Monday, October 01, 2007

Thoughts from Carriers World

Last week I spent a day listening and talking to the wholesale telecoms world. A few interesting points came out of the conversations.

  1. The Carriers are only just now tarting to understand and plan for the demands of Mobile Networks. Looking at the backhaul network for one major mobile network who are running HSDPA they are using 2M lines, so I guess that explains why the service is slow even thought very few of your customers have signed up for it! It also places a massive question market over any data services because of the potential for a bottleneck that stops everything working.
  2. Customers still want voice, and lots of it! The rise of Voice thanks to VoIP offerings has been something that the Carriers have not been forecasting. One presentation by Lycatel showed that rather than cannibalise revenues the introduction of MVNO services in mainland Europe has seen revenue growth on the calling card side of the business.

A few of those present went on to talk about development in voice services, such as the Cisco Conferencing Suites that use enhanced voice solutions to improve the call quality. Having had some experience of the early video conferencing solutions move to the desktop I have to say that all is well until the CEO decides to try the service whilst skiing and cannot understand why the difference between his experience on ADSL and the fibre solution at the office.

The wake up call for me was that even after 20 plus years of having a mobile arm the wholesale demands are not fully understood by the Carriers. Just how can you to run data services as a mobile firm if your standards are different from the provider of Backbone connectivity? Even the understanding of IP standards does not seem to be the same? Security provides interesting headaches because on a carrier network they don't have SIMS that carry the ID management and so require protection across the whole network. Does this mean that my next generation handset will be getting bigger rather than smaller?

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