation, mediation software, MONETIZER | No Comments »
The analyst firm Analysys Mason has released a new Comptel Company Profile, recognising Comptel as one of world’s leading data processing vendors. The report also lists our DATA REFINERY software suite as a top-six mediation solution when ranked by worldwide marketshare.
The report, titled “Comptel: digital transformation,” analyses Comptel’s overall product portfolio, 2015 financials and strategic direction. DATA REFINERY is based on Comptel’s award-winning EventLink technology, providing a software suite for convergent mediation, roaming management and enterprise data processing software products. It provides a comprehensive and productised data integration solution with over 1,000 off-the-shelf online, real-time and offline interfaces.
Across the world, 150 operators trust Comptel’s data processing to turn massive amounts of raw data into valuable, purpose-driven, real-time actions. Operators of all sizes and volumes rely on DATA REFINERY, including India’s Bharti Airtel, Indonesia’s Indosat, Argentina’s Telefonica, Saudi Arabia’s Mobily, Denmark’s TDC and The Netherlands’ Ziggo. In all, Comptel processes more than 20 percent of the world’s mobile usage data through our software solutions.
DATA REFINERY plays an important role in supporting the Digital Customer Journey, which is all about applying better technologies and data-driven business strategies and models to improve the way telcos engage and serve their customers in a personalised and contextual way.
Within that journey, DATA REFINERY provides a layer of intelligent fast data to enable real-time decisions and actions. The software has the capacity to capture and process vast amounts of raw data in-stream. As a totally vendor, technology, and service agnostic solution, DATA REFINERY captures data of any type and from any source, including social media, apps, connected devices, networks, locational data and services. It then refines that data with important contextual information and sends it on to the next stage of its journey – all in real time.
As a result, DATA REFINERY allows telcos to build a 360° profile of their customers based on diverse data sources. That profile is then available for other business systems, allowing telcos to craft intelligent, individualised service offerings, customer programs and more. Additionally, DATA REFINERY hides all technical complexity between the network and OSS/BSS layers through a unifying processing layer.
To provide a perfect, personalised Digital Customer Journey, DATA REFINERY’s intelligent data fabric works seamlessly with two other pillars of that journey: FASTERMIND™ for customer engagement automation and MONETIZER™ for agile service monetisation. All three software suites rely on the same EventLink technology platform, benefiting from common capabilities such as a broad online and offline interface library, programmed and automated fast data processing, operational intelligence, business and operations reporting and a Software Development Kit (SDK).
Together, the solutions within the Digital Customer Journey help telcos take advantage of a rapidly changing landscape, one in which the customer is in control. Our solutions allow telcos to compete and win on the basis of customer engagement, with personalised and contextually relevant content, offers and services.
We’re proud to be recognised by Analysys Mason alongside other top players in the mediation market. To learn more, download “Comptel: digital transformation,” a company profile from Analysys Mason.
Posted: February 22nd, 2017 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: customer engagement, Digital Customer Journey, Digital Service Journey, digital service lifecycle management, Nexterday, Operation Nexterday | No Comments »
If you’re in telco, you’ve heard a lot about transformation, enough that you’re probably even sick of the word. We feel the same way, so we want to help move our industry move past the point where we talk about change and toward the point of actually creating change. Our message is simple: stop overthinking and start doing.
Our latest book, Nexterday: Volume III¸ brings this message to life. Building off our first two books – Operation Nexterday and Nexterday: Volume II – this edition introduces new thoughts, ideas, and success stories from contributors both within and outside the world of telco. The objective is to give you practical next steps to evolve and grow your business in this rapidly changing digital landscape.
We’ll be publishing all of the articles from Nexterday: Volume III on an ongoing basis at Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community. Visitors to our booth (Hall 5 at Stand 5G40) at Mobile World Congress 2017 can receive a hard copy – but these are limited, so make sure to stop by early to get your copy!
Here’s what you can expect from Nexterday: Volume III.
What’s your journey?
When you step back and consider digital transformation from a 30,000-foot view, you can see that operators really have two potential paths to take: the customer journey and the service journey.
The Digital Customer Journey
Telcos want to deliver a better customer experience (on average, operators have a net promoter score of 6, compared to 70 for over-the-top (OTT) service providers), and an omnichannel customer experience. So, the digital customer journey is all about the strategies, technologies and business models they take to improve the customer experience, favouring individualised engagement, marketing and sales approaches for B2B and B2C customers. This journey is all about saying “No” to bad customer engagement.
The Digital Service Lifecycle Journey
Operators today need to create, deliver and support complex “living” digital services, but existing networks are too over-built, locked-in and inflexible to support modern service creation. This journey is about the steps operators can take to change their network reality, and it involves concepts and models like virtualisation and end-to-end hybrid service delivery to achieve network flexibility and agility. This journey is all about saying “No” to the monolithic franken-systems of the past.
Most frequently, we have seen the most forward-thinking service providers embark on one of these journeys, or both at the same time.
What’s in Nexterday: Volume III
Nexterday: Volume III tells you everything you need to know to get started, or to take the next step if you’re already following either path. We brought in some of the brightest minds from within and outside telco to share their expertise and insights, including:
- Mike Walsh – a business expert who shares the simplest, most practical path to business transformation
- Jon Wolske – the customer service expert from Zappos Insights who explains how you can be, first and foremost, a customer service company (that just happens to sell digital services)
- David Meerman Scott – the sales and marketing guru who describes how real-time marketing powers a more efficient, results-driving marketing engine
- Stefan Moritz – an expert on the customer experience, who explains how the most successful customer-focused companies did it by backing up their brand story with actual action
- Stewart Rogers – the VentureBeat Insights researcher provides new data showing the biggest marketing opportunity companies are missing out on today
- Dean Ramsay – the Analysys Mason analyst writes about the important role of inventory management in network transformation
- Rich Karpinski – the 451 Research analyst breaks down the top US telcos and describes how each one is attempting to disrupt this mature market
- Fredrik Jungermann – the tefficient analyst profiles the big return of unlimited data to operator service plans, and explains how top operators around the world incorporate this benefit
- Stan Hubbard – The MEF Group director describes the two network qualities needed to offer better customer engagement and service delivery
- Mustafa Oyumi – The Salesforce exec talks about the customer engagement model operators need in a modern service environment
- Luca Decarli – the customer engagement expert describes how Saudi Telecom Company reorganized its business to deliver a higher quality of service
- Antonio Elizondo – the Telefónica exec profiles OpenSource MANO and its key role in the development of an NFV ecosystem
- Bengt Nordström – the Northstream charts the growth and future prospects of 5G connectivity
- David Ho – From Kiina Investment, David provides a fascinating look at the digital technologies that are taking shape in China
- Markku Hollström – Elisa’s IoT expert describes the ambitious IoT project that won international praise and provides an example for other telcos to follow
- Velipekka Kuoppala – the Soracom VP writes about the model telcos and businesses need to secure the IoT
We also have insights from many Comptel contributors discussing everything from IoT, rating and mediation, NFV innovation, customer engagement, plus new research into consumer desires for personalised services.
Nexterday: Volume III is a comprehensive look at the state of our industry today, but, most importantly, it provides a practical guide for you to take the next step in your digital journey. Remember, it’s time to stop overthinking and start doing. Get our book to find out how.
Meet with Comptel at Mobile World Congress to get a copy of Nexterday: Volume III. Visit our booth in Hall 5 at Stand 5G40 or email email@example.com.
Posted: February 2nd, 2017 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: customer engagement, customer experience, personalisation, Power of Personal research | No Comments »
By Niilo Fredriksen, Executive Vice President, Intelligent Data
A word of caution for all mobile operators: there’s a 50/50 chance your customers feel like you don’t actually care about them.
That’s what Comptel found when we commissioned a survey of 2,000 mobile data users in the US and the UK. Our new research report, The Power of Personal, reports that 52 percent of mobile customers feel like they are treated as just another nameless subscriber by their providers.
Obviously, that’s a problem that could lead to churn. Customers that feel valued are three times more likely to stay loyal to their provider, according to our research. Those that don’t feel valued leave, and 59 percent of respondents said they were not fully satisfied with their providers.
So how do you make sure your customers are happy, loyal advocates for your business? Personalisation offers a solution, and the survey found that it’s what mobile customers want from their providers.
In total, 55 percent of respondents said they would be open to receiving more proactive, personalised messages and services from their providers. But, only 13 percent has ever received this type of message.
Respondents said they were favourable to receiving all sorts of different messages, including:
- An alert when they’ve reached their data cap
- A notification when they’re about to trigger data roaming charges
- A message when they’re using more data than usual
But it’s not just about warnings and alerts. According to our research, customers are also open to personalised messages about service offers, whether it’s a discounted data plan, sponsored data plan or a completely tailored plan that fits their exact needs based on service consumption. The key word, though, is personal. If you send customers an offer that doesn’t seem relevant to them, you’re not going to achieve anything but annoying them.
Service providers know a lot about their customers. It’s high time they started to use that data more intelligently to provide better more individualised services and to use that information to save customers money and build much longer lasting loyalty than is the current model. Our report gives you the guidance you need to do that.
You can learn more about our research by visiting comptelcorporation.com/power-of-personal. From there, you can:
- Download the full research report
- Watch video interviews to hear what consumers on the street think about their current service providers and what should be done differently
- View an infographic that summarises the top findings
- Read our new eBook, which has tips on how to put those findings into action
- Explore three use cases of how service providers could better cater to customers through a more personalised approach
Posted: February 1st, 2017 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: contextual intelligence, customer engagement, customer experience, FASTERMIND | No Comments »
Operators are on a journey to become true digital telcos. Rich Karpinski, a US-based analyst for 451 Research, recently explored how Comptel’s FASTERMIND™ helps put CSPs on the fast track to becoming offer-driven, digitally-savvy operators.
“Few vendors have as a pure a vision of how mobile operators must evolve to become digital service providers as Comptel. It speaks the language, understands the requirements, absorbs and applies the use cases.”
Transforming operators into Digital Service Providers is at the heart of Comptel’s Nexterday vision. To execute on that vision, Comptel recently launched the FASTERMIND™ suite at Nexterday North 2016, to provide artificial intelligence applications for digital telcos. FASTERMIND™ recommends, predicts and automates real-time decisions, particularly supporting customer engagement automation.
“Rather than rely on a small handful of customer segment buckets and static, non-real-time campaigns to drive out offers, FASTERMIND’s monitoring and analytics tools work with other Comptel platforms – Monetizer for policy control and charging and Data Refinery for mediation and data processing – to allow operators to deliver more real-time, personalized and contextually relevant offers.”
Comptel’s Nexterday vision and strategy has garnered a great deal of attention in the market, and we are pleased to secure external analyst recognition for this new FASTERMIND™ suite, and also for our work in helping CSPs to evolve into DSPs by rethinking and redesigning customer engagement with real-time and contextual best-next-action offers.
“It’s not about bundling a digital ‘service’ like Dropbox or Netflix or simply offering a few new mobile data plan options. Rather, it’s a rethinking of how mobile operators interact with their customers, understanding their real-time needs and wants and having the analytics, decision-making and network execution capabilities to hit them with the right offer at the right time.”
Comptel’s Nexterday vision focuses on providing customers with an outstanding and memorable digital experience. By coupling FASTERMIND’s time-sensitive, contextual and personalised recommendations, with MONETIZER™, an easy-to-use tool for the rapid design of policy and pricing offers, and DATA REFINERY™, which captures a real-time 360° view of the customer, CSPs are fully equipped for future business growth.
“More aggressively than almost any competitor, Comptel has swallowed the ‘red pill’ and sent itself fully down the digital telco path.”
Rich Karpinski’s full report, Comptel speeds operator offer decision-making with FASTERMIND can be downloaded here.
Comptel will be exhibiting at MWC17 in Barcelona February 27 – March 2, 2017. Meet with us at stand #5G40, Hall 5 to learn more about our Nexterday vision and FASTERMIND™ for customer engagement automation.
Posted: December 22nd, 2016 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: 5G, digital service lifecycle management, Nexterday, Nexterday North, OSS, sponsored data | Comments Off on The Most Compelling Conversations on the Comptel Blog in 2016
In 2016, Comptel focused on extending our Nexterday message and encouraging operators to stop over-thinking and start doing what they need to do to transform their businesses. The energy and excitement we felt at Nexterday North 2016, our second annual anti-seminar, told us that many operators are doing just that, turning the big ideas they hear around the industry into game-changing results.
Here on the Comptel blog, we always want to give room for those big ideas to take shape. Let’s take a look back on some of the top pieces – and ideas – we wrote in the past year.
Enabling the Personalised Customer Journey
All operators are on a journey to better serve their customers. The activities they take in this area can be put into two categories – customer transformation and network transformation. In this piece, we explained exactly what the personalised customer journey is all about, and offered a model for how operators can win the hearts and minds of their customers.
Forget the iPhone. The Next Great UI Design Change is in OSS
The new iPhone UI looks a lot like the old iPhone UI, which tells you how iterative many of Apple’s latest updates have become. In this blog, we proposed that it’s time the OSS embraced a design overhaul, and explained exactly how the OSS of the future should look to offer the same ease of use you might expect from an iOS product.
Comptel Partnerships to Introduce Fresh Digital Service Approaches
2016 was also a busy year for Comptel and our partners. At TM Forum Live! in Nice, we were involved in three separate industry catalysts, each led by a Comptel partner. There was Telefonica’s Open Source MANO project, Orange’s sponsored data initiative, and IBM’s cloud-based networking architecture. These cross-industry initiatives are so important to Comptel because they keep us on the forefront of innovation. We want to lend our expertise in a way that benefits the entire industry, and we’re proud to stand alongside these partners in that effort.
Reimagining OSS to Enable Dynamic Digital Service Delivery
Our digital service lifecycle management (DSLM) model was a major theme for us in 2016, and in the Spring we put it to the test as part of the IBM Cloud Based Initiative. In this post, we explain exactly why and how digital service delivery needs to change to serve a new breed of digital customer.
Spectrum is the First Step. How Will Operators Next Invest in 5G?
Innovation abounds in connectivity, and 5G represents one of many emerging frontiers for investment and development. In the U.S., regulators opened up spectrum for telco experimentation, and in this post we covered the challenges that lay ahead for telcos who dipped their toes in this industry.
Sponsored Data is a Path to Revenue for Savvy Mobile Operators
Pokémon GO was a huge mobile gaming craze in the summer of 2016, and T-Mobile jumped on the buzzworthy topic by offering players one year’s worth of free mobile data exclusively to play the game. It was another example of a savvy sponsored data play that shows other operators how they creatively leverage data access to win over digital customers.
In 2016 we also launched Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community. You can read much more of our writing on digital transformation, customer experience and network innovation there.
Posted: December 13th, 2016 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: NFV, TOSCA, virtualization | Comments Off on Putting TOSCA to Work in Real-Case NFV
Comptel Offer Example Templates to the Open Marketplace
There remains no doubt that virtualization is shaking the foundations of the telecommunications industry and is here to stay. As the technology continues to mature and evolve, use cases become more realistic and so do the requirements to represent the service specifications that allow their programmatic utilization and consumption.
Several standards organizations have laid proposals to this purpose and there appears to be consensus that, in the Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) case at least, TOSCA NFV appears to be positioning itself as the preferred option for operators and vendors alike.
The Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) is a data model standard managed by industry group OASIS that can be used to orchestrate Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) services and applications. TOSCA does this through a collection of information models and templates to orchestrate applications seamlessly across multiple cloud domains which is ideal for network functions that are virtualized and deployed in datacentres.
At the time of this writing, the latest release of the TOSCA NFV Simple Profile dates from mid-March 2016. The document provides a good insight but it lacks practical, consistent examples (e.g. there are a few errors) and examples from additional sources are hard to come by. This applies to the Cloud Service Archive or CSAR (pronounced Cesar) packaging mechanism, in which the specification is conveniently wrapped with all the necessary components.
[Comptel] has taken the information that’s publicly available and created some examples that we would like to share with the broader community.
Use Case: vEPC Core Network CSAR
A basic representation of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) Network Service Descriptor (NSD) composed of four Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) as shown in Figure 1 below. In addition, every node has a connection to a common management network.
Figure 1: vEPC Architecture & Interfaces
The CSAR file contains metadata, the service templates or specifications, images and the corresponding scripts for the VNFs themselves. Figure 2 shows the structure of the file.
Figure 2: CSAR file structure
As displayed in Figure 3, the metadata file contains in line 4, a pointer to the main driving template, in this case the overall vEPC NSD which will link to the individual nodes (e.g. VNFs) and their relationship and corresponding connectivity.
Figure 3: Contents of metadata file (TOSCA.meta)
The Network Service Design
The NSD provides the global overview (refer to snapshot below) on how the different components (e.g. VNFs, VLs, FGs, etc.) come together. Lines 9 thru 13 point to the VNF templates, in this case for every VNF.
The individual VNFs are described in lines 26, 37, 49 and 58 respectively. They contain a reference to the type, the list of (virtual) networks they are connected to and in those cases where applicable, a declaration of the forwarding graph capabilities (e.g. lines 45, 46 and 47). Additional details on the VNF themselves are contained on their own descriptors (VNFDs) which are shown later.
Next are the details of the external connection points (CPs). These are demarcation points for the NSD as depicted in Figure 4 and they are described in lines 65, 73, 81 and 89.
Figure 4: External Connection Points
Finally, the networks interconnecting the VNFs themselves. In this case, all networks are point-to-point connections (e.g. ELINE) except for the management one, which is shared across all VNFs (ELAN). Every declaration, as seen in lines 97, 108, 113, 119, 125, 131 and 137 indicates the number of network entities attached to them.
The Virtualised Network Function Descriptor
The VNFDs provide details on the specifications of the individual nodes. The vPDN GW descriptor is shown below as a reference. Starting on line 42 the connectivity is described. This VNF requires two computational resources as expressed on line 48 (VDU1 & VDU2). Two of its interfaces (CP21 & CP22) are enabled to support Forwarding Graphs (line 51). In this specific case, four standard transactions types are supported through self-contained scripts: create, configure, stop and delete (line 54). The interfaces and their respective networks can be appreciated in general the topology depicted in Figure 5.
Figure 5: PDNGW_VNF Topology
At the end of the VNFD template are two Forwarding Paths (Line 144 and 151). They represent the incoming and outgoing traffic for the PDN gateway. Figure 6 and Figure 7 provide a visual perspective of the traffic flows they control.
Figure 6: Forwarding Path1 on VNFD
Figure 7: Forwarding Path2 on VNFD
NSD_vEPC.yaml – File contents:
vPDNGW_VNF.yaml – File contents:
The standards provide enough tools to cover the most general of use cases, but we expect to see future updates that can target elements of the service description that represent more complex and realistic scenarios, for instance:
- Quality of Experience (QoE) or in general Quality of Service (QoS) features. There are some brief references in the existing standards but this area requires further development.
- The transactions/interfaces need to support more complex features that can allow them to be referenced and consumed more easily by higher order service orchestration processes.
- Forwarding Graphs should include indications of the traffic types.
Although Comptel has worked out these areas for its own products and specifications, the real value materialises when these specifications become open and seamlessly interchangeable by the different components in the architecture.
Posted: September 28th, 2016 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: customer engagement, Generation Cloud, personalized customer journey | Comments Off on Enabling the Personalized Customer Journey
Have the rules changed for Communications Service Providers to engage with their customers?
Digitalization has created a generation of empowered, engaged and demanding “Generation Cloud” consumers. These people want to be treated as individuals through using a service that meets their expectations and aligns to the way they live their lives. They don’t want to follow service providers’ rules but instead, define the digital market as they want to see it. Service providers have to identify product opportunities, then design and commercially publish new service offerings faster than ever. Only then will they be able to seize the increasing new opportunities for data, content, applications and service monetization. Effectively they have to monetize more in less time, whilst leveraging partner offerings for service enrichment.
How do service providers win the hearts and minds of customers with almost impossible expectations?
To meet the expectations of generation cloud consumers it’s no longer sufficient to have a static portfolio of products that a customer selects and uses unchanged for the lifetime of a contract. Lifestyles, demands and expectations create a digital opportunity for providers to continually engage with their customers with contextually relevant enrichments to a base package contract.
These enrichments or upsell opportunities can take the form of traditional data or messaging bundles, however they can now also encompass personalized add-ons such as streaming subscriptions or cloud-storage with a data allowance; time-based video streaming bundles and sponsored enterprise data packages. These modern-day enrichments have to be more understandable by the consumer, as lifestyle enhancements aligned to them.
Service providers have an opportunity to not only create these offerings but intelligently identify when to make a recommendation and with which product. They also have to simplify the engagement and buying process as closed-loop automation, allowing for consistent improvement, alignment and customer retention.
What would the perfect solution look like for CSPs to enable the personalised customer journey?
A comprehensive turnkey solution for the personalized journey will incorporate a number of steps that the customer service lifecycle will take. These steps consist of product creation based on identified market needs, campaign management and commercialization of those products, an ordering process and of course the delivery of a product in the first instance.
Once delivered it’s necessary to collect data and valuable information on the consumed service, which when analyzed provides insights to drive the intelligent recommendations required for next customer contact via a simple interaction or detailed marketing campaign.
Realizing that the recommended add-on is a perfect fit, the consumer then needs a seamless buying and delivery experience – leading to the creation of a revised automation-loop for continuous future engagement.
A Modern Day Customer Engagement Architecture
Leveraging a communications industry data integration framework, Salesforce, Apttus and Comptel are perfecting the personalized customer journey through a number of identifiable steps.
- Designing – B2C or B2B service design based on technical network and service capabilities, with input from market research created by product management.
- Commercializing – Publishing of the product as a commercial offering, allowing a customer to discover, select and customize to their needs.
- Ordering – Submission of the selected and customized product as an order into the buying process. Incorporating CPQ processes (Configuration, Pricing and Quotation).
- Delivering – Order processing and service activation plus an all-important notification to the subscriber for full customer engagement into the process.
- Tracking – Continuous charging, metering and full reporting of service consumption by the subscriber, giving a 3600 perspective on contextual usage.
- Analyzing – Contextual analysis on service usage trends of the subscriber leading to intelligent recommendation for product upsell and tailoring – customer alignment and engagement.
- Growing – Perpetual engagement, offering continual recommendations to an individual and the option to buy. Perfecting the customer engagement process.
The result is an eco-system primed solution for customer engagement and contextually-intelligent product recommendations, leading to automated customer lifecycle management. The solution is enabled by the Salesforce Communications Framework & Data Exchange, Salesforce Customer Success Platform, Apttus Quote-to-Cash solution and Comptel Intelligent Data Monetization & Customer Engagement Automation.
Posted: September 13th, 2016 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: OSS, OSS/BSS, SDN & OpenFlow World, service orchestration | Comments Off on Forget the iPhone. The Next Great UI Design Change is in OSS
Have you preordered your new iPhone 7? Or were you, like many observers, underwhelmed with Apple’s latest product launch?
The tech leader rolled out the newest version of its smartphone last week, and by all accounts the latest iPhone’s features are mostly iterative than innovative. The most disruptive hardware change was also the one that frustrated consumers the most: the elimination of the 3.5 mm headphone jack, which requires iPhone users to use Apple’s proprietary headphones instead.
Similarly, the iPhone’s user interface seems to have plateaued. While the iPhone 7 will ship with a new operating system that includes a handful of new features, the look and feel of Apple’s UI is still virtually unchanged from where it was several generations ago. You can add some more pixels here and round off a few bevels there, but for the most part, iOS doesn’t offer much opportunity for further design innovation. Apple’s UI is what it is because that’s what its devout customers expect.
That’s not necessarily a knock against Apple’s UI. They’ve found an interface that suits its fanbase, and they’ve even inspired design innovation in other areas of software development. In fact, one software experience that’s long overdue for a fresh coat of paint and user-friendly functionality is OSS.
To date, we’ve seen OSS interfaces designed around the technology in the network: topologies, hardware representations and configurations that must be manually realigned based on user. However, the emerging app- and data-driven digital economy is putting increased pressure on operator networks to be agile, dynamic and automated. Meanwhile network function virtualisation (NFV) is changing the speed and nature of service orchestration by simplifying network processes and application deployment.
Doesn’t it make sense, then, that the OSS should be refreshed to enable an agile and more productive work experience for telco operations managers?
Telco is starved for a strong, functional and distinct OSS UI. The folks who support service orchestration vary in roles, responsibilities, skill levels and professional backgrounds. OSS UIs should be designed to correspond to that variety, so that each user is able to focus only on those operational elements that they are most equipped to manage. That increases efficiency and the speed at which digital services can be developed, verified, deployed and improved.
As a result, time-to-profit goes down, while customer satisfaction goes up.
That’s why the shift toward cloud-service operational management will bring an evolution to the OSS, in the form of tailored, intuitive user experiences and subsequently increased productivity. The new OSS will be open, capable of seamlessly interacting with both telco and IT apps and their corresponding management systems. As a result, telcos benefit from a higher order platform to specify, test, publish for consumption and deliver services across virtual, physical and IT domains.
An intuitive OSS UI also supports a seamless end-to-end service lifecycle, eliminating any gaps in the process by which network resources are discovered and services are designed and deployed.
Ultimately, the new OSS recognises that virtualisation is an opportunity for telco to reinvent itself. Operators can offer more than just a telecommunications platform – they have a chance to become part of a larger, distributed IT infrastructure that seamlessly provides services to end customers. Our existing OSS culture needs to evolve in order to recognise that this paradigm shift requires opening up the infrastructure to deliver services and resources in a more agile, open and systematic way.
Comptel will discuss the reinvention of the OSS user interface paradigm in The Hague for SDN & OpenFlow World Congress, 10-14 October 2016. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with our team or arrange a meeting at the event.
Posted: September 12th, 2016 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Comments Off on Comptel and MEF: Shaping Service Orchestration for the Digital Economy
For the past 15 years, the MEF Forum has been focused on driving forward innovations in network performance to help operators deliver carrier-grade ethernet connectivity and more recently, what it calls “Third Network Services.” As one of 200 member organisations, Comptel is pleased to play an important role helping to shape MEF’s guidance around next-generation service orchestration with our Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DSLM) model.
Last month, Comptel took part in the primary annual meeting of the MEF member organisation in Boston, where we had a great opportunity to explore how our DSLM model for service orchestration complements MEF’s vision for NFV-driven service delivery and lifecycle management.
What are Third Network Services?
MEF describes Third Network Services as those that “combine the on-demand agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of Carrier Ethernet 2.0.” The organisation is essentially describing a variety of digital services that rely on optimised high-performance networks to meet the quality of service expectations of today’s digitally savvy Generation Cloud consumers.
Examples include performance-assured wired or wireless internet connectivity, which automatically optimises the performance of your network whether you’re working on a train, in your home or from a hotel room on a business trip. The Third Network also provides assured, dynamic network performance for businesses, enhancing the experience for each end user on each cloud application even if the company uses multiple internet providers across multiple offices.
The idea is to provide quality, assured service experiences that customers can control. MEF’s vision for Third Network Services closely aligns with Comptel’s own view of dynamic digital services, which is why we’re excited to bring our DSLM model to the table in conversations with MEF member organisations.
Developing LSO and DSLM
To enable these services, MEF has introduced a number of models and specifications that define how operators should evolve their networks and integrate emerging technologies, such as network functions virtualisation (NFV). Member organisations, like Comptel, take part in ongoing MEF initiatives and proofs of concept to engage with and develop these standards and models.
One such model is MEF’s Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), which leans on NFV and software-defined networks (SDN) to streamline and automate “the service lifecycle in a sustainable fashion for coordinated management and control across all network domains responsible for delivering an end-to-end connectivity service,” according to MEF.
Comptel’s DLSM, which models dynamic service orchestration in an NFV-driven digital economy, complements LSO nicely. It’s a three-tiered conversational architecture in which:
- A customer-facing top layer handles order capture, configuration and invoicing
- A middle digital service lifecycle management layer offers dynamic service design, orchestration, assurance and delivery
- A bottom layer handles resource management with physical and virtual systems.
The parallel concepts of LSO and DLSM both recognise the important role virtual functions will play in the development of operator networks and the delivery of dynamic, high-performance digital services to consumers.
Comptel is eager to be part of the conversation within MEF to help define how LSO standards evolve, and we believe our ongoing involvement with MEF will help us bring a higher level of expertise to conversations with our own customers around NFV-driven service orchestration.
Learn more about DSLM in our whitepaper “Digital Service Lifecycle Management: How Communications Service Providers Can Play a Successful Role in the Digital Economy”
Comptel will be showcasing and discussing the Digital Service Lifecycle Management including their FlowOne V solution for end-to-end hybrid network service orchestration at a number of events in the coming weeks.
To connect with our team or set up a meeting, email ComptelMarketing@Comptel.com.
Posted: August 29th, 2016 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: 56, innovation, spectrum, telco infrastructure, wireless | Comments Off on Spectrum is the First Step. How Will Operators Next Invest in 5G?
By Malla Poikela and Simo Isomäki
Consumers want faster internet. Operators want to offer it. And now, regulators in the United States say they want to give telcos the tools to deliver it.
This month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it would open up a range of spectrum – 28 Gigahertz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz – for the creation of the next generation of wireless services. 5G connectivity will represent a “quantum leap” in wireless capabilities, said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, because it promises to deliver speeds at least 10 times and possibly 100 times faster than 4G LTE.
The U.S. will be the first country in the world to open up spectrum for 5G, and there are many positive takeaways from the FCC’s announcement. First off, releasing radio spectrum is an obvious and important first step toward innovation. It creates a great opportunity for first-movers to start testing and developing new wireless technologies.
Wheeler also points out that the high-frequency bands now available to telcos support much higher traffic throughput compared to existing licensed spectrum, which will give “fibre-like” traffic capacity to wireless users. That will allow operators to dream up intriguing new services and applications.
There’s a lot to like from the FCC announcement, but of course it’s just the first step in the ongoing development of 5G. There’s a lot of work left to do to make 5G a feasible and profitable option for operators.
A Complex Regulatory Environment
Communication services providers (CSP) and network equipment providers (NEP) will need to make substantial investments to roll out 5G across the world, and they’ll need to do it fast to meet consumer demand. How will they recoup the costs of their investments?
One strategy might be to sell premium 5G-enabled services at a premium cost, but of course, those operators would need to be careful not to defy net neutrality regulations and expectations. There’s friction between regulations and operators on this issue. While FCC has ruled in favour of net neutrality, major U.S. telcos have argued that an inability to create priority services limits the funds they’d use to invest in infrastructure.
This issue should only become more pronounced with 5G. How can regulators and operators meet in the middle? There are a number examples of differentiated service models that balance private and public interests while working in parallel, such as public libraries and private booksellers, or VIP services in the hospitality industry. Regulators and operators must create an environment that encourages equal access but also offers unique opportunities for differentiated service models.
A New Infrastructure for Better Latency, Connectivity
5G connectivity is supposed to offer the network speed needed to power next-generation applications, the types that can’t afford lags or gaps in connection. A connected car, for example, needs fast internet access all of the time, whether you’re driving in a crowded urban environment or a sleepy rural community.
But solving for network speed is ultimately more of an infrastructure problem more than it is about adding spectrum. User devices will need to be moved closer to the edge of the network, which means a massive deployment of unobstructed antennas – that’s where the biggest costs related 5G deployment will be found.
How will that impact the future development of cloud infrastructure? Will it push us even faster toward global urbanization, with fewer people living in rural communities? How will investment in 5G be balanced against investments in faster fixed connections, like fibre?
Interestingly, many of the most popular use cases for 5G seem to suggest that, in the future, we’ll mostly access the internet via mobile networks. But of course, that’s not nearly the case across the world. In the United States, only 20 percent of households access the internet exclusively through mobile networks – 75 percent get it from fixed connections, according to the NTIA.
Now, the numbers are in fact slightly trending toward more mobile-only connections and fewer fixed connections in the US market. Globally, mobile broadband connections are, on average, 1.7 times cheaper than fixed-broadband, according to the International Telecommunications Union. But will operators choose to invest in both areas evenly, or favour one connection over the other? The most realistic vision for 5G connectivity might be in heterogeneous networks, a combination of wireline and wireless, where operators will be able to exercise a variety of connectivity technologies, including 5G, to deliver maximum service and experiences to customers.
Spectrum is one important piece of the puzzle that is 5G, but it’s still early days. The telco industry needs to work with regulators to solve issues around differentiated service offerings, and operators need to determine how best to change network infrastructure to support futuristic bandwidth-hungry service and applications.