Monday, January 5, 2015

Blueprint: Collaboration to Drive Telecoms Market in 2015

2015 looks set to be another fascinating one for the telecoms sector as we begin to see the next stage of evolution in services and business models. Following the rapid adoption of LTE, we are likely to see an increasing number of operators further developing their offering and introducing VoLTE, LTE roaming and other advanced 4G services.

OTTs and MVNOs are also looking to expand their portfolios and customer reach by breaking out of their silos and moving into more mainstream telecoms services. The current market evolution has created a scenario where, in order to deliver the optimum customer experience and maximise revenue, the sector as a whole needs to break out of their individual mind-sets and adopt a more collaborative approach.

For instance, in order to deliver quality of experience and reach their goal of breaking out of their silo-based models and widen the range of services they provide, OTT players must engage with both operators and infrastructure providers to take advantage of their footprint and network services.

Mobile operators too must collaborate in order to provide a range of interoperable services normally associated with OTT providers, including file transfer and VoIP services. Many operators have already recognised the value in offering enhanced messaging services, usually the realm of the Internet players, with RCS adoption. There are encouraging signs widescale adoption is not far away. Recently, BICS conducted a survey of industry executives on their attitudes and plans for RCS adoption and found that two thirds of operators were looking to go live by the end of 2015.

In Europe, further adjustments to roaming charges and other regulations are expected, which will further open up the telecoms market. This will give way to a number of new niche MVNOs founded on innovative roaming-only premises. For carriers, these regulatory developments will offer opportunities to improve roaming monetisation through the launch of enhanced roaming services such as tailored packages for specific customer types. This will further stimulate usage as consumers receive a higher-quality user experience relevant to their needs.

Commercial LTE services are now available in over 100 countries according to GSA figures announced in October, and many suppliers have extended this commitment to offering customers the highest data speeds wherever they are in the world by introducing LTE roaming agreements. In 2015, we can expect this trend to continue and the widespread use of further enhanced services, including HD Voice and VoLTE.

The enhanced user experience brought about by next generation new voice services will invigorate the voice market, enabling operators to better monetise voice.

With market consolidation continuing and so many dynamic factors in play those who succeed will need to have a compelling offer across the range of services including voice, messaging, GRX and signalling. Operators will also look to their infrastructure providers to offer far more than just the transport network, seeking intelligent services that facilitate monetisation, innovative packages and efficiencies.

To satisfy demanding end-users innovation is key. The best way to achieve this is for all the players in the mobile ecosystem to work collaboratively to create benefits for all parties and ultimately the end customer.

About the Author

Daniel Kurgan is CEO of BICS SA/NV. He joined Belgacom’s Carrier Division at the start of the carrier's commercial operations in January 1997, where he held several positions including International Account Manager, Head of International Relations & Sales, Sales Director (domestic and international wholesale) and VP International Wholesale, in charge of Sales & Marketing, Buying & LCR, and Customer Service and Network. In 2005 Daniel was VP Commercial of BICS, and contributed to the spin-off of Belgacom’s international carrier business.

Daniel graduated from the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels.

About BICS

BICS delivers best-in-class international wholesale solutions to any communication service provider worldwide. Through its Mosaic portfolio, a comprehensive, flexible and innovative suite of solutions designed to be used individually, or collectively, BICS meets the existing and future requirements of the global telecoms industry. BICS is headquartered in Brussels with regional offices in Bern, Dubai, Madrid, New York and Singapore.


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