Reflections on Comptel’s New Branding – “Making Data Beautiful”

Posted: February 27th, 2012 | Author: Ulla Koivukoski | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

‘I like not only to be loved but to be told I am loved.’

–English writer George Elliot (1819-1880)

If somebody had told me ten years ago that I would be talking about love in the context of telecommunications, I probably would have had an amused smile on my face and just continued with the technology and business jargon we used to have in conversations. Talking about beautiful data would have been an entertaining topic for the industry, where the competition was about the speed of launching new technology and compliance with standards.

The bright engineers, attractiveness of the communications service provider (CSP) business and innovations out of Silicon Valley have enabled, if not forced, a reasonably fast change of attitude in the telecommunications and Internet industries. We have left the era of measuring the customer experience by the technical metrics, for one where the customers should not only be loved but also shown love.

What has all of this to do with Comptel Corporation’s new brand, which I was supposed to discuss? Comptel plays a crucial role in helping CSPs show their love to their customers. We wanted this, plus the love for our own customers, the CSPs, and our partners, to be reflected in our new brand. Sounds complicated? It’s simple, really.

The rationale behind the brand is the fact that Comptel’s offering deals with processing a vast volume of data that is invisible below the surface. We collect this data in real time, turn it into actionable information and business intelligence for CSPs, and enable them to act on it—to better show their love to their customers. Ultimately, what we do helps people get closer to their interests and loved ones. We think this is beautiful.

At the core of the brand is the new Comptel logo. This bolder image heralds our fresh and confident approach to business, while the “co” of Comptel is highlighted as a constant reminder both internally and externally that we believe strongly in partnerships, bringing to mind words like “cooperate” and “collaborate”. Further, surrounding the “co” are two abstract, roughly formed letters “c” and “o”, which reference the data particles connecting the logo with our new tagline: “Making Data Beautiful”. The blue stands for our more than 25 years of experience, and the green conveys the renewal we are undergoing as a company.

We believe that a company’s brand is not simply about the way it looks, but it is rather the essence of the company. Fundamentally, a brand should encompass everything from the value added to customers and partners to the way a company communicates across all channels. This is exactly what we hope to embody with the new Comptel brand.

After three and half weeks as the head of marketing and communications of Comptel and jumping into the middle of the preparation to launch the new brand at Mobile World Congress, I can only be proud of my new colleagues who have worked hard to renew the business strategy and corporate values and who have now brought the new brand to life. We have started an exciting journey to turn around the company. I am happy to be a part of it and provide my personal ‘co’-promise: ‘Count on me’, too. Please visit us in Barcelona (Booth #1C06) and share your opinions on CSPs’ love for their customers and the beautiful data business.

Considerations for a Next Generation of Mediation – Balancing the Data Explosion with Revenue Monetisation

Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

We’ve often discussed and debated the negative “scissor effect” phenomenon that operators are facing today when it comes to data services. In a nutshell, it’s the inverse relationship between growth in data traffic and decline in operators’ revenue.

There are several key factors that will drive data service growth in the coming years, which are contributing to broadening the gap, typically an improvement in network performance and growth in video services, growth in M2M-based business models and the move toward service convergence.

On a positive note, operators do not have a lack of data when it comes to subscribers, their usage transactions, network performance, cell-site information, device-level data, as well as data spread across their networks and back office systems. But will they have the innovation, know-how and drive to stitch the two together (data growth + subscriber & service awareness) to bridge the chasm being formed by declining revenues?

Often unappreciated, never given enough due but playing a pivotal role in the context of operator revenue monetisation strategies are next-generation data mediation platforms. These platforms will provide operators with the foundation to achieve true convergence and increase service velocity by rapidly introducing next-generation services and launching IP-based services that dramatically increase transactional volumes.

Old-fashioned, batch-oriented mediation platforms are gradually becoming archaic, and the need of the hour is real-time, scalable, flexible, network-driven, bi-directional, on-line and offline charging mediation platforms.

Scalability, processing performance and the ability to run on low-cost hardware are some of the key challenges that must also be addressed by these next-generation data mediation systems. In fact, next-generation data mediation platforms need a multitude of evolved and new capabilities ranging from being network, technology and vendor-agnostic, to supporting triggering and analytics.

Comptel Convergent Mediation supports system consolidation and mediation of all services through a total cost of ownership (TCO)-sensitive, single-platform approach. Regardless of whether end customers are prepaid or postpaid, it enables differentiation in highly competitive markets by offering a smooth evolution of the current network—and accompanying OSS/BSS environment—into a fully convergent solution, with best-of-breed, field-proven modules.

This blog post is based upon a recent Comptel-commissioned Heavy Reading whitepaper, “Balancing Act: Data Explosion vs. Revenue Monetisation – Considerations for a Next Generation of Mediation”.  Comptel would like to acknowledge Heavy Reading senior analyst Ari Banerjee for his role in the development of the content.

Strategies for Coping with Mobile Data Consumption

Posted: September 13th, 2011 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Samantha Tanner, Telecoms IQ, IQPC

Figures released by U.K. regulator Ofcom in August show that mobile data traffic has increased 40 fold over the past three years, with 27% of adults and 47% of teenagers now owning smartphones.

In the regulator’s Communications Market Report, it stated that “the recent adoption of smartphones has been accompanied by an increase in the volume of mobile data transferred over the U.K.’s mobile networks. This increased 40-fold between 2007 and 2010.”

Image Courtesy of

The report also showed that 27% of U.K. adults accessed the Internet on their mobile phones at the start of 2011, up 22% from 2010. Additionally, social networking has overtaken email as the most popular use of smartphones.

This is just one example demonstrating the exponential growth in mobile data and the need by operators to do something about the increases in the amount of data being crunched, especially when they start trialing LTE. Customers are demanding more bandwidth in order to run faster, interactive services, but at the moment, most networks just simply can’t cope.

With Cisco projecting that, by 2015, 66% of global mobile data will be taken up by video streaming, what is the solution in order to optimise mobile networks so that they can cope with the huge increase in mobile data being consumed?

Increasing bandwidth and spectrum is playing a part in how operators are attempting to accommodate increasing data usage. This is why the push towards LTE has gained such incredible momentum, especially in the U.S. The value of spectrum can be seen in the AT&T merger with T-Mobile. While the merger makes the network the largest in the country, it also gives the operator far more spectrum to play with than its closest rival Verizon. More spectrum also allows AT&T to give their customers exactly what they want, meaning more LTE coverage.

Operators are also coping with mobile data consumption by using a variety of pricing and promotional strategies to strike a workable balance between encouraging use of data where resources are plentiful, deterring it when resources are scarce and ensuring maximum payback on their network investments. However, they require the right OSS solution to give them the levers to control this service, encourage customer demand and create profitable new business.

If mobile data grows as much as it is predicted to over the next couple of years, operators are going to have to act fast in order to maintain the bandwidth speeds that their customers will be demanding, much like what AT&T has already figured out.

Telecoms IQ will be running three events in the coming months that will examine the role of LTE and mobile network optimisation: LTE Deployment Strategies, Data Offloading Strategies and Mobile Network Optimisation.

Survey Says: Close Customer Focus and Real-Time Data Analysis Key

Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

In addition to organising an industry analyst day and customer / partner presentations, Comptel moderated an interactive session focused on the customer experience during last month’s Comptel User Group (CUG). The session, which involved our partners Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent, surveyed nearly 100 attendees on the evolving state of the customer experience, the role network and other service data and OSS play, and the significant potential revenue opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs). Like our past research, it yielded quite interesting results!

Respondents first indicated that they believe CSPs, when compared to over-the-top (OTT) players, device manufacturers and operating system companies, provide the best customer experience. However, as Cisco’s Russ Kaufmann brought up, OTT players have a head start in providing good customer experience for cloud services. Alcatel-Lucent’s Pierre Dubost also made a good point—if asked the question of who provides the best customer experience two years ago, there likely would have been a very different answer. But, CSPs are really trying to invest in customer care and focus on driving brand loyalty rather just pushing products.

Supporting this, nine out of ten participants pointed to customer experience management as one of the major factors contributing to operators’ survival and success—because as Kaufmann pointed out, when things do go wrong, it can greatly affect churn. These responses support those of a Comptel-sponsored Vanson Bourne survey, which previously identified customer experience management as a significant potential revenue opportunity. Eighty-seven percent of consumers said that their quality of experience influences their allegiance to their CSP, and the majority of them would not only move but also pay more money for faster, more personalised services.

While the importance of a high customer experience was clear, there was general agreement that it’s difficult to determine what exactly will satisfy each customer. More than half (55%) of participants indicated that network performance has the greatest influence on the customer experience, yet all of the other responses varied. Dubost was right in saying that all of these factors are impactful—ultimately, CSPs require a holistic view of customer behaviour in order to better manage (and take the necessary actions to ensure) the customer experience.

Clearly aligned in thought, 100% of survey respondents recognised the value of leveraging network and other service data and their OSS; however, only about one-third of CSPs noted that they are fully utilising this information. There is a huge opportunity for operators to gain superior insight into customers and improve end-users’ experiences. With real-time data analysis and a close customer focus, CSPs can also boost their bottom lines, for example, through profiling for targeted marketing campaigns and traffic shaping for premium services.

Comptel is excited to see how operators take advantage of the opportunities a real-time, interactive and personalised OSS platform presents. What do you think of the interactive session discussion? For more information about the survey results, please contact [email protected].

Around the World

Posted: December 29th, 2010 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »…

Saudi Must Expand Data, Content Services: Report

According to a recent report by Informa Telecoms and Media, Saudi Arabia should investigate growth opportunities in data and content services following the country’s strong growth in mobile voice services.  There is significant potential for these advanced offerings because of the country’s lack of many broadband options and its young population who wants to have on-the-go access to social networking applications and entertainment.  Operators in the region are betting their futures on this growth—one is expecting mobile broadband to account for 37% of its revenue by 2014, while another is planning to expand its data, content and mobile broadband applications to draw 20% to 30% of its revenue.…

WiMAX and LTE: Sometimes Complementary, Not Competitive

U.S. wireless carriers pit WiMAX and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) against each other as competing technologies.  But in other regions, operators are deploying them as complementary technologies for specific applications and markets.  Richard Webb, directing analyst at Infonetics Research, notes that “in [other parts] of the world, WiMAX is much more of a niche technology…and therefore [it is] much less of a threat.  Mobile operators [across the globe] are much more open to looking at ways they can [deploy] WiMAX [rather than hold] back the threat of it…which is the attitude of [U.S. carriers] Verizon Wireless and AT&T.”  Although co-existence is unlikely in the U.S., WiMAX may come to play a supporting role for operators whose choice of technology doesn’t wholly define their market identity; this might be, for example, smaller wireless carriers using the technology to support smart grids or M2M.  But Webb believes WiMAX will not be “front and centre” for them.

Billing & OSS World…

BSS/OSS Transformation Key to Asia

Asia-Pacific CSPs are experiencing a changed market landscape to say the least—falling average revenue per user (ARPU) for voice, increasing demand for mobile Internet, convergence everywhere (network, services, devices and industries) and intense competition are necessitating operational efficiency, combined with innovation in rolling out new data services.  New research from Frost & Sullivan reveals that the shift to customer-centric organizations in this region and the exponential increase in demand for data services is causing operators to optimize and transform their networks.  Supporting this shift are OSS/BSS solutions.  Analyst Vikas Chanani believes the building blocks that must be part of every customer-centric and business transformation strategy going ahead in the future are unified real-time rating and charging, integrated network management, data analytics, and business intelligence and customer experience management.  Do you see these for being crucial for APAC operators?  What building blocks would you add or take from this list?t