Top-10 Service Provider Pain Points for 2012

Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi
Date: January 2012

Everyone loves top-10 lists. So as 2011 draws to a close, I’ve put together the following list of “Top-10 Service Providers Pain Points for 2012”.

Don’t worry — I will soon follow up with a list of potential solutions to start the New Year off right.

1) The Average Revenue per User (ARPU) Migraine Headache

  • Will you — can you — commit the capital expenditure necessary to support 50-percent traffic growth year over year for quad-play services?
  • How will you avoid a flat/declining ARPU?

2) Cloud Evolution or Revolution

  • Are you ready to join the revolution, or should you migrate in evolutionary steps?
  • What network architecture transformations and business models will you implement?
  • Can you establish trust and security to offer cloud-based offerings?

3) Application-Centric or Network-Centric

  • Which applications should you consider including in your network — instead of depending on the end-user device to provide it?

4) The Dilemma of Mobile Broadband Network Congestion & Modernization

  • How will you plan for subscription growth and per-user capacity increase when mobile services create temporary congestion without any warnings?
  • What type of smart data offload mechanisms will you implement? Where in the network and which traffic to offload to what?
  • You need to remove TDM and replace it with IP technology, but how can you justify that transformation when TDM services are still a cash-cow and IP ARPU is less than TDM ARPU?

5) Over-The-Top (Video): A Growing Pain?

  • You have already started to feel that your networks are being robbed by the ever-increasing video-on-demand delivery services.
  • Time has come to work with OTTs to work on win-win business models that can help monetize operators’ network assets and to offset additional network costs, especially in wireless networks where spectrum is constrained.
  • Internet TV is already hurting Pay TV subscription services.

6) Data Caps: A Self-Inflicted Wound

  • Data caps are not the right solution to network congestion problems.
  • They will not make you popular and do not benefit the ecosystem!
  • How can you offer all-you-really-need connectivity services for all users with smart and fair charging plans?

7) Net Fairness Versus Net Neutrality

  • Net neutrality will hamper packet monetization solutions that could make your service traffic more profitable.

8) Network Security

  • You’re already seeing attacks, attacks and more attacks — but lots more time, cost and resources will be exhausted fending them off.

9) The Big-Data Challenge

  • How can you generate meaningful and actionable insights into the explosive amount of data in your networks that will only increase with the proliferation of cloud-based apps?
  • Can you correlate network-centric data with subscribers’ usage and apps data for better service assurance monitoring and enhanced customer experience?

10) Migration to IPv6

  • This is something you must do in 2012, the more you wait, the more you fall behind and catch up will become impossible given complexity of operations and linkage to OSS and BSS systems but there’s no incremental revenue attached.