Home Global-ICTGlobal-ICT 2013 Accompanying mobile operators through an innovation-driven value proposition

Accompanying mobile operators through an innovation-driven value proposition

by david.nunes
Christian Queffélec Christian Queffélec & Julien LecoeuvreIssue:Global 2013
Article no.:4
Topic:Accompanying mobile operators through an innovation-driven value proposition
Author:Christian Queffélec & Julien Lecoeuvre
Title:Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO;
& CTO & VP Strategic Marketing & Innovation
Organisation:Astellia SA
PDF size:376KB

About author

Christian Queffélec is Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of Astellia SA. MrQueffélec started his career at Cap Gemini and took part in the creation of the telecommunications branch of SEMA (now Atos Origin) in Rennes.

Mr Queffélec is a graduate of Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) in Rennes and holds a Postgraduate degree in Statistics from Université de Rennes I.

Julien Lecoeuvre is CTO & VP Strategic Marketing & Innovation at Astellia.

Mr Lecoeuvre graduated from ENSERG – Grenoble INP (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electronique et de Radioélectricite de Grenoble) and specialized in telecommunications at McGill University in Canada.

Article abstract

Companies have to continuously innovate to follow new technology standards, in order to renew, advance and improve their value proposition. But innovation models are moving more and more towards cooperation of companies at multiple levels: aggregation and assembly of multiple technologies and innovations while preserving key differentiators and know-how.

Full Article

Innovation is more than simply having a brilliant idea, making that idea reality is the challenge. Innovation is needed to differentiate from competition and gain value. Companies that innovate have a higher survival rate during downturns, are more profitable and outpace competitors in periods of economic growth.

Innovation: a necessity

The mobile telecommunication sector has been one of the fastest growing industries in the global economy since the late 1990s and this ecosystem is still changing rapidly. With the advent of smartphones, users have adopted the ‘always connected’ way of life and are downloading and uploading large volumes of data from their phones. This surge in data traffic poses new challenges for mobile operators and is pushing them to search for new solutions to help them handle the increased data traffic. While addressing growing bandwidth requirements across heterogeneous networks, it is equally important for operators to understand which services, devices and customers are driving this change in order to improve the focus of network investments, deliver differentiated offers and power marketing campaigns.

Mobile networks are constantly evolving: new radio technologies and core network architectures have been introduced with very short implementation cycles. Due to the increased Capex and Opex pressures operators are facing globally, they are looking for solutions to increase network efficiency and minimize network lifecycle related costs. So companies have to continuously innovate to follow these new technology standards, from 2G to 4G, from early circuit switched solutions to full IP networks. Innovation is not an option, it is a necessity, needed to renew, advance and improve the company’s value proposition.

To ensure this transformation, companies need to develop and increase competences continuously. A good example is the probe evolution: in the early days of GSM, companies used to develop their own acquisition boards, which was a big differentiator. With one single probe you could monitor up to 128 x 64K bits of signaling links. Now in a full IP network, the differentiator has changed to being able to measure quality of experience (QoE) of data services, over gigabits of throughput. Brand new competences and innovations have seen the day like massive packet processing, real-time and SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) processing, deep packet inspection (DPI) and very scalable solution architectures. Innovation is also crucial to cope with the data boom challenge by offering for instance capabilities to record only the traffic valuable to operators, to de-correlate monitoring Capex and traffic evolution.

Innovation: a sustainable differentiator

In more mature markets, mobile network operators are faced with the complex challenge of keeping up with subscribers’ requirements. They need to deliver the best possible QoE to their subscribers in order to reduce churn while managing the traffic surge.

Powerful multidimensional data analytics has therefore become a real game changer and competitive differentiator for operators. This is not just about improving a service and preventing churn, it can also boost revenues and become a sustainable differentiator. New monitoring solutions, embedding DPI technology, allow operators to correlate data coming from different sources including the network, the handset and application/service usage. This actionable intelligence is then used to analyze the QoE of subscribers, to take action and create value. For instance, operators are using this valuable information when optimizing their mobile data plans and determining policy and charging rules in order to maintain quality of service (QoS) to deliver a consistent personalized customer experience.

Customer experience management (CEM) is consequently at the top of most operators’ agenda and a key area of interest. There is a need to understand intelligently the customer behavior to deliver the best user experience. Operators are looking for ways to adapt their services to the increasingly demanding subscriber in order to increase loyalty and ARPU. Customer centric products like customer relationship management (CRM) and software quality management (SQM) are therefore being extended to cover more trans-organizational requirements.

Innovation: engine for growth

Innovation is not only a response to market or technical evolutions; by cumulating offer innovation and product evolution, a company can also find new growth drivers through the diversification and extension of their business into new domains.

One example of domain diversification is data monetization. This is becoming a key driver for many mobile operators to increase revenue sources. The unique visibility provided by probe based monitoring solutions, allows operators for instance to leverage different types of data like subscriber profile and habits, subscribers’ current real-time positioning, road traffic information from users’ mobility, tourism presence information, etc… which can lead to new B2B revenue generation. Mobile operators can monetize their big data goldmine by striking marketing cooperation deals for instance with third parties, offering them information on consumer habits which can be used to fine-tune their location based advertising. For instance, they can send a reduction voucher for a particular store by SMS when the subscriber is in the vicinity of that shop.

Over-the-top players (OTTs) are thriving and are generating massive amounts of data traffic on operators’ networks and contribute to network congestion. Operators need to continuously increase network capacity at their own expense. So, to counter OTT providers, operators have to innovate and leverage their abilities to manage end-to-end QoS of top value services. This becomes a big differentiator when offering services like M2M, hereby moving to a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offer with unique service level agreements (SLAs). By using new technologies as DPI, operators can classify data traffic and increase their negotiating power based on objective information like the proportion of Skype traffic to the whole traffic, the contribution of FaceTime to network congestion, etc.

Intelligent innovation

The digital mobile world is certainly THE most disruptive industry and hence a prodigious hotbed for innovation. But in an era where time to market is vital, the ability to bring new offers rapidly, to adapt competences swiftly and to change business models overnight cannot be carried out alone. Innovation models are moving more and more towards cooperation of companies at multiple levels: aggregation and assembly of multiple technologies and innovations while preserving key differentiators and know-how. This creates different levels of speed with which innovation is being introduced: fast innovation through cooperation and coopetition, and a more time consuming one through expertise and know-how evolution according to strategic and longer tem technology imperatives. Intelligent innovation takes into account both approaches to progress in the rapidly changing digital world.


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