Telcos come together to fix the network capacity crunch and make mobile broadband profitable

Broadband Traffic Management 2014

As you might be aware from our previous blogs we were in Barcelona last week for Broadband Traffic Management: the only event dedicated to helping operators resolve the network capacity crunch and develop strategies to make mobile broadband profitable.

It was a very intensive – and insightful – few days of networking, hands-on learning, discussions and presentations from various Telco leaders. The keynote panel included speakers from Orange, Telefonica, EE, BT, Turkcell, T-Mobile, AT&T, Virgin Media and Sky.

One of the most thought-provoking and engaging panel discussions of the week, was where Telco operators discussed the effect OTT players are having on their networks. Slobodan Keseljevic, of A1 Telekom Austria, explained the impact Netflix has had on their network; close to 25 per cent of its network traffic is currently being taken by the on-demand media streaming giant. This reflects the issues facing operators who have to invest to increase capacity, but with little revenue being generated from the OTT players.

The ensuing discussion was very interesting with good input from Etisalat, Sky and BT. There’s no easy solution to the problem, but there were a number of discussion points:

  • Restructuring of pricing and product offerings – more personalisation around content for individual customers
  • Charging models for OTT players using the network
  • Convergence of mobile and fixed operators
  • Operator consolidation in Europe – in the US there are 3 operators, in Europe there are 180

Other talks of note included Amdocs explaining its vision for actionable analytics and driving insights, insights that bring real customer and business value. Yield discussed a targeted data driven marketing case study with T-Mobile. And, Vipnet covered customer experience. It hopes to be able measure quality of service for a customer and identify what’s causing congestion and degradation of service; using cross domain correlation to drive automation and integrate with SON.

Another topic that was key through-out the event was Barack Obama pressurising the FCC regarding net neutrality. Obama has called for “the strongest possible rules to protect” the open internet and has come out against proposals championed by media and telecoms companies to create fast lanes for the web.

But our highlight of the week was when Susan Wenger, of T-Mobile, discussed the numerous business cases for an organisation opting for an company-wide big data initiative. Telcos have an enormous opportunity to access vast amounts of data on their customers, and not just for their own operational or marketing purposes.

We’re already looking forward to 2015’s conference – only 350 days to go!

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