The 21st century heralded an era of unprecedented growth and profitability for service providers (SPs) as they controlled both the network and the services (voice and messaging) consumed by their customers. Today, however, the market has been experiencing a fundamental shift. Growth in voice and messaging has become flat while there has been a tremendous growth in “data” traffic. Ironically, even as this traffic load is being borne by SPs, revenues are being siphoned off by Over The Top (OTT) application providers like Skype, Google and others. Additionally, SPs are facing new competition from technology companies who have traditionally played a partner role. A prime example is Microsoft, who has quietly become a significant provider of enterprise voice lines. Microsoft is aggressively targeting the same enterprise market revenue sources that service providers have been relying on for decades.
The communications industry is clearly undergoing a massive transformation, and one must consider which strategic direction to implement in order to execute a flawless model for 2014 and beyond. Although there is no “secret sauce” when it comes to building a strategy and the result ultimately lies in pure execution, there are components that determine an ideal position to drive winning more customers. In my opinion, every telecom company must focus on four strategic directions:
Cloud-based computing and virtualization have been one of the hottest areas in communications over the past decade, and as the technology matures, it is being used by many corporations worldwide. In order to build a world-class technology, one must examine lessons learned from previous introductions of technology insertion into the marketplace in order to optimize cost, capability and cycle time across the business. Below is my personal top 10 of some of do or dies in the cloud computing world, which can be used by network engineers in order to design and provide best in class products across the globe.
Consolidation is a good thing in the telecommunications industry – whether you’re a service provider or equipment maker. Combinations like Sprint-Nextel, AT&T-SBC, Verizon-MCI, Alcatel-Lucent and Siemens-Nokia are much needed because they soak up damaging overcapacity and enhance technological synergies.
As a follow-up to my blog of the top 10 Service Provider Challenges, I will offer my solutions that service providers can apply to ease their aches going into 2014, with basic solutions they can use to help drive increased revenue and solve some of the main and major pain points in the world of telecom and supporting enterprise, SMB and consumer customers.
Cellular data networks operators are faced with the significant challenge of increasing data usage and flat ARPU. The emergence and proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices are taxing the capacity of cellular networks, given the limited spectrum holding of the carriers and the associated channel bandwidth. A 100% growth of smartphones is projected by 2017, bringing the number of devices to 2.4B. At the same time, ARPU is projected to have a gap of more than 25% by 2017, compared to $150 today for quad services.
Given the significant transformation in the telecommunications industry and the reduction in both top line revenues and margins, I would like to present the top 10 challenges for Service Providers (SPs) going into 2014. I will follow this up with some suggested solutions in my next blog, including how to address these problems, increase reserves and free up some much needed cash.
Mobile and application services are the future of the internet. They will run on smart devices such as Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and smart phones. They will leverage an intelligent network, deploying solutions over an open and common platform.
Biometrics will play a major role in different industries, from medicine, science, robotics, engineering, manufacturing and all areas of vertical enterprise businesses.
Smartphones, in particular, help enable these services. Imagine an eye exam conducted by scanning your iris with your iPhone. Or an android app that can measure the effectiveness of a pill through a biometric chipset that dissolves when digested.
In the third and final chapter of this series, I explain how one can build a quantum computer in the 21st century in order to accommodate massive applications and large number crunching. Such a computer is paramount to handling big data across the globe, as well as addressing other quantum computing issues.