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It’s Complicated

June 16, 2015 6:00 AM | Category: New Revenues,  | by Chris Newton-Smith

The ‘Traditional’ CSP Business Model is Rapidly Changing – How Can Billing Keep Up? 

There once was a time, not so long ago, when service providers delivered one service –voice calls. Then multi-play and triple play bundles were introduced, which included wireline voice and internet, and perhaps cable. Operators like these ‘bundles’ as they increase ARPU, provide new streams of revenue and foster customer loyalty by making it difficult to switch providers when everything is bundled together. Customers like the discounts operators offer with these bundles. This trend is particularly prevalent in Europe, especially France and Spain, with nearly 60 percent of households buying four or more services from a single operator. Similarly, The Wall Street Journal reported that American households spent, on average, over $191 a month for phone, television, and Internet services in 2013, signifying a 24 percent from 2007.

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Virtualize for Speed

October 14, 2014 6:52 AM | Category: New RevenuesHappier Subscribers,  | by Jim DeMarco

I had the privilege last week of sharing a webinar with Graham Finnie from Light Reading, where we presented about the virtues and pitfalls of systems virtualization.  Graham kindly shared some recent Heavy Reading survey results, and I got to share a few live customer cases around why communication service providers (CSPs) are choosing virtualization for mission critical systems, including for some of the first in-network mission critical systems.  Feel free to view the webinar in full and/or download the white paper I mention at the end of the webinar. 

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Looking Beyond - Net Neutrality and Content Monetization

May 18, 2014 7:17 AM | Category: New RevenuesHappier SubscribersPricing InnovationBetter ServicesPolicy Control,  | by Jim DeMarco CTO

Are all packets created equal? The European Commission and the FCC disagree starkly on this question. While the EC has proposed to the European Parliament a very strict reiteration of net neutrality, in the States the FCC, guided by a federal appeals court, has indicated it will modify its regulations to support major broadband providers as they strike deals with over-the-top (OTT) content providers like Netflix for premium access to content.

The EC approach draws a bright line: all internet traffic is equal, no exceptions other than urgent content like medical information sharing that wouldn’t otherwise be publicly available. The FCC’s proposed new approach is far more nuanced: premium content can be given premium access, for a price to be paid either by the consumer or by the content provider, allowing certain consumer-saving restrictions that prevent CSPs from blocking any legal content or acting in any “commercially unreasonable” or discriminatory manner. Illegal content, as always, can be blocked. Within days of the FCC’s proposed changes, Netflix had struck deals with Comcast and later Verizon that will, in the end, allow Netflix to sponsor a guaranteed higher bandwidth for its premium video services to Verizon and Comcast customers. At the same time, Netflix has hedged its bets by signing on to an open letter from most of the largest tech companies protesting the FCC’s net neutrality plan .

This is not an esoteric debate over interconnect fees or even how the structure of the Internet will evolve. If net neutrality shifts as the FCC proposes, the implications for end consumers will be enormous. For CSPs, monetizing this fundamental shift will be mission-critical; old bundle-based subscription models just won’t apply.
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Unlocking the Potential of 4G Monetization – Where Are My Keys?

March 25, 2014 9:00 AM | Category: New RevenuesHappier SubscribersPricing InnovationBetter ServicesPolicy ControlSubscriber Analytics,  | by James DeMarco

Do you think your existing BSS infrastructure helps or hinders monetization of new 4G services? 
It’s not a trick question. In fact, according to a recent survey of CSPs worldwide conducted by Informa, the majority of global operators feel their current BSS systems prevent them from monetizing 4G properly.  Since 4G reflects a real tipping point in our industry, enabling ubiquity of bandwidth at any time of day, and since smart devices make OTT services accessible at the touch of a button, the need is ever more important and urgent for CSPs to craft rapidly responsive marketing offers that make sense to their customers and others in the value chain.  But just where the need is greatest, the ability to deliver against that need seems weakest.


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Looking Beyond - Ten Trends to Watch into 2014 and Beyond

January 8, 2014 9:00 AM | Category: New RevenuesHappier SubscribersPricing InnovationBetter ServicesPolicy ControlSubscriber Analytics,  | by Jim DeMarco CTO

    1. Beyond Bandwidth

LTE is rolling out, but not yet available in many regions, and yet discussions around 5G are already in full swing. The path to increased bandwidth for operators is accelerating. Once mobile broadband provides a similar experience as fixed Internet the number of users actually looking for even higher bandwidth will decrease.

Mobile Operators who will still invest in mobile broadband build-out will need to look at other differentiators. The industry will move from an era when technology and performance drove differentiation to one where performance is mere table stakes. The paradigm shift will be toward differentiation based on brand, empowerment and ease of use. 

    2. Beyond Legacy

Survival is for the fittest, or more properly, for those who adapt. In the past mobile operator business has been driven by subscriber growth and this was also a key indicator of company success. With the "Limits of Growth" operational efficiency, optimized internal processes and organizational setup will become the focus of activities. Streamlining processes and removing elements that do not provide value to the customer and business will be essential for future profitability and long-term survival. Operators need to abandon legacy systems that slows them down but not change for legacy’s sake. Customer-centricity is the new focus point of systems architecture, as is customer empowerment. 

    3. Beyond the Cloud

Cloud Computing and Virtualization have fundamentally changed the paradigms for IT and data centers. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) drive these technologies into the mobile operator’s core and access networks. This will dramatically change the way networks are operated and new services are rolled out. Shared resources, excess capacity management and disaster recovery approaches will evolve toward an environment where even mission critical systems will leverage shared resources, driving an efficiency of operations unprecedented in the telecommunications industry. 

    4. Beyond the Phone

Communication is no longer only related to phone calls, browsing the Internet or sending messages. Intelligent, smart devices will be a growing "community" of communication elements. We are moving to the Internet of Things, with a much larger amount of devices than currently used for personal communication. 

    5. Beyond Privacy

As the volume of customer data increases exponentially, so will the ability to track customer patterns, profile customers and provide rich information in real-time about connected customers. Service providers will need to build clear patterns of trust with their customers, through transparent privacy governance and clear customer agreements.

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Partnering to Accelerate Growth: Microsoft’s Megatrends Shared at WPC 2013

July 19, 2013 9:22 AM | Category: New Revenues,  | by Jens Voigt

It was hot! Not only the weather. Just being back from Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2013) in Houston, I want to share a few thoughts about it and how this relates to our industry and Redknee in particular.

Microsoft is one of our key partners for providing end-to-end solutions in the Business Support Systems domain and in this 3 day event they presented a deep-dive into their strategy and products' future to several thousand business partners. This included a very impressive line-up of keynote speeches to detailed product and solution sessions.

Microsoft is clearly a company in transition, working on their transformation towards "Devices and Services". While the final outcome and success is still to be seen, they have a very clear view on where to go, based on 4 megatrends that are very relevant also for the telecommunications industry:

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Transform Your Business by Making it Simpler

May 7, 2013 2:30 PM | Category: New Revenues,  | by Redknee

Today’s mobile subscribers are a sophisticated species.  In a market where practically every subscriber is equipped with smartphones and devices, there’s a growing sense of familiarity with technology and the costs of ownership. This is especially the case as consumers find it so easy to shop around, either in retail outlets or online.

Operators now accept the business imperative that says innovation is critical for success. The ability to support this change, however, often requires CSPs to update their back office systems; ensuring that they have the right foundation in place to support the newest technologies, deliver the latest services, and market more effectively to their subscribers. Before making any changes, however, CSPs need to ask what are their primary goals and objectives and what are the gaps in their systems today?
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