Around the World

Posted: March 31st, 2011 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »…
Mobile Handset Market in India to Witness Tremendous Growth in Next Five Years [Report]
Aseem blogged about a recent Frost & Sullivan report, which looks at the Indian mobile handset market and the country’s expected mobile market growth within the next five years.  According to analysts, India has reached the coveted position of the second largest mobile handset market in the world after China—it’s expected to become even bigger with 208.4 million phones being shipped by 2016 at a CAGR of 11.4% between the period of 2010 – 2016.

Aseem’s post stuck out to us because Olivier Suard touched on a similar topic a few weeks back.  One particularly interesting fact he noted—last year, India had about 68 mobile handset players, and if Frost & Sullivan’s predications are accurate, it will skyrocket to more than 200!  If this is indeed the case, further competition and the squeezing of profit margins will take place—and OSS can have a major play.

With the proliferation of Web 2.0 and Internet surfing, the use of smartphones is expected to rise in India.  But during subscribers’ switch from ‘dumb phones’ to smartphones, it’s important to maintain a high quality of experience.  For instance, customers using basic handhelds should have the option to select which services they want during activation, and those surfing the web on their mobiles shouldn’t experience slow speeds due to network congestion.

Connected Planet…
Pricing ‘Sweet Spot’ Still Eludes Carriers
BSS/OSS reporter Susana Schwartz discusses the disconnect that has emerged between carriers and customers when it comes to pricing wireless and wireline data services.  Customers are bitter towards the new usage caps and overage fees they feel are being forced by AT&T and other communications service providers (CSPs).  The timing of Susana’s piece comes on the heels of recent stories on customers claiming that their data usage is off.  While the percentage of users generating high data traffic is fairly small, it’s still necessary for operators to figure out—sooner rather than later—how to target those customers with these caps without ‘punishing’ the greater whole of their user base.

Susana points out that there’s no confusion in the messaging about 4G and LTE investments, but relatively little is said about the changes in OSS/BSS environments to ensure services are fulfilled, assured and billed in the most optimal way possible.  If carriers manage to translate this into more consumer-friendly terms—and that provisioning, billing and customer-care systems are more accurate and robust—then perhaps there wouldn’t be so much distrust on the accuracy of the metering of usage and the consequences in terms of caps and overage charges.

Usage-based pricing seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ for operators—taking the approach “you get what you pay for”.  Policy and charging control can accurately identify these customers and the services they consume and bill them appropriately.

TM Forum’s Inside Leadership…
Predictions for 2011: Environmental Drivers of Communications Trends
Rob Rich, managing director of TM Forum Insights Research, shared some global communications trends and predictions for 2011.   He notes that, in general, the growth of communications services is connected to the state of the global economy—and thankfully, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reported good news for this year; the global economy is expected to expand 4.2 percent.  China and India are expected to lead the larger economies in growth, by approximately 9%and 8%, respectively.  However, developed economies are not expected to perform as well, with the U.S. expected to achieve an increase of 2.2 percent, Japan a rate of 2 percent and the European Union slightly less than 2 percent.

After evaluating the global trends, Rob made some communications industry predictions for 2011—here is a sampling of the ones that struck us:

  • The margin crunch intensifies—fixed line revenues, including for data, are under pressure, and the rapid growth of mobile broadband won’t bring additional revenues, but will continue to require massive investment in network capacity.  Arguably, CSPs’ greatest opportunity is in acting as enabler for other parties in the value chain. In the short term, there is no quick fix.
  • Cloud services approach the mainstream—there’s lots of activity in this area with different companies investing in data centers, computing infrastructure, software platforms and much more.  Only some will see true success, and the Forum expects to see rationalisation during 2011.  They predict the sweet spots will be small- and medium-sized businesses, emerging markets and Software as a Service.  In addition, enterprises will be forced towards the adoption of cloud by financial considerations.
  • Data management and analytics become critical competencies—communications is one of the world’s most data intensive businesses, but the timely and effective use of this data is behind many other industries—a situation that needs to be addressed.  The customer experience can be greatly improved with data management and analytics. This has many benefits including increased revenue, enhanced brand reputation, reduced churn and the extension of the CSP’s role across the value chain. This is especially true when the information is ready in real time. CSPs need to start by figuring out where the biggest payback will be and go from there.

TM Forum members may read the full version of this Quick Insights report on the association’s website.

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