Comptel and MEF: Shaping Service Orchestration for the Digital Economy

Posted: September 12th, 2016 | Author: | 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.digital services

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.


Spectrum is the First Step. How Will Operators Next Invest in 5G?

Posted: August 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | 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.

56 connectivity

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.


Software Usability in Telco: Going Beyond Technical Performance

Posted: August 23rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Software Usability in Telco: Going Beyond Technical Performance

By Kirsi Kalenius-Ruotsalainen

Most software is built in layers. At the bottom sits the technical foundation, while at the very top there’s a user interface that connects man with machine. Most software users never actually deal with the technical layer – they’re happy as long as the software’s foundation works efficiently and as it should. mobile desktop software development

Instead, most user interactions occur on the surface layer, but that’s not always where developers and businesses focus their attention. A lot of development time is spent shoring up a product’s technical foundation, and while it’s very important to create a functional product that’s built on strong footing, a subpar user interface is not enough. Users need more than that. And a major challenge is that a product’s usability is invisible by nature and usually only gains attention when something is missing.

The User is Number One

What is usability in a nutshell?

The essence of it is to think about the usage of a product or service from the user’s point of view and consider the optimal way of interacting with the product to achieve maximum end-user benefits. It’s about enabling the use of a product or service to be as easy, as pleasant and as efficient as possible. It’s about simplifying complex things.

Users need products that are easy to learn and to use, that eliminate error-prone conditions, that create meaningful experiences, and, not to forget, that are pleasant to look at. Products need to make sense and answer the needs of users.

Users want products to be as fluent as possible, saving their time and, in the corporate world, saving their money. This need is universal no matter the software’s target group or ideal customer, whether it’s a private individual or a big global telco company.

So, how do software developers get to the point where their product’s users enjoy both maximum technical performance as well as great product usability?

One has to bear in mind that great product usability, as abstract as it sounds, is not a complementary asset – it’s an integral must-have quality for any service or software. The process of ensuring a service or software has the best possible usability goes alongside the whole development process, from requirements gathering all the way to delivery and beyond.

A Focus on Usability Saves Money

It’s not only end-users that benefit from an integrated approach to addressing software usability. Developers and businesses stand to benefit, too.

By utilizing user-centric design methods from the beginning, it’s easier for developers to track what customers want and compile a comprehensive list of product requirements. In fact, it would be beneficial for all parties, if possible, to have continuous communication between customers and the user experience design team to track satisfaction with a product’s usability and features.

After feedback is received and new product requirements determined, continuous end-user feedback and validation during the design and development stages will ensure faster progress and earlier resolution of design flaws or feature missteps. Failing fast saves development time and money.

How Comptel Addresses Product Usability

The Comptel user experience design team utilizes user-centric design methods that aim at taking the end-user into account from the very beginning of the design process. The range of different methods is vast, varying from user interviews to focus groups, workshops and co-creation. End-users and experts are an integral part of the design process and their knowledge is being utilized at all phases. We aim to achieve continuous dialog with our end-users.

Usability Can Also Be a Competitive Asset

Let’s not forget that Comptel is not the only business operating in the area of telco software development. We always ask ourselves: How can we differentiate from the other providers in this highly competitive environment? What makes us better?

When a software’s technical performance, feature list and price are approximately on the same level, it’s the surface-level usability that makes the difference to customers. So we work to deliver a superior user experience that customers know is quintessentially Comptel.

You can’t create a world-leading software product without offering both great technical performance and a great user experience. And you can’t deliver a great user experience without supreme product usability. These factors combined equal quality. And quality is our key driver.


Sponsored Data is a Path to Revenue for Savvy Mobile Operators

Posted: August 2nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Sponsored Data is a Path to Revenue for Savvy Mobile Operators

Pop quiz: which app holds the record for the most launch-week U.S. downloads in the history of Apple’s App Store? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the answer should be fairly easy: it’s Pokémon GO. pokemon go

The app has been a pop culture sensation since launching in the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and New Zealand. It’s the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, and enjoys 21 million daily users on average. The average mobile iOS user spends more time on the Pokémon GO than they do Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.

That level of engagement for a brand-new app is extraordinary. Recognising that fact, T-Mobile U.S. rolled out a compelling offer for its mobile subscribers as part of its “T-Mobile Tuesdays” campaign: free, unlimited data to play Pokémon GO for up to one year.

T-Mobile has been at the forefront of programs that make data available to subscribers for free. Its “Binge On” program allows customers to access more than 75 streaming video services without using their monthly 4G LTE data allotment.

Customers love streaming content and games, but they are reluctant to engage with certain activities because it’s perceived they might consume too much of their data allowance. Sponsored data programs let them engage with those services because the cost of data consumption is covered by an enterprise, such as the content provider.

Through agreements with streaming content providers or mobile app developers, operators remove the financial barriers that might have discouraged customers from accessing these data-hungry services. As an effective monetisation strategy, sponsored data endears you to your customers, establishes greater levels of satisfaction and loyalty, increases data consumption and creates long-term revenue-generation opportunities.

At this past TM Forum Live! in Nice, we demonstrated a business model for enterprise sponsored data through a Catalyst championed by Orange. Our initiative – which was awarded “Most Innovative Catalyst – Commercial in the Communications Industry” – used Comptel’s Intelligent Fast Data capabilities to create personalised data offerings for enterprise customers, allowing those enterprises to collect usage data and apply policy control.

It’s not just streaming content providers who can get involved. Operators could identify new avenues to revenue in the B2B market. A business could purchase a corporate data allowance, for example, that sponsors all data its employees use to access corporate services, like Office 365, via their personal mobile devices. That eliminates any potential hesitancy on the part of employees, who otherwise may not want to use up their personal data allowance for work purposes.

Whether for work or play, sponsored data programs could be a major opportunity for operators to drive more revenue opportunities from data services. As digital services take up a bigger share of smartphone usage compared to voice and mobile, these new avenues to revenue will be crucial for operator business growth.

Read more about Comptel’s Catalysts at TM Forum Live! 2016, which included partnerships with Orange, Telefonica, Salesforce and IBM. Keep up with the conversation around mobile monetisation at Nexterday.org, our reader community and online magazine.


Buzz at the ETNews Big Data Seminar

Posted: April 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | Comments Off on Buzz at the ETNews Big Data Seminar
ETNews organised a Big Data Seminar in Seoul on 22-23rd of March. Several hundreds of experts from the Big Data field came together to hear about great examples and technologies, and to share experiences. Comptel had the pleasure of joining Team Finland with a speaker slot together with IOT specialists BaseN and Wirepas.
So what created most buzz?
Nokia had the opening keynote talking about internal and external data, and how all data should be used to improve predictions. Interesting IOT areas were energy, digital health, and connected cars. Also emphasised was privacy and how all connected devices will bring further challenges when it comes to privacy matter.
A very interesting keynote was given by famous designer Youngse Kim. He explained how it will be difficult to drive consumer value out of data unless you have Big Design. He explained how consumer design is all about predicting and how this focus on big data will drive momentum into the design-space as well.  Mr. Kim further noted that big data and IOT will only be commercialised because of Big Design. New industries will emerge. The design will be at the center of new business for companies who succeed. A good example were two designers who wanted to design hotels, but went on a sidetrack and created Airbnb.
The retail side was represented by Tom Spencer from dunnhumby. Key takeaways were how they use big data to create loyalty, and the need for a Chief Data Officer in every organisation. He also showed how everyone need to climb the analytics capability ladder before they will truly be able to turn data into value.
With the growing complexity of data gathering, analysis, and exchange we cannot but agree with Mr. Spencer on the fact that most organisations today lack a person in charge of a good vision for big data and strategy.
ShinhanCard showed very interesting figures and examples on how they have been able to grow their business with big data. With 22 million members they discovered that they needed to segment their customers and create segment specific credit cards. Today they have 11 different cards. They also talked about how they used real-time data to help the government at the time of the MERS outbreak last year. Or what do you think about analysing how far people are willing to travel for cheaper products? Or using mobile phone credit rating data to give loans?
Another hot topic to be noted was real-time analytics. Most of the presentations had some degree of real-timeless in them, and it was great to see that Comptel is not the only one who have realised that the best way to value from data comes from Intelligent Fast Data.
I had the honor of presenting Comptel’s Intelligent Fast Data and how to get value out of data using real-time analytics and actions. Our Nexterday was, of course, part of the story, and it is interesting to see that Nexterday is really cross-industry. Not only for Telco, but for IT in general and any industry who need to serve their customers better. Remember, focus your customer, not customers.
It seems that contextuality is really picking up. Meaning that it is understood that data is most valuable when it is fresh and used at the moment. This becomes even more critical when moving into IOT. So the question is: Is your infrastructure equipped for Nexterday?
As part of the Team Finland delegation, we also had a chance to have separate meetings with many interesting companies. Truly inspiring to see what is going on in Korea and the potential that is there. To be continued…

Nexterday Volume II: A Blueprint for the Perfect Digital Company

Posted: February 19th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Nexterday Volume II: A Blueprint for the Perfect Digital Company

For Comptel, the past year has been all about sharing our ideas around the digital business transformation operators must undergo to deliver perfect digital moments to customers. Now, we’re challenging operators to take the next step and put those ideas into action.Nexterday Volume II Comptel

We’ve published Nexterday: Volume II, a follow-up to our previous book, Operation Nexterday. You can pick up a hard copy of the book at this year’s Mobile World Congress or download a digital version by visiting our new online magazine and community, Nexterday.org. With this edition, our goal is to help each operator become a “Perfect Digital Company,” one that works for and with its customers to enhance the digital moments that make up life.

To achieve that, operators need to open their minds to fresh ways of thinking about serving customers, taking inspiration from their counterparts across the globe and visionary, non-telco businesses that are changing the face of digitalisation.

The Customer is in Charge

Generation Cloud is, as always, at the centre of the digital struggle. B2B and B2C customers crave the autonomy to customise, configure and purchase digital services at a faster pace and on their own terms. On top of that, operators are increasingly starting to play in non-traditional markets, including connected devices, smart cities and healthcare, in both established and emerging markets.

Technology advancements – from the introduction of and ongoing management needs for virtualised network functions to the rising importance of real-time data in sales, marketing and service management – mean operators have more tools at their disposal to serve buyers’ unique interests and succeed in new verticals.

The challenge is determining how to effectively leverage these tools, while also applying the creativity and radical ideas operators need to distinguish their service at a time when customers are willing to switch digital and communications service providers at a moment’s notice. It’s not just about offering dynamic new services, but also delivering those services as part of a more pleasant and fulfilling customer experience.

Creating Perfect Digital Moments

Nexterday: Volume II describes how your business can evolve to meet the needs of a changing digital economy. The book includes:

  • Inspiring real-world examples of telco and non-telco businesses that strive to offer customers extraordinary digital experiences
  • Perspectives on the qualities of leading digital businesses from economist Dr. Kjell Nordström and business experts Stefan Moritz, Mark Curtis and Jeetu Mahtani
  • In-depth research from analysts Stewart Rogers, Fredrik Jungermann, Caroline Chappell and Steve Bell
  • Blueprints on how operators can automate their enterprise sales approach, pursue Internet of Things (IoT) service opportunities, create a richer B2C customer experience and re-engineer their back end for accelerated service delivery and enhanced digital service lifecycle management

Though we believe strongly in the themes we cover in the book, we want it to inspire a rich dialogue about the state of our digitalisation. We invite book readers to visit Nexterday.org to share their opinions and challenge our thinking. Whether you agree or disagree, we want to hear from you at Nexterday.org. Registration is simple: just sign up with your LinkedIn account.

Nexterday: Volume II, which will be available in hard and digital copies, will be officially released at our #Nexterday party on Wednesday, 24 February at 7 p.m. CET during Mobile World Congress. We’ll have live performances, an open bar and plenty of opportunities to unwind and mingle. You can pick up an exclusive ticket at the Comptel booth (stand 5G40 in hall 5). If you are not attending Mobile World Congress, you can download a digital copy of the book at Nexterday.org.

We invite you to join the movement and become a ‘Perfect Digital Company’ that serves the best interests of its customers. Nexterday: Volume II will show you how.


Looking Back On a Transformational Year for Comptel

Posted: February 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Looking Back On a Transformational Year for Comptel

We’re only one month in to 2016, and already the team here at Comptel has been busy on multiple fronts. We’re putting the final touches on our follow-up to our successful book Operation Nexterday. You’ll be able to get a full hard copy of Nexterday Volume II at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and we’ll also have a download link on our soon-to-be-launched website, Nexterday.org.Nexterday North

We have much more in store for this year, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s worth taking a quick look back and the progress Comptel made in the past 13 months. As it turned out, 2015 was a hallmark year for Comptel. We’ve been an important player in this industry for 30 years, working hard to deliver solutions that keep our telco customers competitive.

However, we recognised the playbooks that we – and the industry as a whole – have relied on for so long are broken. We used last year to pioneer change in the way that this market serves its customers, embracing digitalisation and helping operators learn how they can become the perfect digital company.

Along the way, we developed product innovations that support our vision of Nexterday, partnered strategically and are proud to have been recognised for all we accomplished. With that in mind, here are a few highlights from Comptel’s transformative 2015:

Operation Nexterday

Last year we launched Operation Nexterday – a mission and framework encouraging operators to redefine their sales, marketing, technology and service approach to better suit the demands of the tech-savvy digital natives that make up Generation Cloud.

We wrote a 150-page book explaining how the evolution in B2B and B2C buyer demands is challenging the telco industry, and outlining steps to achieve Nexterday – from perfecting the digital buying experience and monetising new services faster, to orchestrating network functions from ground to cloud and utilising intelligent, fast data.

The book compiled insights from industry experts within Comptel and across the digital and communications landscape, including analysts and academics. It was published at Mobile World Congress 2015, with more than 5,000 copies distributed since.

Nexterday North

The success of the book led us to launch our first “anti-seminar.” In November, we held the inaugural Nexterday North event in Helsinki, Finland, as a side event to the global startup conference Slush. The event focused on digitalisation and motivating operators to think about the telco world with a non-traditional mindset. Nexterday North brought together more than 500 Comptel customers, partners, key industry players and futuristic business thinkers from around the world to examine digital services as the next major revenue stream for telcos.

Product Innovations

Our product teams kept their foot on the gas and worked tirelessly to develop solutions that would help our customers succeed in Nexterday.

FWD ComptelMONETIZER™, brought to market in July 2015, is an industry-first business policy and charging toolset enabling digital and communications service providers to innovate and design rich service offers instantly. With MONETIZER™, you can create, configure, launch and modify dynamic, contextual packages – and profit from consumers’ data usage – in minutes instead of months.

At Nexterday North, we launched FWD, an easy and contextual solution for operators to sell and market time-based mobile data directly from a smartphone. The FWD app makes buying mobile data fast, convenient and personal for consumers, while giving operators an easy-to-manage digital sales and marketing channel to maximise data revenues.

Industry Collaboration

We also extended our work with partners in our industry in an effort to help shape the future of telco.

We launched a four-month-long program with long-standing customer Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to develop the next generation of IT talent in Saudi Arabia. The program educates young Saudi professionals on communications networks, strengthens their knowledge of Comptel’s technologies and enables them for future leadership positions within STC.

Comptel also joined a partnership with Pivotal to market their solutions together in the Asia-Pacific region. The partnership enables operators to immediately act on data with easy, quick access to Comptel’s packaged data analytics applications via the Pivotal Big Data Suite.

Industry Recognition and Accolades

We achieved several proof points of excellence in 2015, including recognition by CIO Review as one of the 20 most promising M2M Solution Providers in 2015, and the Best Performing IT Team by TDC. The Comptel Operational Intelligence Model won OSS Innovation of the Year in the TelecomAsia Readers’ Choice and Innovation Awards, and the company’s work to evolve Chorus New Zealand’s fulfilment system was honoured with a Global Telecoms Business Award. Congratulations to my colleagues here at Comptel for earning this prestigious recognition!

We’re Only Getting Started

It’s fine to pat yourself on the back once in a while, and I’m certainly proud of what our team was able to achieve last year. However, in an industry that’s always evolving, we always want to be moving forward. Last year showed what Comptel is capable of, but we’ve only scratched the surface. In 2016, our mission is to execute on the ideas we introduced last year and turn those concepts into action. We’re challenging operators to create perfect digital companies for and with their customers. We invite you to join us on our journey toward Nexterday and to start transforming your business as well.

Comptel will be in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2016 (Hall 5, Stand 5G40). We’ll launch our latest book, Nexterday Volume II, and host a #Nexterday party on Wednesday, 24 February at 7 p.m. CET. To book a meeting, contact your Comptel account manager or send us an email at MWC2016@comptel.com.


The Most Compelling Conversations on the Comptel Blog in 2015

Posted: January 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: | Comments Off on The Most Compelling Conversations on the Comptel Blog in 2015

In 2015, Comptel challenged operators to embark on their own “Operation Nexterday” – a mission to redefine their sales, marketing, technology and service approach to better suit the demands of the tech-savvy digital natives that make up Generation Cloud. Our challenge manifested in several ways – we published a book explaining the challenge and outlining steps to achieve it, launched an event to introduce new ideas and insights, and encouraged new conversations with operators who were ready to take the jump into Nexterday.operation nexterday

The Comptel blog was also busy covering various aspects of the Nexterday mission. Here, we look back on the five most popular blogs we published in 2015.

Slush 2015 and Nexterday North: A One-Two Punch for Innovation

Our vision for Nexterday culminated in our first ever major anti-seminar. Nexterday North took place in the two days immediately preceding Slush – the largest startup conference in Europe – giving visitors to Helsinki a full week’s worth of fresh ideas, big announcements and new visions for the future of telco, digitalisation and business. Our most popular blog of the year got attendees excited for both events.

How a Push for NFV Standardisation Brought Comptel to ETSI

Network functions virtualisation (NFV) continued to be a hot topic in 2015, and many operators have discussed their desire to see better standardisation around the implementation of this emerging technology. In this blog, Comptel Director of Business Architecture Stephen Lacey explained how we lend our voice to the NFV standards discussion as a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Mobile World Congress Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on the Future of Mobile Communications

Last year’s Mobile World Congress was an exciting one for Comptel – that’s where we launched Operation Nexterday, our guide to how operators can rewrite their sales, marketing and service playbooks for Nexterday. The event also offered a great look into the trends that are affecting the telco industry, and in this blog post I recapped the top three takeaways I drew from the show.

Comptel, STC Partner to Train Saudi Arabia’s Future IT Leaders

One of Comptel’s most exciting stories of the year involved our work with Saudi Arabian operator STC. As a long-time customer, STC reached out to Comptel for support launching a brand-new employee training initiative. Through the four-month program, we helped train the next generation of Saudi telecommunications professionals with courses in Riyadh, Helsinki and Kuala Lumpur. We’re proud to play a role in youth IT education – read more in this blog from Comptel Senior Vice President, MEA, Mika Korpinen.

Bye Bye, Big Data – Hello Intelligent Fast Data

Big Data is a big disappointment – at least, that’s how some IT executives view it after prior data investments and initiatives felt short of lofty promises. In this blog, Comptel CTO Mikko Jarva argued that the failures of Big Data are a reflection of poor execution, and that to truly make the most of their customer data for greater business opportunities and revenue, operators need to account for every new raw data source and turn that data into real-time contextual decisions and actions. In short, it’s a push toward Intelligent Fast Data.

Learn more about our challenge to operators to evolve their sales, marketing and service playbooks for a new generation of buyer. Download and read “Operation Nexterday.”


VoLTE Is No Silver Bullet, But It Can Offer Monetisation Flexibility

Posted: December 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | Comments Off on VoLTE Is No Silver Bullet, But It Can Offer Monetisation Flexibility

When we wrote about the state of the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) market little while ago, we discussed the obstacles that operators could face when deploying the emerging technology. Although the number of VoLTE projects is growing, it’s worth asking the question: just how disruptive will high-definition voice be as a revenue generator?monetizer

The answer? It’s hard to believe that VoLTE will be the killer app that significantly increases operator revenue.

That’s because, from the consumer perspective, it won’t seem like much has changed at all. They will still open the voice “app” on their phone to make a call. Yes, there will be a handful of new features, including the ability to switch from an audio call to a video call, and, of course, superior voice quality. But, these aren’t features consumers would necessarily want to pay extra for, and if operators charge the same for VoLTE as they do traditional calls, the revenue point is moot.

However, that doesn’t invalidate VoLTE’s value as a service differentiator. The key to unlocking new sources of revenue from VoLTE will be in adopting a flexible monetisation approach.

That will require operators to think beyond pre-configured VoLTE service packages. Operators might opt for these because it seems to be an easier way to try an emerging technology, but they put themselves at a disadvantage.

When the vendor controls everything about how VoLTE is configured, you can only sell the service the way the vendor has dictated. You aren’t able to customise the way you implement and monetise VoLTE based on local market factors. It can often take you longer to implement the technology in the first place or change your implementation based on new developments. Overall, this means operators are slower, less proactive and have a harder time meeting customers’ unique needs.

It also limits other benefits of a VoLTE deployment including efficiency in the network, the ability to reform the cellular spectrum and improved cost competitiveness. Those will all save operators money, but they don’t add up to dramatically improved revenue. It’s better if operators have the power to customise VoLTE implementation and monetisation.

Perhaps you want to bundle VoLTE and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) services together. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you want to give VoLTE away to enterprise customers free of charge, bundling it as part of a larger corporate offering. Or maybe you’ve thought of an entirely new way to monetise the new technology that no one else has considered.

Ultimately, it should be up to you, not your vendor, to find the right way forward. Configurability in service monetisation is a key factor in achieving business elasticity, a concept we’ve discussed recently. For operators to be elastic – which defines their ability to change, upgrade, improve and react quickly to dynamic market changes – they will need to ensure their VoLTE capabilities are free from the fixed limitations of traditional vendor engagements. Elasticity is a key capability that requires fast, tailored, highly responsive customer service.

VoLTE is not a silver bullet, but that doesn’t mean operators should leave money on the table. Opt for a vendor that will let you configure VoLTE the way you want, and then start thinking of creative new ways to monetise it.

If you missed it, read the first blog post in this series, where we evaluated VoLTE pros and cons. And keep an eye out for our next piece, where we’ll cover the future of VoLTE and where we think this emerging technology will fit in the broader world of digital and communications services. If you want to control your own destiny and deploy VoLTE features the way you want it, the MONETIZER™ is there for you.


3 Major Takeaways From #NexterdayNorth

Posted: November 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , | Comments Off on 3 Major Takeaways From #NexterdayNorth

Nexterday NorthAlthough Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North has wrapped up, post-event enthusiasm hasn’t faded at all. Take a few seconds to scroll through comments on our official Twitter hashtags – #Nexterday and #NexterdayNorth – and you’ll get a sense of the massive number of ideas and insights attendees were able to gain over two inspiring days in Helsinki.

As our CEO Juhani Hintikka said in his closing remarks, we are grateful to all of the partners, colleagues, speakers and guests who helped make our first antiseminar such a success. Plenty of blogs and articles have already been written recapping Nexterday North – check out the links at the bottom of this post for some of those – but here’s three of our own parting thoughts from the first Comptel anti-seminar.

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Futurist Rohit Talwar (left), Stewart Rogers of VentureBeat Insights

There is Hope for Humanity

Those were the words Juhani used to describe Day 1 of Nexterday North, and it’s easy to see why. Our first day’s presenters offered a hopeful message of perseverance, potential and positive transformation.

Futurist Patrick Dixon’s energetic presentation taught us that emotion is the single most important driver of the future of technology, business and culture. Successful businesses remember that and seek to satisfy their customers on an emotional level. WIRED’s Gregg Williams shared a similar take, saying “It’s just as important to take bad things out of people’s lives as it is to add good things.”

Riisto Siilasmaa’s candid talk on Nokia’s business transformation had the crowd buzzing, and he offered a compelling walk-through of how he helped lead the company through one of its most challenging time periods. It was an inspiring lesson for the crowd that even in difficult times, there is always hope if you can commit to change.

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Ted Matsumoto of Softbank (left), Horacio Goldenberg of Telefonica

Customers Drive the Future

A consistent theme through every session – and especially on Day 2 – was the importance of putting customers at the centre of business strategy.

Our moderator, Ville Tolvanen, hosted a fascinating fireside chat with T-Mobile’s Milan Ruzicka that explored the company’s popular customer-centric Uncarrier movement. In a panel discussion Smart Kalasatama’s Veera Mustonen suggested that business transparency earns customer trust, while Tele2’s Lars Torstensson explained consumers’ desire to set their own service terms.

Of course, you need strategy and structure to put customers at the centre. SoftBank’s Ted Matsumoto offered a compelling business model to help operators fine-tune to customer needs. We also heard from experts on the data, service architecture and monetisation strategies that will play a vital role in operators’ business transformation.

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Mehackit's Cycle for Technology (left) and the launch of FWD

It’s Time for New Ways of Thinking

Many of the presentations also focused on the new service opportunities available to operators, from app development to smart cities to digital servies.

VentureBeat’s Stewart Rogers described new insights into hyper-personalized marketing that could deliver richer customer engagement. Futurist Rohit Talwar suggested a business pairing – experienced workers with younger ones – to balance the need for structure and discipline with the desire to innovate. And storyteller Linda Liukas advocated that children today could be the next generation of innovators if we make learning about technology fun and exciting.

Nexterday North was an exciting and inspiring event with more than a few surprises, including the launch of Comptel’s FWD app, which we believe will change how operators sell and market mobile data forever. Ultimately, Nexterday North proved that when you think differently, you uncover ways to make the world a better place for everyone.

Nexterday North speakers

Read more about Nexterday North below:

How Nokia’s chairman demanded €2bn from Steve Ballmer

Telcos need to emulate SoftBank & decouple network / services businesses

Look to the future to survive disruption

Comptel’s Nexterday

Hackers’ Advantage Over Security Professionals: A Willingness To Share

Time Based Mobile Internet Data Purchase Finally Arrives

Forget Big Data, use “Little Data” instead