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Hosted Applications: Riding the Growth Curve

While a sustained level of uncertainty continues to swirl in telecom circles these days over telecom spending levels, the ongoing commitment to deployment of hosted applications continues to represent an area that promises to deliver future growth opportunities.

The basis for this view is based on input from network operators themselves. In order to gauge demand and desirability of hosted applications, Heavy Reading as part of its recently launched "Market Leadership Series" is in the final stages of completing an extensive study on network operator plans, capturing planned service deployments within the next two years.

Overall, the initial results are quite promising and highlight the commitment of both wireless and wireless operators to new services introduction, as well as identifying those mature services that are less of a focus moving forward. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The majority of network operators are committed to introduction of Web 2.0 capabilities within the next two years.
  • SIP Servlets are viewed by telecom operators as the overwhelming choice for developing next-generation hosted applications.
  • Increasingly, carriers are leveraging a strategy of targeting specific market segments for new service introduction, which is viewed as a positive development.
  • While challenges continue to exist – including immature standards, ecosystem limitations, billing and OSS complexity, and proprietary interfaces – overall the results depict that telecom operators have been able to effectively work around these challenges.


In addition to those services that telecom operators view as the high-runners, the survey also provides insight into a wide variety of topics, including preferred hardware platforms, the relevance of fully programmable vs. multifunctional programmable application server configurations, the ability to deliver end-to-end solution portfolios, incumbent vendor status, and even business strategies, including the impact of vendor financing. Not surprisingly, the survey also confirms the continued commitment to service bundling in both wireless and wireline segments.

Finally, the survey also captures objective input from network operators on their perceptions of telecom vendors from several aspects, including TDM migration strategies, rankings from a pure technology perspective, as well as an assessment of individual telecom vendors' success in developing cohesive hosted applications market strategies.

The Heavy Reading "Hosted Application Deployment & Market Perception Study" will be released later this month.

— Jim Hodges, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

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