Over 7.1 billion wireless connected devices & nearly 800 million mobile enabled netizens by 2015.
Who cannot smell business from that? Certainly, everyone in the telecommunication industry does. The transition to all-IP networks is no less than an epic of communication technology transformation. It’s a transformation that’s sweeping across the board, all over the universe and is everywhere. The most dynamic change that has taken place during the past two radical decades of mobile revolution is the makeover of the mobile subscriber. The speed, the versatility and the abundance of possibilities brought by IP networks have only empowered the imagination of this once humble subscriber. Swayed and nurtured by high-speed broadband networks & smart devices, the idea of mobile communication has scaled a truly enormous magnitude. While subscribers have gained a lot through this transition, it’s been beyond doubt a highly bumpy ride for telcos, mobile network operators (MNOs) and communication service providers (CSPs) to upgrade the mountain of legacy systems & siloed networks.
Next-generation network is indeed a reality and the internet driven digital value chain is its life blood. While it continues growing bigger and faster, the wave of 4G networks and telecommunication technologies is all set to create another stir. From service providers to device & network equipment makers and also subscribers from all walks of life, they all find it yummy alike. Every CSP / MNO is raring to go yippee over 4G; wanting to do more, offer more, create more, be more and eventually to gain more. We could collect this quite easily from our recent visits to two important industry events, namely MWC Barcelona 2011 and 11th Billing & RA Asia Pacific. The discussion and exchange of thoughts were certainly inclined to the domain of all-IP 4G networks and what needs to be done around it.
While this buoyancy is welcome, it needs to be noted that the pace of telecom network transformation has been rapid as well as strange. For example, the telephone got patented in 1876, which was much ahead than both radio and TV, however, today paradoxically HD TV and HD Radio have prevailed as engaging realities, whereas HD voice is yet to gain traction. While millions of internet users enjoy wide band voice with VoIP apps, they are yet to experience the same over their mobile devices. Thus, it isn’t about a sequence of technology, but subscribers’ propensity to consume & embrace new ways and better things that rule the roost. Telecom innovations are strongly driven by lifestyle aspirations.
Way to go yIPpee
As All-IP transition grows stronger, operators are facing a multitude of challenges from services, network, value chain and new business models. They need a better approach towards targeted revenue opportunities, whereby they can create more value with partnership offerings and can monetize the same using smart charging, PCRF and subscriber management solutions. This will become possible by deploying end-to-end, scalable & real-time OSS/BSS capabilities to enable competitive customer management, interlinked charging and policy management, network offloading and smart convergent billing for all services.
At this point of time what most carriers and service providers need is a technology partner, not only to transform their networks but to strengthen business agility & spirit of innovation as well.