Light Reading

BTE: Service Innovation in the Spotlight

Ray Le Maistre
6/13/2014
50%
50%

Is the communications services sector finally unshackling itself from the legacy cultural and operational practices that have been holding it back during the past decade?

There are signs that this is starting to happen, says Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie, who will take to the podium on the first morning of Light Reading's upcoming Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago to examine the ever closer relationship between business and technology within communications service providers, and highlight the emerging signs of service innovation by telcos.

There certainly are signs that the relationship within telcos between marketing and IT/networks is becoming closer, and, believes Finnie, the shift to virtualization should help that. "But what's really important," he adds, "is whether the telcos can look beyond the pure technological gains they can get from virtualization. It's possible they could get more efficiencies from hardware, but what they really want is a more responsive business, one that can react more quickly to changes in customer requirements and connect the technology to the business.".

That shift towards virtualization is one that Finnie and his Heavy Reading team have been analyzing for years. "Heavy Reading has been at the forefront of this trend. As far as I can tell, Caroline Chappell [Heavy Reading Senior Analyst – Service Provider Cloud, SDN/NFV] noted before anyone else that IT was going to transform telecom network technology, and we are now at the start of that transformation. We recognized years ago the importance of SDN and virtualization. And during BTE we'll be talking about the results of a special survey to give us a picture of where we are today with virtualization in telecoms," says Finnie.

But is there any evidence that communications service providers are changing their ways, becoming more innovative and adopting new cultural and operational models?

"I've been cynical about their ability to do that in the past, but what we're starting to see is that the theoretical ideas about new services are starting to be translated into reality -- there's a lot more service innovation going on, especially by mobile operators, where they are creating new plans based on applications, or shared use of data, or buying service promotions on the fly, or sponsored data," says Finnie.

He says he has been "particularly cynical about sponsored data because it has taken operators forever to start building relationships with third parties but that's starting to happen now. Spotify has done lots of deals with service providers, there are a lot of Facebook-based services, and services based on Netflix or some other video service. In the next year or two we should see if that innovation is translating into improving business," which is something the operators need, because "especially in developed markets, they have experienced flat revenues and declining margins. The question is, can they reverse that? At least they have been coming out with new plans and ideas and for me that's a good sign -- maybe we are turning a corner," says Finnie.

Such moves by the operators are just down to new cultures and business plans. "Of course it's all underpinned by technology, so there is some evidence that the marketing people are driving more of the technology decisions than in the past. That couldn't happen without greater collaboration within the telcos. Vendors are saying they have been spending more time with the service provider marketing people than they used to: Sometimes that is driven by the vendors, being proactive about getting them involved, but that's often coming from the telcos themselves, which are becoming more driven by the marketing side that they used to be," notes the analyst.

Finnie will dig deeper into these trends and challenges during his BTE presentation at 9:05 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17. For full details of the event, see the BTE website.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Ray@LR
100%
0%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
6/13/2014 | 6:44:41 AM
Innovation in a bubble
There's no doubt, as Graham notes, that telcos are developing services and offers that they wouldn't have, and couldn't have, a few years ago.

But the big question is -- can they be innovative enough to compete with the OTT players?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones
Too Fluffy to Talk Click Here
Elmer found that his bountiful fur got in the way of meaningful conversation.