Forget “One” – At Best It’s “Unified” and It’s Not Going to Survive “One More” Anyway!

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • Such is the pace of communications technology innovation that marketing any communications service with the prefix “one” is a recipe for rapid obsolescence.
  • The most realistic strategy for embracing an increasing multiplicity of networks, channels, devices and identities is to adopt a “unified” communications strategy.

For those with a long memory of telecommunications service initiatives, a sense of déjà vu likely overcame them when BT announced its new “One Phone” service recently. Notwithstanding BT’s rationale for the service, it highlights the continued marketing attraction of “one,” a term used repeatedly ever since more than one network or device could be associated with a subscriber. There have been no end of “one” initiatives over the years and BT has had its fair share. Look at BT’s Onephone service from 1999, and while there are multiple technology differences between then and now, the message is largely the same: one of simplicity and convenience. In BT’s case, the service name differs only by a “space” over fifteen years. Read more of this post

LTE TDD: Looking Back to the Birth of a Standard

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • LTE, as a standard, was developed with a number of requirements and goals in mind: spectrum flexibility, spectral efficiency, ecosystem scale.
  • Together, these requirements and goals led the inclusion of TDD and FDD duplexing as integral components.

We all knew the 5G pendulum was going to swing back pretty hard post-Mobile World Congress this year. Sure enough, come mid-year 2014, it’s suddenly fashionable for people in the telecom industry (media, analysts, etc.) to push back on the 5G hype. You probably know the messages I’m thinking of: “There are still plenty of 2G networks supporting M2M and voice in operation.” “3G will be with us for years, so keep investing in those networks.” “LTE and LTE-A are more than capable enough to support millions upon millions of people watching million upon millions of streaming video sessions.” Read more of this post

OSS/BSS Vendor Satisfaction – Are “Product Companies” Missing the Boat on Delivery?

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis collected responses on OSS/BSS purchase drivers and vendor satisfaction from large operators around the globe representing approximately half of the global telecom CapEx spend.
  • The companies that topped the list in questions related to vendor satisfaction seem to be better known as large SI players than as OSS/BSS specialists.

The funny thing about surveys is that while nearly everyone is interested in the results, most also view them with a “take with a grain of salt” attitude. So, as one of the main people at Current Analysis responsible for designing, conducting and reporting on the primary research surveys that we do aimed at telecom networks, I have grown somewhat used to folks being selective about which results resonate vs. which ones get dismissed. Accordingly, I have also grown more comfortable in reading the tea leaves as I see them and retaining my sense of professional self-worth when folks take my analysis with the aforementioned bits of sodium chloride. Read more of this post

AT&T Adds Alcatel-Lucent and FNC to the Domain 2.0 Roster, Taking It Upon Itself to Build an SDN/NFV Ecosystem

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T’s Domain 2.0 vendor roster now stands at eight publicly announced participants; the operator has essentially created its own de facto ecosystem.
  • How AT&T plans to use each vendor has not been announced. Regardless, substantial coordination among the participants will be required.

AT&T spent 25 billion dollars on CapEx last year. Just to put that in perspective, if AT&T was a country, its CapEx alone would be in the top 100 of global GDP. There were several countries smaller than this in the recently concluded World Cup tournament. Read more of this post

Portable Applications vs. Distributed NFV – Where’s the Broader Interest?

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Quortus and Cavium announced the integration of EPC software into Cavium’s small-cell silicon, delivering application intelligence at the network edge.
  • Current Analysis survey work suggests that operators do not see an interest in scaling applications to the network edge. This could be a short-sighted decision.

On July 21st, Quortus announced that it had managed to integrate EPC functionality into small-cell silicon from Cavium. Delivering “portable applications” and “edge-based intelligence” is what Quortus does, so the news was not particularly earth-shattering. Given the relatively niche use cases called out – emergency services, public safety, military communications – it was also the type of announcement that was likely to get overlooked.

Personally, it piqued my interest. Read more of this post

With Enterprise Small Cells, Remember: Not All Enterprises Are Alike

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise small-cell deployment strategies need to include market segmentation.
  • This segmentation takes many forms and has both technology and business model implications.

Much attention’s been paid in the past year to small cells for enterprises. However, it is important to remember in these conversations that not all enterprises are alike. Read more of this post

Cable/Pay-TV Customers: Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Is Help on the Way?

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Can’t Get No (Satisfaction): U.S. consumers consistently name their pay-TV/broadband Internet providers as offering their worst customer service experience. Can suppliers drive these operators to improve their customer experience, boosting satisfaction and reducing churn?
  • The Good News: New, disruptive service providers, such as Google Fiber, could spur the incumbents to compete not only on broadband connection speeds and TV channel packages, but also on the customer satisfaction front, which includes quality-of-service/experience (QoS/QoE) and price.

Earlier this week, a now ex-Comcast customer’s audio recording of a telephone call with a Comcast customer service representative went viral, highlighting a well-known issue that many pay-TV/Internet/triple play customers (and consumer survey groups) have known for years: consumer satisfaction – or, more notably, the lack thereof – is an increasingly critical factor in customer retention/churn. The customer was calling simply to have his service disconnected, and a process which should have taken a few minutes (at most) was drawn out by the Comcast rep to 18 minutes, due overwhelmingly to the agent’s badgering of the customer in a poor attempt at customer retention (e.g., “Being that [Comcast is] the number one provider of TV and Internet in the entire country, why is it you don’t want the number one provider?”). Comcast has since apologized and stated that this instance was atypical, but the national media soon picked up on the story, expanding the scope of negative exposure. Read more of this post