Larry Socher, global lead network practice at consultancy Accenture, talks about the proliferation of smartphones, backhaul, and the explosion in user generated content.
While acknowledging the need to relieve capacity bottlenecks by offloading data traffic from their networks, mobile operators are looking for ways to better manage the process in order to maintain customer contact and build value.
The surge in mobile data and broadband traffic in advanced markets over the last couple of years is something of a double-edged sword. While it has finally validated carriers’ long-held strategic thinking, it has exposed gaps in their network performance.
At the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town last month, it was apparent that major operators across the continent are looking more to data and other value-added services to stimulate future expansion. But the prospects for data services in Africa rest in part on the promise that the new submarine cables that are arriving on the shores of the continent will both improve the availability of international bandwidth and reduce its cost.
Fixed satellite operator Intelsat this week announced the successful launch of its latest bit of kit, the shiny new Intelsat 15 satellite (IS-15), which will replace the ageing 709 satellite.
I’ve been in Munich for the last couple of days, listening to Nokia Siemens Networks executives tell us industry analysts all about the new company strategy. Bearing in mind who the parents of this joint venture are, old skool bastions of Northern European communications engineering, renowned for delivering solid products with solid performance, the company at first seemed to have gone all soft and fluffy.
Second placed Japanese operator KDDI has tapped Motorola and NEC to build its LTE network, with an eye to launching commercial services in late 2012.
Harris Stratex, a backhaul specialist and WiMAX RAN supplier, believes it will be a main beneficiary of President Obama’s $7.2bn broadband stimulus package. Aimed at extending high-speed connectivity to rural communities in the US, the $7.2bn fund has a ‘Buy America’ provision attached to it, as has President Obama’s entire fiscal stimulus package across different industry sectors, which is worth around $800bn in total.
Monster kit vendor Nokia Siemens Networks has teamed up with security and network infrastructure firm Juniper Networks to bolster their offerings in the Carrier Ethernet space.
With voice revenues on the slide, data services have long been viewed as the operators’ APRU saviour. Last year finally saw data overtake voice in terms of network load and with many operators now touting the benefits of affordable mobile broadband there is every chance that data volumes will soon dwarf traffic generated by voice. Crucially though, revenues generated from data services show no signs of spiralling upwards.
It’s what’s outside that counts
Issue 149 April 2008
Backhaul: The capacity crunch for mobile operators is in the backhaul element of the network. What’s being done?
Mika Vehviläinen: The COO of Nokia Siemens Networks talks to MCI about the workings of large scale mergers.