Mobile Operators are facing unprecedented data growth in their networks resulting in financial and technical challenges. These challenges require not only new tools and techniques but new thinking to resolve.
In September 2014 Phones 4u entered into administration after it became apparent that it would be unable to continue as a going concern following the loss of its distribution agreement with EE and Vodafone. Having seen consolidation of the UK mobile industry at network level with the merger of Orange and T-Mobile to form EE, we are now witnessing consolidation at retail level.
During a speech this summer, Google executive Tim Carter declared that operators simply can’t afford to innovate, claiming that that the “luxury” of digital innovation is now the sole preserve of the rich (i.e. Google) and entrepreneurs with little to lose. But is this really true?
Payment models have changed dramatically, leading to reduced margins for mobile operators. Unless traditional telcos look to reap back these revenues from additional streams, the environment will become even more challenging.
In this second feature, I want to take a closer look at why white space has seemingly stumbled, despite its surrounding hype. I have to confess that, in my experience, there’s always an associated amount of puffery within the telecommunications industry – an inflated balloon of hyperbole used to garner momentum for a new technology.
The shortlist for the inaugural LTE Asia Awards, with submissions impressing our panel of expert judges with their innovation, hard-work and commitment to LTE.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is the result of an agreement between 27 European countries to create a single patent for Europe (the ‘Unitary Patent’), with a single court (the UPC) to handle validity and enforcement matters.
A recent survey by Telecoms.com Intelligence showed that 66% of operators have deployed or are planning to deploy virtualized BSS by 2016. Beyond the cost optimization that virtualization promises, operators are leveraging virtualization concepts to transform their BSS environments in order to innovate more rapidly, drive new revenues and better compete.
Three or four years ago, white space radio was surrounded by enormous hype and it embarked upon a news flurry, which witnessed the industry ‘stop in its tracks’ as a whirlwind of excitement swept the technology off its feet. Crikey, white space radio was primed to solve so many problems!
According to research by IDC, 1.5 billion smartphones will be in use globally by 2017 and consumers will be doing more than ever on them. As a result, more businesses recognise the importance of delivering quick and seamless mobile payment capabilities to cater to consumers who demand the ability to transact when, where and how they choose.
Australian service provider Telstra is to acquire video streaming and analytics specialist Ooyala for US$270 million (€201 million), writes Digital TV Europe. Telstra, which already owns a 23% stake in Ooyala, has invested US$61 million in the company over the last two years. The acquisition, via Telstra’s Global Applications and Partners unit, is expected to close within the next 60 days.
Video advertising on mobile devices is a lucrative business for social networking sites and other OTT players, and it is a revenue stream that will continue to grow. Make no mistake, this is not something that is about to happen, it is something that is already happening.
Telecom Italia has reportedly initiated talks with Vivendi, in a bid to counter Telefónica’s bid for the latter’s Brazilian asset GVT, that could see Vivendi take a stake in either Telecom Italia or Telecom Italia Media, writes Digital TV Europe.
For years telcos have faced threats to their business from patent wars and patent “trolls”; a term coined in the 1990s and typically directed at patent owners who do not use the invention themselves. However, a slew of recent court decisions in Europe, Japan and the US appear to have reduced the level of those threats, at least in the most critical cases involving a “standard essential patent”; one which relates to a component which is essential in order to manufacture a device which complies with a standard.
Major OTT players like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber have become choice messaging services for consumers wanting low cost, global communication; creating an ecosystem where operators need to seriously consider which type of partnership or OTT integration models will enable them to drive revenue and sustain their business long term.
With long proprietary product cycles and tight regulatory standards restricting innovation and modernisation in the industry, the telecoms service provider model is at severe threat from agile internet-based service providers. Able to leverage new optimised processes and flexible infrastructure to provide similar services at a lower cost, these organisations can adapt to market demands and deliver new services rapidly.
Discovering what needs to be done is often the easy part. The real challenge is finding out how to do it. This is certainly the case when it comes to searching for new revenue streams – the major preoccupation of most mobile operators following the shift to digital.
Mark Windle, Head of Marketing at operator solution provider OpenCloud, speaks about the challenges and opportunities presented by the move to an all-IP world. He explains that operators will need to go beyond just standard VoLTE if they want to differentiate their offering and that having the right infrastructure in place will be crucial to maintaining competitiveness in the all-IP era.
While we await a sensible use of the IoT, we are, for now, seemingly revelling in this brand new phenomenon that has, in fact, been bounced around for a couple of decades. Yep, that’s right, you may or may not know, but the notion of the Internet of Things isn’t new!
The birth of mobile, followed by smartphones and then tablets, which provided telecoms providers with their biggest boom in a century, now poses a threat to their growth and stability. This threat comes from the latest development in the smartphone story: communication apps.