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?
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
WiCipedia: Faulty Feminism, Worthy Women & Peculiar Perks
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/5/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.