Opinion
Mike Hibberd

What price loyalty?

Tim Deluca-Smith, head of marketing at WDS, a Xerox company, shares the findings from the firm’s recent Mobile Loyalty Audit survey, and offers up some uncomfortable truths for mobile operators.

James Middleton

Cameron’s filtering folly

UK government proposals would force UK ISPs to block access to adult material unless the bill payer opts in to receive it. The “think of the children” rhetoric is convincing and the sentiment is in the right place. But the solution – content filtering – is all wrong.

Julio Puschel

The Netflix breaking point – the disruption of traditional internet peering model

Having already blown a hole in the pay-TV market with its cut-price streaming services, US video streaming player Netflix is now tearing down the long-standing telecom wholesale model because of the huge traffic volumes its services are generating.

Elson Sutanto

Cross-border opportunities are there, but Telenor has work to do in Bulgaria

Pan-European operater group Telenor is making another move into Eastern Europe, this time buying Bulgaria’s Globul. The move makes sense for several reasons, but success won’t come easy in a country with high mobile penetration and a sluggish economy.

Mike Hibberd

Consolidation, convergence and competition

Calls for consolidation in the European mobile market grow louder by the week and four-operator markets look increasingly challenged. Now, those mobile operators that have already built scale seem to be suggesting that there is no option but to expand yet further through diversification.

Mike Hibberd

The Young Ones

It’s difficult to know how much value to attach to surveys like that showcased this week at the FT-Telefónica Millennial Summit in London (that’s FT for Financial Times). They always throw up interesting statistics and observations but I’m often unsure as to exactly what they mean.

Tony Brown

Broadband operators must beware of the dangers of FTTH ‘speed race’

The news last month that Japanese ISP So-Net was launching the Nuro 2Gbps FTTH service for residential users – the fastest residential service in the world – was greeted with envy by bandwidth-starved users the world over.

Although it must be wonderful for Japanese consumers to choose between rival 1Gbps services from the likes of NTT East and West, KDDI and the regional power companies offering FTTH – with So-Net’s latest offering being the cherry on the cake – there are serious implications here for operators.

Peter Dykes

NSN/Ericsson/Huawei MoU raises serious questions over the need for OSS standardization

The announcement that OSS rivals NSN, Ericsson and Huawei have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement to cross-license their respective OSS interfaces to one another raised a few questions as well as a few eyebrows. That these players have decided to trust one another and adopt a simpler way of sharing proprietary interfaces is remarkable enough, but the timing of the announcement, coming as it did less than 24 hours before the opening of this year’s TeleManagement Forum’s flagship event was as surprising as it was, one suspects, deliberate.

Simon Dyson

Google jockeys for space in US’s increasingly crowded music-streaming sector

Google has launched a music-subscription service to complement the sale of music downloads from Google Play. The strangely titled Google Play Music All Access will go up against the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and Xbox Music in the US, with overseas rollouts expected soon. There is no advertising-supported tier, and a monthly subscription costs $9.99. An introductory price of $7.99 is in place until the end of June. Like its rivals, All Access offers curated playlists and suggested music-discovery options. All Access ties in with Google’s music-locker service, which provides storage for up to 20,000 tracks owned by a user.

Dimitris Mavrakis

The challenge of enterprise wireless connectivity

Enterprise clients typically represent the subscriber group with the highest value for mobile operators. Mobile operators typically have whole departments dealing with large enterprise customers, but so far they have paid limited attention to the most important need of the mobile workforce: excellent mobile coverage in the office. This has been a reason for enterprise clients churning, especially when fierce competition allows competitors to offer better levels of service.

But this is now changing and enterprise specific technologies are evolving as the need to retain these high value customers becomes stronger.

Mike Hibberd

Is Apple losing its grip on MNOs?

Apple’s quarterly profits took a dip last week and, so universally is the company renowned, even my dad asked me if the firm’s latest numbers heralded the beginning of the end.

James Middleton

Big Data: the Hoarder’s dream

‘Big Data’ is one of those buzz phrases doing the rounds in the industry at the moment. It’s an adjacent topic to cloud but is being thrown around in much the same way, often prefixed by the question: “What are you doing about…?” Well, with the costs of storage plummeting, it’s becoming clear that the answer to that question is you should be storing everything.

Mike Hibberd

Telco Cloud: The Trojan Buffalo

The telco as buffalo is an appealing image. On the one hand buffalo can be quick for their size, extremely strong, dangerous in a fight and difficult to bring down—especially when they’ve got momentum. But they are also short sighted, easily spooked and exhibit the definitive herd mentality—particularly when they sense a threat.

James Middleton

OpenStack makes headway; wins Ericsson support

With virtualisation evolving rapidly and open source in favour, telecom equipment vendors could all end up developing what is effectively the same software to manage the cloud. But what they have to bring to the table is telecom-grade experience.

Dimitris Mavrakis

Oracle’s big appetite in mobile

Before the dust settled on its previous acquisition (Acme Packet for $2.1b), Oracle announced it is acquiring North American vendor Tekelec. Oracle started in database systems and is a leading player in this field – even in mobile, it is now growing its infrastructure reach and will surely expand its business in mobile networks.

Dawinderpal Sahota

Losing your voice: Will HD change the game?

HD voice is a technology that doesn’t seem to get the same level of attention as other value adds for operators, such as LTE, video optimisation and rich communication services (RCS). Perhaps it’s quite understandable – voice is the one service that operators have, for the longest time now, been able to bank on their customers using; it’s their core service.

Mark Newman

What Formula 1 tells us about telco aspirations to become global consumer brands

I remember speaking to a senior director at a Middle Eastern telecoms operator five years ago about Formula 1 motor racing and Vodafone. He’d got used to seeing Vodafone’s name plastered all over race tracks as a sponsor of first the Ferrari and then the McLaren teams. But he didn’t know that Vodafone was a telecoms operator (Vodafone did not operate in his country) – he thought it was a sports marketing brand.

Camille Mendler

How I might use WebRTC

As an analyst exploring new digital services, I try to practice what I preach. I designed Informa’s Telecom Cloud Monitor with Caspio. I use Evernote for project and information management. My interactions are logged on Salesforce.com. I like Skype, and I’m warming to Lync (my 9,000-employee firm just switched to Microsoft Office 365 – hooray!). And yes, I’m using Twitter,  LinkedIn and experimenting with [...]

Peter Dykes

MWC: Size isn’t everything

OSS/BSS vendors both large and not so large used the opportunity afforded by the 2013 Mobile World Congress to make some very strategic announcements. The majority of these announcements reflected very closely what is about to happen in the sector as demand for greater complexity rises with the roll-out of LTE and the need for a solution to the seemingly eternal problem of software interfacing grows ever more pressing.

Julian Bright

MWC: Small steps and grand visions

Technology innovation appeared thin on the ground at this year’s Mobile World Congress, but the challenge of enhancing performance and capacity by better utilising existing network resources remained a key focus for many network vendors.

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