& 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 Beer
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 Beer
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 Beer
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
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
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 Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
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
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Verizon: Small Biz in Cybercrooks' Crosshairs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/27/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.