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Optical/IP Networks

Why Telcos Need Web 2.0

IMS might not be the answer, it turns out.

Service providers looking to create new revenue-driving applications will instead have to adapt to the Web 2.0 world, using the concept of "mashups" to quickly create new Web-based services, according to the latest Services Software Insider report, Telco Web 2.0 Mashups: A New Blueprint for Service Creation.

The alternative -- using telecom-oriented standards such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) -- just won't be fast enough, analyst Caroline Chappell argues in the report.

"To beat the Internet companies at their own game, a growing number of network operators believe they need to find a way to harness the service creation potential of Web 2.0 and steer it toward making money," Chappell writes.

What's at stake is the operators' place in a Web-driven world. The services realm is getting hijacked by non-telcos like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) -- often called "over-the-top" providers -- that are beating telcos to the punch when it comes to creating hip new services.

"SIP servers or no SIP servers, telcos cannot -- on their own or even with select partner ecosystems -- build all the services the long tail of users and niche markets will possibly want," Chappell writes.

Mashups are browser-based applications that draw content from multiple sources on the Web, and they're often created by third-party developers that are given the chance to tinker with applications. Mashups are the key to the speed at which Web 2.0 moves, because you've got so many developers trying out new ideas. Telcos should embrace the concept if they want to keep up, Chappell argues.

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is trying the idea in pilot mode with what it's calling Web21C, a service aggregation environment for the 21CN network project. Web21C supports "normal" telco services as well as Web 2.0 services, as BT expects it will need both.

The project has taken some serious commitment. In laying out a case study of Web21C, Chappell notes that BT had to quickly develop an "agile" development process "significantly different from the 18-month, waterfall-based lifecycles common among telcos."

Web21C isn't generating much money yet but has attracted 2,500 developers, Chappell writes.

The report also includes an overview of mashup design tools from: — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading


The report, Telco Web 2.0 Mashups: A New Blueprint for Service Creation, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Light Reading's Services Software Insider, priced at $1,295. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.lightreading.com/servsoftware.

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:07:41 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 Caroline outlines her argument more deeply here:
http://www.lightreading.com/do...

She's not saying IMS should be thrown out, but that it should be augmented with tools from the IT sector, and with Web 2.0 techniques.

Whether carriers can get comfortable with that, I don't know.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:07:40 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 The problem is that carriers cannot participate in Web 2.0. They just do not know what to do other than provide bandwidth. They should add storage and security perhaps, but that is all they can do. They are not software people, are not Web people, and no change in software development style is going to change this. Web 2.0 can and must go on without them. And no, IMS is not the answer.
Frank 12/5/2012 | 3:07:38 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 Craig,

re: "Whether carriers can get comfortable with that, I don't know."

Are you implying that carriers today "are" already comfortable with IMS?

If so, how much so? On a scale of 1 to 10, say, where a "1" translates to "we've had enough, next!" and a 10 signifies it's a slam dunk?

Frank
light_geeking 12/5/2012 | 3:07:38 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 IMS supports Web services. Most likely IMS entity for such services is the Application Server.
What is unclear to the telco-mentality oriented folks is how to make money, using Web 2.0 services such as mashups, using conventional model of the service subscriber pays for the service. One could go with Google, etc. model of "advertisers pay for the services, and service users just lend eyeballs for those ads to use the service". However, recall that that Ed Whitcare et. al. have been complaining about the likes of Google, Yahoo, etc, acting as freeloaders using "telco pipes" for free.

-lg
davidmould 12/5/2012 | 3:07:37 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 What are the key differences between the IMS/SIP clusters and the Web 2.0 platforms?

The main difference for me is that Web 2.0 allows the consumer to be the creator and this where the main gain for the Telco is. Typically Telco's are too far removed from the customer and not generally very creative. When was the last time you saw something truly innovative from a Telco opposed to a slight variation of something that's been tried before. If the Telco was smart they would allow the users to drive the creative process and facilitate from their core competency, Network Operation.

See: http://orient-expression.blogs...
tomcoseven 12/5/2012 | 3:07:37 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 Materialgirl, I think I agree... bandwidth, storage, security, QoS, caching... none of it web 2.0. So where does that leave Cisco with all its 2.0 talk and web software investments? Who do they sell to? They are convinced the telcos and MSO can play the web 2.0 game. I can't imagine buying my SaaS from AT&T, Comcast or BT.
gbennett 12/5/2012 | 3:07:36 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 Comrades,
DavidG«÷s blog stands as an example of one of the great dangers of G«£Web 2.0G«• and the associated hype around the Interweb.

I know that message boards and blogs are hardly likely to be paragons of the use of the English language (the number of times I see the word G«£looseG«• used when the writer clearly intended to say G«£loseG«•), but after the SIXTH punctuation error in a single blog entry I snappedG«™

Telco's are renowned

OK, so Telco isn't a real word anyway, but it's used here in the sense of a noun. In this sentence there's no possessive sense for Telco. The Telco doesn't "own" or "have" anything. YouG«÷re simply using a plural form, and that use doesnG«÷t need an apostrophe.

the Telco's have a real challenge

Ditto. But at least youG«÷re consistent!

The wish of IMS and it's any content any screen with it's foundation

AAAARGH! Twice in a single sentence! This is one of the best known incorrect uses of the apostrophe. And, yes, itG«÷s a quirk of English, but if youG«÷re going to use the language at least make an effort to use it properly.

G«£ItG«÷sG«• is a contraction of the form G«£it isG«•, while the possessive form of G«£itG«• is simply G«£itsG«•. So your sentence actually meantG«™

The wish of IMS and it is any content any screen with it is foundation


MVNO's G«™itG«÷s that plural thingy again.

Today's Telco's needG«™ AAARGH! One right, one wrong. If youG«÷re really not sure how to use the apostrophe, just re-write the flipping sentenceG«™G«•The Telcos of todayG«™G«•, for example.

Even Word has a better chance of getting the punctuation correct! And if thatG«÷s not a damning indictmentG«™

The voices are telling me it's time to take my medication now, but could I suggest your next purchase G«Ű BEFORE you write any more blogs or G«£insightsG«• G«Ű should be this?

http://www.amazon.com/Eats-Sho...

Cheers,
Geoff
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:07:36 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 Geoff, wait until all blogs are written in 'instant messaging' styleee -- I fully expect your head to explode then.

Until that time, you surely should be crowned as 'King of the Message Board Pedants' -- and thats [just kidding] an honor indeed!

Ray
gbennett 12/5/2012 | 3:07:36 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 Aw, shucks Ray! I'm blushing.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:07:33 PM
re: Why Telcos Need Web 2.0 tomcoseven says:
"Materialgirl, I think I agree... bandwidth, storage, security, QoS, caching... none of it web 2.0. So where does that leave Cisco with all its 2.0 talk and web software investments? Who do they sell to? They are convinced the telcos and MSO can play the web 2.0 game. I can't imagine buying my SaaS from AT&T, Comcast or BT."

Good point. I think the whole thing is a multi-billion dollar sham. For the cost of this sham we could build a "real" (open, high-bandwidth, FTTH). But instead we are chasing this fiction that with enough complexity, telcos can run away from the demise of voice by repositioning themselves. The only question not being asked is "how" and "to what end".

How do telcos make money in a video world when they not only do not understand the business, but have no strategy for success other than copying the dying cable model.

Right now they are running, but not to anywhere in particular. No wonder why Ed Whitacre split with the dough.
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