& cplSiteName &

VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief

Ray Le Maistre
10/24/2011
50%
50%

VoIP is an application that should be embraced by mobile operators and not treated as a threat, according to Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica Europe plc (O2) 's U.K. operation.

O2 UK has just started a trial of its O2 Connect service that allows its Android and iOS smartphone customers to make voice calls and send texts over Wi-Fi connections using an application based on Jajah IP app capabilities acquired by Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) in 2009. (See O2 Trials VoIP Service, Euronews: Telefonica Goes After Skype and Telefónica Buys VoIP Player Jajah.)

So what's the plan behind this move?

"We set ourselves the challenge of being the unique communications partner for our customers, so when we saw VoIP arriving we had two choices -- close our eyes like others do and see VoIP as the devil incarnate, or embrace it and include it in our full services model," Dunne tells Light Reading.

"The trial is to see how that works with customers, how they use it. We took the view that we should be at the center of innovation in voice. Now, just because we bought Jajah that doesn't mean we think we need to own everything, but voice is very core to our proposition," he adds.

IP voice over Wi-Fi looks like a service that would help kill off O2 UK's valuable traditional voice revenues, so what's the operator's view on the cannibalization of its core revenue-generating service?

"The challenge is that if we don't offer [VoIP], our customers will go elsewhere and we could lose the primary relationship with our customers. ... We are not increasing the risk of cannibalization, we are internalizing it," says Dunne.

The O2 Connect service has been developed by what is now Telefónica Digital, the new unit formed recently to develop services, business models and relationships for the global operator. (See Telefonica Holds Key to Digital Model, Telefonica Restructures, Creates New Units and Telefónica's Looking Trendy.)

"By having Digital, which is a shared resource, it increases the chance of having this sort of innovation," says Dunne. "In telcos there's the chance that the 'old telco' mentality would override everything," he adds, but he believes that the new unit, which has been blessed with relative autonomy, will "be able to create new business models for O2 and not be constrained by a legacy mentality."

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
tnerber
50%
50%
tnerber,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:42 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


Great to see Mr. Dunne and O2 embrace the "new mentality".

idtchris
50%
50%
idtchris,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:40 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


Great news, it's time to break the mold. We are at a huge crossroads in the voice/convergence market. Telco's would love to push us slowly and inexorably back towards traditional business models. Models which seek to force converged technologies back into the old way of ISDN/ATM billing and centralised control instead of embracing the innovative explosion created with the advent of the public Internet. Such innovation now finds a mature playing field in which to grow and become profitable, but only if traditional Telco's have the vision to adapt and change. Go on Telefonica, lead the way and show us how it's done!

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:50:40 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


You guys do know that T-Mobile has supported UMA for years right?


 


seven


 

VoiceOnTelecom
50%
50%
VoiceOnTelecom,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:39 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


Both this post and a similar one on Fierce Wireless are filled with Biblical metaphors, which is appropriate, perhaps, for the magnitude of the shift going in the business.


It is hard to fault anyone involved in Telefonica's new OTT efforts for talking them up and trying not to get held down by that "old telco" mentality.


But let's hope Telefonica has equally smart people working to make "old telco" services as relevant as possible for as long as possible.


http://thevoiceontelecom.blogs...

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:50:39 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


 


So let me set a little bit of timing.  I bought my UMA phone on T-mobile 5 years ago.  So, I do mean years.  My experience with UMA was excellent, with one exception.  I bought the phone because the wireless coverage in my old office was awful.  I could use it but my employer made the normal WiFi network non-broadcasting. The guest network made me get a "pass" every day.  It was such a pain, that I never used my VoIP in the office.  It was awesome in NE CA (up by Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen).  All the places we stayed had WiFi but cell coverage was non-existant.  Was great for me.  The switching of calls on and off mobile to WiFi worked very well.  I do recall a call drop, but I would not assume that it is completely clean.


 


seven


 

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:39 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


Thanks. It's difficult to gauge from this side of the pond. Orange here in the UK talked up its Signal Boost (UMA) service to the trade press a few months ago, but I haven't seen much of a marketing push for it -- unless you know what to look for. Sounds similar to T-Mob in the US.

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:50:39 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


I don't.  I went to T-Mobile years ago to get UMA.  I know it is promoted but ONLY if you look for it.


seven


 


PS - http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/p...


If you look at the bottom of the checklist, look at WiFi calling - that is the feature that is UMA now.

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:39 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


Do you know the take up of T-Mobile's UMA service? How much do they promote it?

wirelessjohn
50%
50%
wirelessjohn,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:38 PM
re: VoIP's Not the Devil, Says O2 UK Chief


O2 used to be a very customer focused company and in fact its success was built on this. The simple fact is that customers use mobiles because they are simple to use and everything is in one place. Why then would O2 choose to ignore its prime proposition by bringing into play an unintegrated client that is going to savage the customer experience.


Perhaps a more intelligent approach would have been to deploy solutions like T-Mobile USA underpinned by a proposition such as Free WiFi Calling so that customers get integration and something that seems competitive against other VoIP propositions. The operator gets offload from congested spectrum so that helps too.


I would question also the statement that this is something new as others have pointed out - UMA is essentially VoIP and has been around for atleast 5 years and offers high levels of integration and quality.


Finally, I would imagine that uptake is good given the longevity of the solution and the silence. The most noise normally comes from technologies that are struggling in the marketplace.

From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Three Gets Smart(y), BT Invokes Twitter – The Recap

8|21|17   |     |   (0) comments


From Telecoms.com, a recap of the week's telecoms talking points. It's been a week of gimmicks as Three tests out a pay-as-you-go sub-brand called Smarty; Comcast
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Orchestration Startup UBiqube Pivots Away From NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/15/2017
T-Mobile Turns On First 600MHz 4G Sites
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/16/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Ericsson Plans 25,000 Job Cuts – Report
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 8/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.