Artificial Intelligence Playing Larger Role in Preventing Communications Fraud – but Slowly

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • A new survey by the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) shows communications fraud remains a significant cost to network operators despite steady improvement over the past ten years.
  • A small but growing number of operators have begun implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence as crucial components of their fraud management systems, but most operators have not.

A new survey by the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) shows both good news and bad news in network operators’ efforts to control communications fraud.  Communications fraud happens whenever a person or group uses communications services with no intention of payment.  In order not to encourage even more fraud, operators like Vodafone and AT&T are understandably reticent when it comes to revealing how their own fraud prevention mechanisms and procedures stack up against competitors.  However, these operators are more forthcoming in anonymously responding to the annual survey by the CFCA, which represents operators, security and risk management vendors, and law enforcement authorities. Continue reading “Artificial Intelligence Playing Larger Role in Preventing Communications Fraud – but Slowly”

Launch of Three New Streaming Services Represents Threat and Opportunity to Broadband Operators

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • Apple, Disney, and Google are all introducing new streaming services in November that are likely to create new levels of network performance challenges for broadband operators due to their use of 4K video and, in the case of Google Stadia, new uplink requirements.
  • Broadband operators should be able to monetize this new network usage in the form of upselling to higher-volume data plans. However, to do so, they will also need to invest in new network technologies to ensure they can stay ahead of demand.

Network operators are bracing for the introduction of a trio of high-profile, well-funded streaming services in November.  The new services are likely to introduce new challenges to network operators already struggling to keep up with growing demand for streaming video services.  This may provide a strong upsell opportunity for network operators, but it may also require a new wave of network investment for operators to stay ahead of the demand curve. Continue reading “Launch of Three New Streaming Services Represents Threat and Opportunity to Broadband Operators”

DT’s Transport Network Transformation Works on the Harder and Softer Sides of MANO

Principal Analyst, Global Telecom Technology and Software

• Deutsche Telekom’s recently announced network and service automation project using Netcracker’s Domain Orchestrator demonstrates current best practices in management and orchestration.

• The project’s early success, however, also shows how many things need to go right to execute a true network transformation.

Deutsche Telekom is unifying and automating its German transport network with a state-of-the-art technical architecture. The new approach is already reaping benefits in efficiency and speed, but DT places as much importance on the vendor’s implementation approach as it does on the technology.

Since October 8, Deutsche Telekom and Netcracker have been touting the benefits of their transport digitization. The carrier is already live with IP trunk provisioning using Netcracker’s Domain Orchestrator approach, and says that it sees unprecedented speed in the area. Soon to come are unified network discovery, visualization, and trunk provisioning across the IP and optical domains. Using a real-time active inventory, the solution provides full-lifecycle management of services. The Netcracker orchestrator interfaces directly with the IP core, and all of the IP and optical layers are combined in a common visualization domain. It is also containerized, allowing for quick configuration of services and features.
Continue reading “DT’s Transport Network Transformation Works on the Harder and Softer Sides of MANO”

Looking Into the Crystal Ball: GlobalData’s Most Intriguing Predictions in Telco Technology & Software in 2019

John Byrne – Service Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • GlobalData recently published its comprehensive set of 2019 predictions across mobile and fixed access, transport and routing, and telco software and services.
  • The predictions here represent some of the most intriguing industry trends that vendors and operators will need to track closely in the coming year.

Shifting RAN Vendor Landscape: It’s too difficult to predict whether more countries will follow the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan in erecting barriers to Huawei and ZTE’s participation in their network infrastructure markets. But, in any case, what has already transpired – combined with the cloud of uncertainty it casts over the future – will likely have several near-term effects in 2019. Continue reading “Looking Into the Crystal Ball: GlobalData’s Most Intriguing Predictions in Telco Technology & Software in 2019”

Nexign and Bubbletone Go Exclusive and Double Down on Telco Blockchain Prospects

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • Nexign and Bubbletone augmented their relationship, agreeing to exclusive terms across sales, business, and product development to ensure they sustain competitive differentiation in the early stages of the telco blockchain market.
  • As Nexign and Bubbletone double down on their alliance, they must produce operator endorsements to validate their differentiation and first-mover marketing claims.

In October 2018, Nexign and Bubbletone officially unveiled the decision to take their existing partnership to the next level by entering into exclusivity terms across their sales, business, and product development efforts. Forming an exclusive partnership is a rarity in the telecommunications supplier market, and it demonstrates Nexign and Bubbletone’s determination to press their early inroads in the emerging telco blockchain market. Equally important, the new terms remove concerns that the alliance could lose focus if either Nexign or Bubbletone started forming multiple blockchain and BSS partnerships (see: Nexign and Bubbletone Ready to Turbocharge the BSS Market with Embedded Blockchain Applications,” August 13, 2018).  As a result, Nexign and Bubbletone are on a stronger footing to pursue their joint goal of earning operator trust and accelerating the adoption of blockchain innovations.  The partnership identifies innovations like capturing new revenue streams from roaming visitors and eliminating intermediaries as key reasons for operators to embrace blockchain technology. Continue reading “Nexign and Bubbletone Go Exclusive and Double Down on Telco Blockchain Prospects”

The Telco Blockchain Bandwagon is Ready for Take Off

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

• Blockchain is generating many headlines, mostly related to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the prospect of a new paradigm for fully secure and trusted transactions.

• Telcos are now getting on board what is being billed as the next $1 billion opportunity but must figure out how to work with their suppliers in building new capabilities, ranging from the elimination of hated roaming fees to new connected device services like drone deliveries.

As telcos continue to struggle across the board with declines in both revenue and profitability, blockchain is emerging as a technology with the potential to radically transform the telecommunications industry as well as many other industries. A recent forecast by ResearchAndMarkets predicts revenue from the telecom blockchain will increase by an 80%+ compound annual growth rate over the next five years to nearly $1 billion, while consulting stalwart Accenture sees the potential for a $1 trillion global telco blockchain ecosystem. Even with the wide variance in market forecasts, there is a broad industry consensus that blockchain will grow significantly and play a powerful role in transforming the telco business model and overall industry. Continue reading “The Telco Blockchain Bandwagon is Ready for Take Off”

Whale Cloud: ZTEsoft’s Rebrand Makes a Whale of a Marketing Difference

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Global Technology Telecom and Software

Summary Bullets:

  • Whale Cloud formally debuted its new brand name as the telco software unit of parent company Alibaba, expanding its cloud portfolio range and market ambitions.
  • As Whale Cloud sheds its ZTEsoft identity and prior affiliation with ZTE, it must further clarify its portfolio in relation to Alibaba Cloud’s offering and put more emphasis on 5G capabilities.

In August 2018, Whale Cloud formally unveiled its new brand name and portfolio as the telco software unit of parent company Alibaba and a key partner in Alibaba Cloud’s software service ecosystem, shedding its ZTEsoft identity. (A follow-up official announcement and press release is expected in September 2018.) Whale Cloud’s rebranding follows on Alibaba’s acquisition of ZTE’s stake in ZTEsoft for $190.6 million in February 2018. With the new brand, Whale Cloud strengthens its identity as an integral unit of Alibaba, further distancing the company from the ZTEsoft namesake and historical affiliation with prior parent company ZTE after a three-month shutdown for not complying with terms of a settlement reached with the U.S. government in March 2017. ZTE’s struggles created public relations fallout for the ZTEsoft namesake, fair or not, despite the fact that ZTEsoft’s separation from ZTE Corporation was already well underway. Continue reading “Whale Cloud: ZTEsoft’s Rebrand Makes a Whale of a Marketing Difference”