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, in the Consumer market mainly on sales, selfcare and invoice integration – in the business market fully converged bundling.
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, but also Over-The-Top services using the Public Internet connection driving bandwidth needs.
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.
The mobile industry is facing a large number of complex challenges. With the a converged Data network, yet still providing traditional voice services alongside. Also the push for bandwidth and quick need for the support of a new Mobile standard 5G is pushing investments from the Operator side – while consumer pricing has lowered rapidly.
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 drives mergers & acquisitions on both the Fixed as well as Mobile market.
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.
In 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
New needs, such as more flexibility in the Customer lifecycle (cross/- upselling and configuration settings) as well as the customer demanding more insights in his service statistics and quality also drive operators to invest in their IT and Network, with near-real-time solutions that are more data driven than before.
“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 and Europe – and with Prodapt Solutions also in the North America. 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.