Customer Experience Management (CEM)

LR's 14 New Year's Resolutions for Telecom

It's that time of year again -- when everyone resolves to be better than last year, rid themselves of destructive habits and embrace good ones.

Telecom industry players need to do the same. So in case they haven't made their own list of resolutions, here's some help from the Light Reading team. In no particular order, here are 14 New Year's resolutions that we believe could be adopted by telecom carriers and/or vendors that will make for a brighter new year.

For more on the year's big stories, peruse the news and analysis section on Light Reading.

Make an actual decision about net neutrality
Come on guys, you've been wringing your hands about this since 2002. Carriers can make money in any regulatory environment, but the market is stagnating due to indecisiveness. (See Meet Tom Wheeler, Net Neutrality Procrastinator-in-Chief and Net Neutrality: Latest Proposal Will Make Everybody Unhappy.)

Less talk, more action on SDN and NFV
We've been talking about reduced capex and opex and improved agility for a few years while SDN and NFV wind their way through the proof-of-concept and pilot processes. Now it's time to show some results -- and by 'results' we mean 'm-o-n-e-y.' 2015 is the year that operators will have to show that SDN and NFV can improve their bottom lines. (See Telecom Faces Virtualization Pricing Issue and AT&T Touts SDN Push, Seeks Talent.)

Square up to OTT
2015 is the year for operators to officially stop fearing over-the-top (OTT) players. You can't beat them, and joining them is well overdue, so forge some partnerships and work out mutually beneficial deals. Don't block them, don't build competitive services -- embrace them. In particular, stop all the bickering with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). You know you need to integrate OTT content into your video packages if you want to keep your video business alive. So stop dragging your heels and bring Netflix into the pay-TV fold. (See HeyWire Accuses Operators of Censorship, Operators Should Block Ads to Get Their Cut, Startup Says , Dish Makes Room for Netflix and Netflix Still Dominates NA Downstream Traffic: Sandvine Report.)

Look beyond the dynamic duo
Vendors, stop relying on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) to save you in 2015. Too many vendors have written off shaky second halves this year with upbeat talk about how good 2015 looks, with a particular emphasis on doing business with the two biggest US telcos. But sobering capex updates from AT&T and Verizon should have provided plenty of incentive to start broadening your horizons to new customers, new geographies and new verticals. (See Ciena Looks to Shake Off Capex Concerns and AT&T's Mexican Capex Dance.)

Get to know the Web guys
The so-called 'Web scale' companies represent the fastest-growing new business opportunities for vendors in many segments, but they may not do business or make buying decisions the same way Ma Bell did. Quicker purchasing decisions and shorter trial periods might sound like dream scenarios for vendors, but be careful what you wish for until you fully understand the world of the Web giants. (See Optical Vendors Optimistic Despite Shrinking Market and SDN Enables WebCo Collab: ATIS Members.)

Make TV Everywhere a reality
Make TV everywhere easy and compelling to use, and then market it like crazy. Consumers want to take their favorite video content with them wherever they go. But they won't -- or can't -- do it if it's too hard or clunky to do or they don't even know they can do it. (See 5 Things Cable Didn't Deliver In 2014 and Getting TV Everywhere in Gear.)

Own the gigabit space
Whether you're a cable operator, a telco, a utility or a municipality, you have the opportunity to rule the broadband market in your region. Don't let Google Fiber take that market away. And if you really want to compete, price your own gigabit services accordingly. If it costs a lot more than Google Fiber's monthly $70 charge, all the marketing in the world won't get anybody to buy it, which is a bit self-defeating. (See Is Google Good for Gigabit? and Are Utilities Really Gigabit Players?)

Next page: Security, cloud and more resolution topics

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kq4ym 1/5/2015 | 10:59:16 AM
Re: more resolving As a big TV watcher, I'd surely like to see resolutions to bring ease of selecting programs across multiple platforms and programers and lower costs per program channel to consumers for that programming. Ease of cross channel cooperation among vendors would be interesting to see.
MarkC73 12/31/2014 | 3:47:08 PM
Re: more resolving Oh I like green, I'll bump that.

For the Net Neutrality, hey that's one for the government's list.  We're all just waiting for them to make up the rules so we can know our futures.

My add:

Take care of family, friends, self, before work yourself to exhaustion.  You know life is just a balance of contradictions.  Innovate with the customer in mind, future before near term bottom line.  And please, more IPv6 content and higher speeds for all content so we can do something with our 300M-1000M future circuits!  Okay maybe it'll take more than a year for these.

Have a safe and happy year's end!
Kruz 12/31/2014 | 12:06:55 PM
Re: more resolving Think Green; invest in Green technologies. Think IOE, and prepare the needed ecosystem.

Happy new year!!
nasimson 12/31/2014 | 10:35:29 AM
Re: more resolving I'd add following one:

Fix the basics: Matters like correct invoices, understandable prices, avoiding bill shocks, indoor coverage etc. are the TELECOM BASICS that most telcos still struggle with after decades of operations.
sarahthomas1011 12/31/2014 | 9:10:22 AM
more resolving Happy New Year, everyone! Any resolutions you'd add to the mix?
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