Posts tagged ‘data’

Exclusive Interview – Twitter and OTT partnerships with mobile operators

Arvinder Gujral, Director Business Development APAC, Twitter

Arvinder Gujral, Director for Business Development APAC, Twitter

Our latest addition to the LTE Asia 2015 programme, keynote speaker Arvinder Gujral, Director for Business Development, APAC at Twitter will be joining us in Singapore next month to examine OTT/operator partnerships and how they are developing in Asia. I spoke to him ahead of his talk to get an insight into this evolving relationship;

“The biggest fundamental shift that has happened is that mobile operators have learned to evolve to the reality of Internet and Data superseding Voice and SMS, and have successfully adapted that to their business models and unit economics” he said “OTT providers on the other hand have also learned to work with the mobile operators, and at the same time added value to the operator’s core KPIs around Data and its new operating models. The apparent threat perception that was lingering for a while has been replaced with “lets-add-value” attitude to each other’s business, because at the end of the day it’s the end-user who needs to see benefit from both players, and not one over another.”

“The apparent threat perception… has been replaced with “lets-add-value” attitude”

“Twitter has always worked well with mobile operators; we have long-term relationships with over 500 operators globally. Over time our engagements have evolved from simple SMS connections and Twitter utilising an operator network, and more recently, with operators using the Twitter social graph and network to achieve their KPIs.

We tied up with 17 mobile operators globally for the FIFA World Cup last year, and five operators in South Asia alone for the this year’s Cricket World Cup. The aim was to take the best of Twitter for these events and make it available to the operators’ subscribers. The partnership worked beautifully as operators used their distribution and marketing effectively to show value of Data/Internet via a custom Twitter experience for these global sporting events. Of course, these successes are enabling us to evaluate bolder models to work with in the future.

Our recent partnership with Indosat (the first ever in APAC), where users of Indosat can now buy Voice, SMS, Data directly from Twitter, is another great example of how we are helping our operator partners add to their bottom line”.

But in this fast paced industry, where nothing ever stays the same – how will these partnerships evolve?

“As mobile operators look towards becoming digital operators in their own right, Twitter is in a great position to be ideal partners. We have announced Twitter Fabric, our suite of SDKs, that helps developers along the journey from idea to revenue. We have also started to work with mobile operators in their journey to explore this world of Mobile Apps and are sharing our insights, infrastructure and social graph to help them scale and eventually build additional revenue streams, all via our SDKs”.

“I believe LTE Asia will be a great hub where Twitter gets to learn from the mobile operators on what their concerns are and what they are doing about it. In that process, I can share my experience (in my previous career with a mobile operator) and partner with them through Twitter in their journey towards growing the digital mobile operator industry”.

Arvinder will be discussing Twitter’s operator partnerships during the LTE Asia Keynotes on the 7th of October. If you haven’t registered to attend the show yet or applied for a free operator pass, you can do so now buy visiting our website – www.lteconference.com/asia

Heterogeneous Networks – How complex can they get?

It’s no secret that mobile networks are under tremendous stress, and data capacity is at an all-time high. Consumers want and require constant connectivity and the standards have become very high, making operators play catch-up with the higher set of expectations from customers.

Take airport Wi-Fi as an example…just a few years ago it did not even exist, and today, customers are outraged when it is not available or it is of poor quality. The feeling has become that Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity and the ability to connect is no longer a service, but a common human right.

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Interview: CTO, Zain, Jordan: “5G will bring a transformation of lifestyle for users and enterprises.”

yousef zain

Yousef Abu-Mutawe , CTO, Zain, Jordan

As Zain in Jordan prepares to launch LTE, its CTO Yousef Abu-Mutawe is already considering the impact that 5G will have in the future. To hear more from Abu-Mutawe be sure to attend the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. At the conference he will be speaking in a keynote panel session discussing the path to 5G on Day One of the conference.

Zain is launching LTE later this year. What have been the main challenges leading up to this?

Growing the data network is a necessity in order to maintain revenues. Maintaining the value of the company require us to move to LTE. While voice revenues are shrinking, demand for data is increasing. In fact, data is becoming the main selling point and customer retention factor. Additionally, there is the need to eliminate infrastructure bottlenecks to ensure massive capacity and massive connectivity.

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LTE Is Not the Answer – But Wi-Fi Might Be

Jim Machi, Dialogic

Jim Machi, vice president of product management for Dialogic

By Jim Machi, vice president of product management for Dialogic, where he is responsible for driving the overall roadmap and product strategy.

Right now, LTE is in its heyday. Carriers are doing all they can to expand coverage and improve speeds, and those lucky enough to be using it probably experience great service. But as mobile data use increases, that honeymoon period will end as networks get clogged and overloaded.

As that happens, Wi-Fi networks will become an increasingly important way for carriers to improve coverage and capacity. This is opening new opportunities not only for pure-play Wi-Fi providers, but also for mobile network operators (MNOs) implementing complementary Wi-Fi networks as a means to expand coverage, decrease the cost per delivered bit and ease congestion on strained spectrum and backhaul resources.

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Interview: VP Marketing, Du: “The race to connect the ‘next billion’ has never been so intense.”

Vikram Chadha, VP Marketing

Vikram Chadha, VP Marketing

In this interview Vikram Chadha, VP Marketing for du gives his passionate views on the ways that operators can look forward to a rosy future where they can use their smart pipe know-how to monetize new services. Catch Vikram in person speaking on the topic of “Moving to a data centric world”, on Day Two of the 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

In your view what are the best ways the operators can market themselves as more than just a “pipe”?

The value-add that telecom service providers are capable of goes well beyond the realm of services they currently offer – it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that the potential is virtually limitless. The telecommunications industry is currently at a crossroads, and as a result it is undergoing an upheaval as more and more people access the Internet across multiple devices and platforms, driving up data traffic growth. The race to connect the ‘next billion’ has never been so intense, and therein lies the opportunity. As per industry research figures, we will have soon have 20 billion connected devices and as if that’s not enough, the prediction is that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020!

The laws of economics kick in as more and more people adopt the smartphone/devices wave – enabled by telecom service providers. In a nutshell, the key factors enabling this growth are:

1) Better affordability of increasingly-fast mobile broadband;

2) The battle of the screens: Availability of intensely feature-rich smartphones with super high resolution screens puts the power of high-end computing power in the palms of users. This battle of one-upmanship among the device manufacturers is driving down prices leading to increased adoption of smart devices and bandwidth consumption.

3) As more and more people go online to access their banking services and conduct e-commerce transactions – fuelled by the easy availability of plastic money, there is a tectonic shift in banking and the way people conduct monetary transactions. This in turn further leads to growth of the Internet and related ecosystems.

4) Shift in mindset of an average user and the need to be ‘always connected’ has led to a proliferation of smart apps, data and video.

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LTE: Long Term “Extreme” behavior

Dr Michael Flanagan, JDSU

Dr Michael Flanagan – CTO Mobility, JDSU

This post is by Dr Michael Flanagan – CTO Mobility, JDSU

The presence of “extreme” data users is well-known in the industry and past reports have shown that as little as one per cent of the hungriest UMTS users consume half of all downlink data. The advent of LTE has introduced unprecedented downlink data rates in the wireless mass market.  It has been postulated that the combination of extreme users and high data rates would result in a perfect storm where the hungriest users consume even more due to a high-speed delivery mechanism.  Recent analyses confirm this prediction and show that LTE users are ten times more extreme than their UMTS predecessors.

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Wireless in 5-10 Years: How Will Network Architectures Look?

This post is by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, director of technology development, RF Power Amplifiers, CommScope 

As a director of technology development, I try to predict what wireless networks architectures will look like in the years ahead. Obviously, no forecaster is perfect.  But as I survey what’s occurred over the past few years and look at trends today, I believe there will be a re-ordering of the key influencers determining future wireless network architectures. For this discussion, let’s focus on the US. I believe the key players in the US will be the following, in descending order of influence:

  1. Content providers such as: Google, Apple, Amazon and media companies such as Disney, CBS, CNN, Fox, Cablevision and Comcast
  2. Device manufacturers such as: Apple, Samsung, and Google
  3. Network operators such as: AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, T-Mobile, and Sprint
  4. Equipment manufacturers such as: Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, ALU, Cisco, IBM, and HP

Why this order? Because content providers and handset manufacturers are the most profitable, empowering them to have more influence over the networks of tomorrow. Thus, the choice of network technology standards (such as LTE) will be driven by device manufacturers and not solely by infrastructure OEMs and operators. This likelihood is supported by how AT&T is accelerating its LTE deployments today, Verizon’s migration from CDMA to LTE, and Sprint’s abandonment of WiMAX for LTE. The content and devices are increasingly impacting how operators evolve their wireless networks.

Content providers typically want to sell information, advertising, and content to anyone, anywhere. Therefore, mobile applications will impose new requirements on the network architecture. Since mobiles likely won’t have adequate storage or processing capabilities to address newer applications, cloud-based storage and applications will become the norm. Content providers will want to provide wired backhaul (fibre and/or copper) as close as they can to the end user.

The challenge for the wireless infrastructure vendor then is to move this content from the backhaul to the mobile user. I don’t believe a single wireless channel will ever have adequate capacity to support the full range of intended applications. For example, 10 MHz LTE can only provide 75Mbps (peak) for all users. Therefore, data aggregation over multiple channels (Wi-Fi and LTE, licensed and unlicensed) will likely become the norm. Hence the base stations of tomorrow will need to aggregate data across multiple paths and transfer seamlessly to the mobile. Innovations will be required to manage the quality of service and delays across such implementations. LTE will become the norm since most new mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets support LTE.

Attend LTE North America 2012 to hear from the leading US carriers including AT&T, MetroPCS, Verizon, US.Cellular, T-Mobile USA and Clearwire. To see the full speaker line up click here. The conference is on the 14-15th November 2012 at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Texas. Click here to download the full conference program.

Voicing our fears over data: the iPhone, the app and the police.

A remarkable story caught my eye yesterday. It’s not specifically LTE related but nevertheless I thought I’d flag it, as it’s data related. As reported in depth here by The Next Web, the founder of VoIP app Viber was met at the airport by police after using his app on the in-flight wifi on a Delta Airlines flight in the US. Viber is an smartphone app that lets you make calls, send video or texts to another device that also has it installed – but crucially doesn’t require any login, making it ‘always-on’  It has just launched beta apps for Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry, joining iPhone and Android, so it’s going to get real big, real soon.

It seems Talmon was chatting away when a flight attendant told him that it was against the rules to use VoIP on the air. He immediately ended the call, but when he was told it was against FAA rules he challenged this. Then he was told it was against the terms of service of the GoGo wifi service – which he again disputed. He was then handed an FAA brochure and when he took a picture of this the flight attendant felt he was being difficult, made quite a leap, and informed him that he would be met at the airport by the police. Remarkably, he actually was.

Fortunately the police realised that he had done little wrong and did not charge him.

Talmon states in an email response to comments on The Next Web article that he ended the call immediately when requested and that he was, “very polite, no raising my voice, no cursing, no abuse whatsoever.”

It does seem something of an overreaction by Delta to have called the cops on him. I have an iPhone with Viber installed. I might easily have done the same

Of interest here is that the supplying of an affordable data connection on a flight is what led to this. These services have been available for a while so it’s perhaps surprising that this hasn’t actually happened before. VoLTE will of course be treat voice as data, but it will still require network coverage to operate so that won’t be an issue. However, as more and more people become used to using apps they will realise that they can make calls when they have no network coverage but do have internet access.

The FAA is actually clear that it is not its policy to block VoIP calls but does not have a policy on this, and states clearly:  “This is not an FAA restriction; they are simply responding to the overwhelming majority of their customers, who prefer silent communications to the public nature of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) calls.”

In fact, Talmon had actually broken the GoGo terms of service. The question is then, why is that restriction there? Is GoGo worried about bandwidth? Presumably it’s fine to watch, or at least try and watch, a YouTube video on GoGo, so a compressed audio only call should not be an issue.

It could be purely a social etiquette issue then – people will not want other barking loudly into their phones in a confined area on a plane. Fair enough. If that’s the case then, then why has the company that runs GoGo introduced a Android smartphone designed specifically for use on its service? That seems a little contradictory.

Clearly it’s still early days for VoIP and the boundaries between safety, social etiquette and commercial concerns still need to be worked out. Let’s hope it can be done soon and hopefully without involving the police.

LTE, today, tomorrow: when should operators commit?

This is the first in a series of guest blogs from significant voices in the industry with something to say about LTE. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Lyn Cantor is president of Tektronix Communications, a provider of service assurance solutions to global operators.

There’s no doubt that demand for data is driving the network carrier market, but while LTE networks will become more pervasive over the next decade they will not all launch at once.  However, while individual carriers have entirely different market environments to cope with the shift in the market has already begun.

In fact, this year promises to be a watershed for LTE. A recent forecast from Juniper Research estimates that the number of LTE subscribers will reach 428 million by 2016; with a surge in growth taking place in 2012.Many wireless operators are taking stock of the economic and competitive environment in their respective markets and considering their LTE roll-out options. It may no longer be a case of ‘if’ an operator will launch an LTE network, but ‘when’.

The development of LTE in global markets will vary according to specific local market factors in addition to an operator’s ability to deliver data efficiently. Operators will make their move when there is a firm business case to do so, prompted by one of at least three possible scenarios.

The first is that an operator’s growth potential is crippled by the existing networks’ ability to cope with traffic demands. The second is that a rival launches LTE early to create the perception that it is leading the market. Third, there is the scenario where an incumbent operator, or new player, decides to adopt an entirely new ‘data driven’ business model.

Looking at LTE regionally, you can see that the U.S. market has taken the lead. The U.S. has enjoyed a head start with LTE because the operators have had to meet the demand for wireless data access, driven by the proliferation of new smart devices, and the need to reduce the cost of mobile broadband delivery. By way of contrast, in Europe, the operators have made a significant investment in 3G. These networks are at an advanced stage and the lack of major LTE deployments has resulted in less pressure to commit extensively to LTE. These factors, combined with spectrum allocation, will lead to a different rate of LTE expansion in Europe.

Operators now recognise the economic realities of LTE. As a result their mind-sets are switching from being a traditional voice and messaging provider to that of a mobile broadband supplier, providing, voice, messaging and data. They now appreciate the challenge they face in monitoring the volume of traffic flowing across their networks – and the ability to monetise that data as bandwidth increases. This will allow operators to cut their cloth accordingly; distinguishing between heavy users and more mainstream traffic, to expand their businesses to meet and sustain market demand going forward.

The opportunities, and potential barriers, which determine the switch to LTE are diverse and vary from region to region. However, one thing is certain. All operators will need to make the jump to LTE to deliver voice, messaging and data to a new breed of consumer.

For more debate on LTE, be sure to attend the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. Click here to register your interest.

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