Why operators need to forge a greater link between digital transformation and customer care

Operators are stuck between a rock and a hard place today. They need to be seen to move towards a process of digital transformation – whatever that term means – while trying to constantly improve the customer experience.

The latter is an area where the telcos have traditionally struggled – and according to a new report published by BriteBill and Omnisperience gauging the views of 40 tier-0 and tier-1 service...

By James Bourne, 11 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Billing, Customer Service, Operators, Research.

Ericsson and Swisscom bolster 5G initiatives in Switzerland with end-to-end call

Ericsson and Swisscom have announced the completion of what is being described as Europe’s first end-to-end, multi-vendor 5G NR call in the Swiss city of Burgdorf.

The call was made over Swisscom’s 3GPP-compliant network using Ericsson’s radio technology, alongside the Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, a solution aimed to deliver converged communication services.

This can be seen as an...

By James Bourne, 04 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Europe, Networks.

Huawei and ZTE banned from Australia’s 5G market

It has been a long-running drama – and now Huawei has confirmed it has been banned, along with ZTE, from Australia’s 5G rollout over perceived security concerns.

A joint media release from senators Mitch Fifield – who has since resigned after a turbulent week in Australian politics which has seen prime minister Malcolm Turnbull ousted – and Scott Morrison, acting minister for home affairs, aimed to provide 5G...

By James Bourne, 24 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, China, Connectivity, Networks.

Why telcos need to beef up their blockchain know-how to take a billion-dollar opportunity

Blockchain could boost the telecoms sector by up to $1 billion in the coming years – but to do that telcos need to build new capabilities, according to the latest note from GlobalData.

The verdict from the digital media provider, which notes that several major operators are undergoing initiatives, is that blockchain-enabled communications to...

By James Bourne, 21 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Disruption, Operators.

Skype’s classic interface avoids executioner’s block for now as Microsoft extends support

Skype’s classic interface has gotten a reprieve. Microsoft confirmed it would be extending support for Skype 7, or Skype Classic, “for some time” after feedback from users.

The original shutdown date for the current iteration of Skype was set at September 1, with Skype 8 originally being launched to Windows desktop last October.

Customers had expressed disappointment at new features, including the ‘all-in-one’ chat functionality based more on the Windows 10 design at the behest...

By James Bourne, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, OTT Services.

Why 5G connectivity will be key to the future of the connected car

Communications service providers (CSPs) need to get their acts together, according to analyst firm Gartner, as opportunities will ramp up in utilising 5G for autonomous vehicle connectivity.

CSPs can ‘secure future market opportunities’ with autonomous vehicle manufacturers, Gartner added, in areas such as driver safety and data processing and management.

There will be a huge amount of data at play here. By 2025, autonomous vehicles will upload more than 1 terabyte of vehicle and sensor data to...

By James Bourne, 04 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Apps, Cloud, Connectivity, Operators.

Amazon muscles in on BT and Sky for Premier League rights: What’s next for each company?

Let’s get one thing straight with regards to Amazon buying a package of Premier League rights: it is, for now, simply a foot in the door. Testing the waters, if you will.

When the major rights were announced in February – Sky and BT Sport securing the primary packages for £4.464 billion – there were two smaller rights packages yet to be resolved. Some believed the packages would be filled by Amazon as part of a testing process. Others were less sure. Whichever, where does this leave...

By James Bourne, 11 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadcast, Consumers, Content, OTT Services.

Telefonica buddies up with Amazon Web Services to help customers with their cloud push

It’s telco cloud, Jim, but not as we know it. Telefonica has announced it is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help organisations in their journeys to the cloud.

Customers are ‘asking for support in their cloud adoption processes’, as the Spanish operator puts it – and rather than go their own way, as the market has seen with less than impressive results, it’s better to go with a hyperscaler.

The partnership includes a variety of initiatives. Telefonica will include...

By James Bourne, 17 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Connectivity, Europe, Operators.

Ericsson assesses how telecom service providers can plot IoT revenue streams

Are telecom providers making the most out of the Internet of Things (IoT) opportunity? According to a new research report from Ericsson, service providers see the clear potential, but gaps remain which need to be filled.

The study, titled ‘Exploring IoT Strategies’, analysed 10 of the 30 leading mobile broadband service providers, as well as 10 IoT leaders, and has put together a framework which can capture telecom providers’ paths to IoT revenue. The broadband providers polled said they...

By James Bourne, 24 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Monetisation, Networks, Operators.

Nokia and Ericsson releases offer needed cloud opportunities for operators

Telco cloud: two words that can strike fear into many in the industry. Yet a couple of new initiatives from Nokia and Ericsson will aim to help operators in their projects.

Nokia has officially opened its Cloud Collaboration Hub in Singapore. The hub ‘enables operators to visualise, develop and execute cloud offerings’, in the company’s words, and joins the facilities already available in Texas and the UK.

The hub will aim to resolve the dreaded cloud skills gap, cited by Nokia as a key reason why...

By James Bourne, 10 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Infrastructure, Networks, Operators.

Colt explores blockchain to settle payments between telecom operators

Telecoms and data centre services provider Colt has announced a proof of concept (PoC) to assess whether blockchain can help solve the problem of payment settlements between operators.

The initiative was put together alongside PCCW Global and Clear, a company which ‘builds blockchain-based wholesale services clearing and settlement platforms for entire industries, and the economies that support them’, in the firm’s own words.

During the recent Pacific Telecommunications Council...

By James Bourne, 13 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Operators.

Cisco announces worldwide launch of NB-IoT platform

(c)iStock.com/jasondoiy

MWC The NB-IoT (narrowband Internet of Things) market is seeing a significant climb. Last Thursday, the GSMA revealed findings that 23 mobile operators had commercially launched 41 mobile IoT networks worldwide across LTE-M, the machine to machine version of the LTE system, and NB-IoT.

Indeed, you can’t move for companies talking about it or making product announcements about it at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Cisco is indeed one of those companies – but their...

By James Bourne, 27 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Networks.

Assessing BT’s content strategy with OTT behemoths on the horizon

(c)iStock.com/claudiodivizia

MWC The recent tussle for the English Premier League football rights was shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Will this be the season where the purely-digital disrupters, the Amazons, the Facebooks et al, finally get a piece of the pie?

In a couple of words – not really. Sky and BT Sport again secured the main packages for £4.464 billion for matches from 2019 to 2022 – two smaller rights packages remain unresolved – with BT adding in a statement that it remained...

By James Bourne, 27 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content, Operators, OTT Services.

Nokia to collaborate with NTT DOCOMO on 5G NR plans

Nokia will work with NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest mobile operator, to support the launch of a 5G commercial network planned for 2020.

The Finnish operator said it will enhance existing baseband units and integrate 5G NR (5G New Radio)-based hardware into its network.

5G NR, a global standard which aims to support a wide variety of device types, services and spectrum, was officially given the green light at the 3GPP TSG RAN plenary meeting in Lisbon last month. As this publication

By James Bourne, 22 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Networks, Operators.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon boost Minnesota network speeds in Super Bowl preparation

The Super Bowl is only a couple of weeks away – and AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have beefed up their cellular capacities in Minneapolis, where the showpiece game will take place, in preparation.

T-Mobile said it was doubling the amount of LTE spectrum in Minneapolis and Saint Paul – the twin cities – and deploying more than 120 small cells throughout the city, the US Bank Stadium, and surrounding venues. A further addition inside the stadium is through the deployment of Centralized Radio...

By James Bourne, 19 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: LTE, Networks, Operators.

Telecoms sector paying out more than ever to remedy customer service faults

A new study from Servion reveals the same old flaws: the telecoms sector in the UK is paying more than ever because of poor customer service.

The study focused on the energy, financial and telecoms markets, with Servion taking its data from the ombudsman of each industry. The report found that the communications sector has seen a significant rise in complaints in the UK with a total of 29,503 complaints – up 132% on 2016’s total.

As users expect more in terms of value from their providers,...

By James Bourne, 12 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Service, Research.

Ericsson predicts one billion 5G subscriptions by 2023 in latest report

Ericsson has looked into its crystal ball for its latest Mobility Report and come up with the goods: by 2023, there will be one billion 5G subscriptions, while global mobile data traffic will be more than 100 exabytes per month.

5G will cover more than 20% of the world’s population by the end of 2023, with early deployments expected in the US, South Korea, Japan and China. In terms of more general geographical trends, North America will lead 5G uptake, Ericsson says, expecting to account for 37% of all...

By James Bourne, 28 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Networks, Research.

Cisco continues to dominate switching and router market – with NFV and SDN on the horizon

The global switching and router market continues to be led by one company, according to the latest analysis from Synergy Research.

Cisco’s share of the total market was 51%, with particular dominance in the enterprise routers section, where it holds 63% share, Synergy added. For Ethernet switching, Cisco still held more than half share, and for service provider routers Cisco held 38% of the market.

The company’s main competitor across all markets is Huawei, with HPE and Arista competing on...

By James Bourne, 27 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Infrastructure, Networks, NFV, Research, SDN.

More telco customer service woes abound – but for Gen Z, chatbots could be the answer

It’s the age-old complaint around telecom providers and customer service; more than two thirds of customers surveyed by Brite:Bill admit they find their bills hard to understand, with three quarters saying they were not interested in the information which came with their statements.

The study, which took responses from more than 3,200 consumers in eight countries, found a worrying amount of churn among consumers.

29% of those polled said they have contacted their service providers over billing issues,...

By James Bourne, 24 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Billing, Customer Service, Operators, Research.

ETSI launches latest release of Open Source Mano to aid NFV orchestration

The ETSI Open Source Mano group (ETSI OSM) has announced the launch of its latest OSM release to deliver production-quality open source management and orchestration for network function virtualisation (NFV).

Among the new features in the latest iteration include enhancements for scalability, performance, resiliency, security, and user experience relating to its adoption in production environments.

“With a new role-based access control, OSM release three enables users from different service providers to...

By James Bourne, 15 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Networks, NFV.