The world of telecommunications and internet is transforming rapidly with the convergence of fixed and mobile networks and the execution of all sorts of IP strategies. Service offerings of fixed, mobile, and cable operators are also converging. This transformation also boosts bundled offerings in both cloud and hosted services.
The market for fixed infrastructure is characterized by consolidation on the one hand and the application of new technologies, which offer new opportunities, on the other. There is a visible increase of service providers who do not own networks and purchase wholesale services for example in the case of IPTV services.
Consolidation takes place in the existing copper network infrastructure. At the same time, the potential of this network is expanded with new technologies such as various DSL/HFC versions. More and more municipalities desire access to fiber glass networks for their inhabitants and are actively stimulating the fiber roll out as well. In short: broadband is a hot topic.
Also cable companies continue to expand their capabilities with services such as internet telephony (VoIP), digital TV, HDTV, IPTV, video on demand and various other forms of internet-based services and various payment models. Cable companies are moving more and more into the field of mobile communications, as companies are acquiring LTE licenses. Today cable companies want to identify themselves as broadband and media service providers instead of a “cable company”.
The mobile industry is facing a large number of complex challenges. With the arrival of new network and wireless technologies, the mobile industry is transforming from a voice and messaging oriented market into a heterogeneous market that provides voice, messaging, internet and video services.
The value chains are consequently changing into value networks where new players (specifically application and content providers) fulfill important roles. Business processes and IT systems must support the required businesses and network integrations.
A fierce competitive battle is taking place between telecom operators and cable companies. This involves issues such as the capacity of coaxial in comparison to copper cabling and the extent to which the network should be converted into a fiber glass network (FTTH). Also the mobile operators are competing in this area with the rollout of LTE.
Telecom for business
Business customers expect a different level of service quality in comparison with consumer customers. As an operator you must ensure a coherent and consistent level of customer service and experience. Although this sounds simple, it has proven to be a challenging task for many of the service providers.
IIn our view a customer-focused service provider has the following qualities:
- The customer can be uniquely identified in the administration
- The service provider knows the customer and the products well
- The service provider has insight in the customer communications and the contexts
- An appropriate proposal is generated based on the customer requirements and the services already being used by the customer
“Anything Over IP and IP Over Anything”
With the evolution of broadband comes the convergence to IP. The new motto will be “anything over IP and IP over anything.” Think of VoIP, IP Centrex, IP Trunking and IP interconnect services. All of them use the internet protocol. Voice over IP is now a reliable alternative to traditional telephony services and becomes more and more available for business customers. While VoIP services have become universally available, operators also developed value-added services such as hosted exchange, remote backup, PIN and alarm over IP and other similar SaaS products. In the near future location-based and presence services will be available for the business market. An important element here is the extent to which QoS can be guaranteed for connectivity, applications and services (for instance, through IMS).
Over-the-top internet players are the new competitors
New communication players, such as Skype, Google, and WhatsApp, compete with operators for their basic services: voice, video, and messaging. Little or no distinction is being made between fixed and mobile networks. The means of access to the internet is independent of the application using it. This represents the biggest strategic threat to operators, who run the risk of becoming the providers of “bit pipes” for public internet access.
Prodapt Consulting and Telecom
Prodapt Consulting has a strong foundation in network technologies and the telecom market in The Netherlands. Since our founding in 1987, we have been implementing complex changes and innovations in the telecom and internet industry in collaboration with our customers and business partners. Our expert consultants have developed and integrated business processes with COTS and legacy systems. We all have a passion for new technology and sharp eye for social, economic, and market relevance.