Quite a number of my analyst colleagues were in sunny Cape Town for the AfricaCom conference last week. I on the other hand have just returned from more northerly climes, from an Ericsson industry analyst forum held in a decidedly chillier Stockholm. I was struck by a number of things at this event, the first and foremost being how thoroughly Ericsson is seeking to reposition itself.
If there is one broad theme that sums up this year’s Mobile World Congress for me it is the idea of ‘the network as asset’, and the perception that CSPs could and should be doing a great deal more to leverage this their prime asset.
Customer experience also figured highly in the briefings and presentations I attended, but by contrast with last year’s heavy CEM-software product focus, this year customer experience was discussed just as much in the context of network performance and the need to make more effective use of network intelligence.
The Telco Big Data & Real Time Analytics Summit held in London last week spanned a surprisingly wide range of data management, BI and analytics-related topics and delivered useful insights from operators, vendors and other industry players. However, it was the operator presentations that stood out, as much because we’re now getting to a stage where operators are beginning to dip their toes in the water with projects or launches that include elements of Big Data or real-time analytics.
This year’s TM Forum’s Management World in Dublin had this much in common with last year’s event that it focused heavily on CEM and Cloud. A big difference though, twelve months on, was the increasing number of new product announcements and commercial implementations …and of course the sunny weather. It was a relief that this year the only clouds in evidence were inside the conference hall.
Was there a press release or presentation at this year’s Mobile World Congress that didn’t mention customer experience at some point if only in passing? Of course the problem with customer experience – or CX seeing as we all love an acronym in this business – is that it can mean everything or nothing at all. Even slapping management on the end to give you Customer Experience Management (CEM) leaves you with a pretty slippery term.
I would be a (relatively) rich man if I had a dollar for every time someone mentioned ‘customer experience’ at the Managed Services for Growth Markets conference in Dubai. The number of terms and acronyms was dizzying – Quality of Experience (QoE), Service Quality Management (SQM), Customer Experience Management (CEM), Key Quality Indicators (KQIs) and the relationship of all these to network KPIs and contract SLAs figured a lot in discussions.
Press reports that LightSquared may be considering ditching its managed services deal with Nokia Siemens Networks in favour of a network sharing deal with Sprint Nextel raises important issues about what mix of network consolidation and outsourcing is most appropriate for the US market, or any advanced mobile market for that matter.
Cyber security is receiving more than its fair share of attention at the moment. A major national security review by the UK government attracted attention this week by naming cyber attacks as a major security threat. This follows in the footsteps of the US where the National Security Agency and Department of Defense have also been focusing on the issue for some time now.
It has been an eventful few months at NSN and it is set to get more so in the wake of the appointment of Stephen Elop as Nokia’s new president and CEO.
Operator and vendor frustration with the European mobile standardization environment seems to be coming to a head.
One of my colleagues has already blogged about NSN’s new “solutions & services” recently unveiled marketing pitch. It’s always healthy to be sceptical about repositioning exercises of this type but nevertheless I reckon that some interesting and dare I say it genuinely transformational developments are happening at NSN.
If the last week is anything to go by running a network has become an increasingly optional component of a European mobile operator’s business.
The glory days of basic science research at Bell Labs may be over, but there was a buzz in the air at the Bell Labs Innovation Day taking place at Alcatel-Lucent’s plush Paris HQ just off the Champs-Elysees earlier this month.
At a recent conference, someone suggested that network sharing is a bit like healthy eating in the UK: Everyone talks about it obsessively and watches endless TV shows about the subject, but nobody actually does anything about it.