Around the World

Posted: December 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Around the World

Telecoms.com…
Realising the Value of Policy Control
Like Bob Machin, Informa Telecoms & Media analyst Peter Dykes recognised an interesting trend at this year’s Broadband Traffic Management conference – the growing realization that policy control can do more than just address operators’ pain points of capacity and usage issues.  While managing bandwidth is certainly a challenge for most operators, others are exploring policy control solutions for business growth opportunities.  Small operators in highly competitive emerging markets perceive policy control as differentiating technology because they are able to implement more effective loyalty campaigns and discounts in markets that are susceptible to high rates of churn.  Research from a number of sources including Informa has shown that while the ‘capacity crunch’ is an issue, where, when and how it occurs varies from network to network.  Peter states that “the likelihood is, however, that once this issue has been addressed, those operators using policy control in a more customer-facing manner will serve as examples of what else is possible with a little imagination.”

TM Forum’s Inside Revenue Management…
The BSS/OSS Beast
For years, industry professionals have grappled with the BSS/OSS divide, and whether or not the two should be differentiated.  But the results of a recent TM Forum’s BSS/OSS survey and a well-attended BSS roundtable at Management World Americas shed some new light on this debate.  People still view the 36 processes or functions that were noted in the survey as being predominantly BSS or OSS (41% and 19% respectively), but that almost one-third were both.  The general consensus is that just as CSPs remove the operational silos in current transformation projects, they should also remove the BSS/OSS silos as well.  The TM Forum is focusing their attention on integrating the BSS OSS space.  Keep an eye out for more on this subject via TM Forum’s website, blogs and communities.  Also, you can read some of the survey comments in Tony Poulos’ article, Support Systems by Any Other Name…

Light Reading…
Boom Time for Policy
Heavy Reading’s Graham Finnie raises an interesting question about the future of policy management –“despite [the] extremely positive picture for the sector, one big question remains: will policy tools now go on to assume the wider role in the network of the future that many inside in the industry are betting on?”.  Exploring this a bit further, the analyst firm conducted a survey and found that traffic management is the number one catalyst today for deploying policy tools (nothing surprising here).  Yet, many vendors are emphasizing the creation of more personalized services with policy control solutions.  Results show that there is certainly strong interest in personalizing services to differentiate from competitors; however, it is not the core catalyst.  Finnie points to five things that need to happen before policy can “really move to the heart of the mobile service package and creation story”:

  • First, operators and vendors need to engage with product development and marketing groups inside the telcos.
  • Second, a related point, policy creation tools need to be as easy to use as possible, so that marketing can build and deploy policies themselves.
  • Third, network operators need assurance that integration with subscriber data stores and charging systems will deliver what’s required at an acceptable cost.
  • Fourth, operators need assurances that greater policy complexity will not cause the policy platform to fall over, or become impossible to manage.
  • And fifth, policy will need to be deployed end-to-end, including in the RAN and at the individual cell level.

What do you think the number one catalyst is?


Around the World

Posted: November 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Around the WorldInside Track…
Management World Americas 2010: A View from the Sunshine State
Management World Americas is over for another year…  TM Forum recaps this year’s Orlando conference in this Inside Track newsletter article.  According toe TM Forum, more than 1,200 attendees participated in discussions, conference sessions, debates and networking opportunities.  One particular theme that permeated the event was cloud services.  Martin Creaner, president of TM Forum, commented, “Last year here in Orlando, we had a major launch of our involvement in the cloud space, and this year, the cloud sessions [were] standing room only.  It’s not only due to a growing importance of cloud services, but also the fact that service providers get the concept of cloud as an important part of reducing costs and as an enabler of this transformation to a new business model.”  As Comptel’s recent Comptel User Group survey showed, Cloud certainly offers a great opportunity for service provides, but like any other service, it needs to be closely managed.  If CSPs can’t define and deliver services efficiently, charge appropriately and keep customers satisfied, cloud will not be profitable.

Zippy’s Telecom Blog…
Smartphones Generate Nearly 65 Percent of the World’s Mobile Traffic
According a recent Informa report, smartphone users generate about two-thirds of total mobile cellular traffic worldwide (this excludes mobile broadband traffic generated by laptops and other portable devices, as well as Wi-Fi traffic offload that make up most mobile phone traffic).  Yet, only 13% of mobile subscribers use smartphones.  Moreover, as smartphone users spend more time on the Internet, the traffic that each individual generates—or average traffic per user (ATPU)–will increase over the next five years by 700%.

What’s interesting to note is that other reports, like this one from Analysys Mason, suggests that there is no ‘mobile data tsunami’.  Analyst Rupert Wood notes that mobile data growth is around 30 percent per year—not 100 percent like some of the wilder estimates have suggested.  Rupert point out that it is still the PCs that gobble up the bulk of mobile data in Europe—not smartphones; This was confirmed by various service providers, including Vodafone, speaking at this week’s Broadband Traffic Management conference in London. However, this proportion is rapidly changing, as smartphone uptake continues to boom and PC mobile data flattens.  Which figures do you think are the most accurate?

Connected Planet…
GSMA: The Time Has Come for More Connected Devices
The GSMA changed its rules to allow for embedded SIMs that can be remotely activated.  The wireless industry is a bit surprised by this announcement because GSMA decisions are driven by its mobile operator members, who, with the decision, may lose some control, such as locking people into their networks or having influence in the retail chain.  Rob Conway, CEO and member of the board of the GSMA, believes that embedded SIMs will provide security and portability for consumers, as well as additional functionality for enabling new services, such as such as e-Wallet and NFC applications. This news may also allow OTT players, like Apple or Google, to embed SIM cards into their phones and cut operators out of the retail chain, since phones would be remotely activated for a carrier network via stores and points of sale.  However, the announcement focused on the flexibility and innovations that its new “taskforce” (including includes AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Orange, KT, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone) can develop.  What do you think of this change?


Around the World

Posted: October 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Microsperience…
Capacity crunch: It’s Not What You Think
Analyst Teresa Cottam looks at the truth behind the capacity crunch and why it is somewhat misunderstood.  She believes that the term “capacity crunch” is a complete misnomer and disguises what the real problem is—not increased network traffic.  Rather, Teresa says, “traffic is rising, capacity is being consumed, and we’re not making sufficient incremental revenues to compensate for this usage or justify further investment.”  If revenues were going up along with the traffic, we would have a pure play engineering challenge. The difficulty is, of course, that revenues are not increasing in line with traffic; so not only do we have an engineering challenge, we also have business, operational and customer challenges.  Customers require adequate Quality of Service and desire greater capacity and faster speeds, but in many countries, the business case for continual network investment may be far from clear cut.

Connected Planet…
Mobile Operators Brace for Bill Shock Proposal
Joan Engebretson reports on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plans to introduce a proposal that attempts to help prevent wireless “bill shock”.  This has been a hot topic for some time now, and becoming even more of an issue in the U.S. with Verizon admitting that its customers had been erroneously charged more than $50 million for wireless data services. The proposal reportedly will require carriers to warn users when they are close to reaching voice, text or data limits or about to incur roaming charges.  Carriers are opposing these regulations and arguing that they are not needed.  Most certainly, they are concerned about potential lost revenue—particularly if the FCC requires them to give customers the opportunity to have service automatically shut off when they reach a certain usage level.  According to news reports, the plans would not impose that requirement, but the FCC will seek input on whether it should do so.

Billing & OSS World…
Cloud Services Will Change Customers’ Service Expectations
Charlene O’Hanlon blogs about a new report by IDC that shows as more companies adopt cloud, service providers will be forced to change from their traditional, labour intensive service delivery models to an asset-based one.  According to a study, the change in business models will arise as a result of the industry’s move towards outsourced cloud services and the accompanying performance and relationship expectations of customers.  The increased use of new delivery models, such as cloud services and SaaS, will change customer expectations regarding the performance of their providers and subsequently change their relationships with providers.  Service providers will need to develop road maps that show how customers are looking to adopt these utility-based services that cut across entire organization requirements.  Additionally, many outsourcers and providers will need to make major adjustments to their delivery capabilities, partnership ecosystems, business models and service offerings, and will need to examine their roles and positions within and beyond the traditional IT and business process services market.