Around the World

Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Connected Planet…
The First of the Top Trends for 2012, Including: Micro-Transactions for Everyone
With the New Year right around the corner, Alex Leslie provides an overview of what private equity firm M/C Partners sees as the top 10 communications trends for 2012. Dealing with capacity issues is expected to be the biggest trend, according to the company; communications service providers (CSPs)will likely accelerate the build out of fiber to the tower in order to keep up with bandwidth and quality of service demands.

What Alex notes as most interesting from an OSS/BSS point of view is the expansion of the micro-transaction business models into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), console games, video, communications services and social networks. With the majority of this money being paid as subscriptions, Alex says this opens an opportunity for pricing and billing sophistication.

Do you agree with M/C Partners’ list of the top 2012 communications trends? Is there anything else you foresee having a major impact on the industry in the New Year?

Making the Impossible Possible (A Fishy Tale)
Analyst Teresa Cottam begins her blog post with an anecdote about a U.K. supermarket chain. In the midst of the recession, the supermarket was able to sell its Alaskan salmon at an incredibly low price, creating a truly competitive advantage. There was much speculation about how it was able to do this, but the answer was as simple as finding a new shipping route, which enabled the store to shorten the journey from Alaska to the U.K., and therefore, reduce the cost of the product.

Teresa’s main point is that almost nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. CSPs can innovate if they have a clear vision and sufficient imagination to prevent challenges from holding them back.

Teresa goes on to explain that she sees billing and charging as the next big opportunity for innovation, and believes that visionaries will see the opportunities CSPs now have to differentiate themselves and create new revenues. To achieve their business goals, CSPs need to bring their operational team members together, understand their customers and work with partners to deliver the right product at the right time.

In the end, the analyst challenges readers with the following question: “Are you, as a service provider, happy to risk falling behind when the leap comes, or are you one of those already preparing their run up?”

Gulf News…
Telecoms ‘Must Focus on Doing What They Do Best’
Should operators look to Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue? Panelists at the Smart Handheld Summit 2011 in Dubai say no, arguing that CSPs should instead tighten operational efficiency and stick with what they do best—providing Internet access.

Venture capitalist Paul Doany warns that straying into commercial operations, such as new platforms and mobile apps, will be harmful for revenues. On the other hand, Osman Sultan, CEO of du telecom, thinks operators should take part in third-party advertising-based revenue streams, and believes this is possible if telecom operators across the Middle East work together.

Matching the tremendous growth of Internet giants will certainly be a challenge. However, Dr. Bassam Hannoun, CEO of Wataniya Mobile, says operators can drive the telecoms industry forward through management and protection of revenue. In the coming year, Bassam believes the operators who will find success are those who can turn a disconnected value chain into a seamless solution.

Mobile Broadband in Fragrant Harbour

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: Kari Pasonen | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

It is always a pleasure to visit the busy and booming Hong Kong, even though at this time of the year, it is a hot, rainy and humid place, with summer monsoons pouring waves of hot clouds over the South China Sea.  For Comptel, it is also a pleasure because of the hot and steaming telecom environment; Hong Kong is a market crazy over the latest gadgets, services and bargains.  It is no wonder that some of the leading operator groups like Telstra, Vodafone, Hutchinson and China Mobile have operating companies there and are seeing it as a field lab for new service innovations.

The “Fragrant Harbour” (what Hong Kong means in English) has become the place with one of the highest population densities, bank densities, mobile phone densities and mobile data consumption rates.  People there are enthusiastic about technology and eager to try out new services…and chat, download, browse, stream, tweet, play, gamble, listen, watch, comment…in a sense, it’s an ideal market for an advanced mobile operator.

But at the same time, this market is also price and quality conscious, demanding good service and fast responses with affordable prices. Operators need to be flexible and customer-focused, and willing to listen to their customers and try out new business models.

In Hong Kong, mobile broadband is THE thing right now. Smartphones are representing 80% of traffic (and this is growing fast!), and the need to meet the huge growth in cell and transmission capacity is the main concern of all operators.

But it seems that this is not enough.  On top of sheer capacity, it is becoming more and more important to put that capacity in the right places and to control the use of it in a way that helps to cope with user expectations: “If I’m paying more, I want better service and faster connections.” Stating that the offered service quality class is “best effort” is an insult.

Mobile operator business is becoming more like broadband business; all new network building decisions need to be based on data traffic growth. Advanced capacity forecasting, planning and monitoring are becoming critical as data transmission cost is becoming the key success factor—no wonder that Hong Kong was the place where Comptel delivered the first policy control and cell capacity management system.

This new mobile data market is also turning some basic assumptions upside down.  For example, the peak data rush hour is after midnight (I’m wondering what the applications are…); this is affecting the network operating procedures, as the maintenance window is becoming shorter—traditionally, all network changes have been done in the early hours of the day.

Comptel has had a very long presence in Hong Kong and worked closely with several mobile operators there.  In fact, SmarTone-Vodafone, one of the leading communications service providers in the region, has been a Comptel customer for almost 20 years, and we have found that in that kind of small, technology-driven, business-focused market, it is very easy to see what the key market drivers currently are.