Press Release

Telecom 2020: Growth Drivers and Trends

Telecom 2020: Growth Drivers and Trends

Telecom 2020: Growth Drivers and Trends

 

10th of February 2020

 

 

 

One thing is certain in 2020: if telcos want to embrace new technologies that promise to revolutionize the industry, they will need to invest in infrastructure that enables them to support and monetize these technologies. According to a recent global EY report, telcos will pump more into overhauling their conventional IT infrastructure, making digital transformation a major driver this year.

This new infrastructure paves the way for a host of advanced customer-focused technologies: 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), to name a few. Which ones are right for you and how can you maximize your chances of success? There’s no one answer: the key is finding the right mix of offering relevant to your market and context.

mobile money profitability

An analysis from Telecoms CAPEX: Worldwide Trends and Forecasts 2017-2025 shows that digitalization and 5G will be the key drivers affecting CAPEX growth.

Technologies transforming telecom

Here’s a roundup of the year’s biggest trends and what they could mean for you:

5G
Higher speeds and lower latency mean that 5G supports use cases like immersive content (augmented reality, virtual reality) and high-resolution video, helping CSPs deliver an unmatched customer experience to gain a competitive edge. As 5G progresses towards large-scale commercial viability, service providers have begun trials of new use cases, and the results are encouraging them to readily adopt the next-gen technology. As more devices and use cases become viable, the revenue potential continues to grow along with the need for flexible IT systems to support them.

Cloud Computing
Cloud computing in the telecom sector relies heavily on the adoption of data and logic separation principles, SDN/NFV, DevOps, microservices, and more. It gives telcos the flexibility to acquire the corresponding services – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), which extensively increases scalability, standardization, self-service automation, and reduces operational costs. Telecom players should adapt their IT processes and prepare for related security implications such as identity theft, unauthorized access, relinquished governance and compliance policies, data security and breach of privacy, as well as inconsistency across on-premise and cloud platforms. A recent Telecoms.com report predicts that 5G will mean wide-scale adoption of edge computing. The market is quickly evolving from a centralized to a distributed cloud, and it is expected that this year, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be processed outside of centralized data centers.

Artificial Intelligence
From virtual assistants and chatbots to knowledge engineering, smart machines, and autonomous vehicles, AI has the potential to replicate human cognitive capabilities. It will help telecom service providers offer a transformational customer experience while they manage, optimize, and monetize their infrastructure using different business models. Use cases include network optimization, predictive maintenance, virtual assistants, RPA, and many more.

Blockchain
Blockchain is a gamechanger for securely conducting business with third-parties while reducing costs and increasing revenue. CSPs can leverage blockchain to offer new services using tamperproof transaction management and automated contracting. Applications include 5G enablement, mobile financial services, data management, fraud management, identity management, instantaneous connectivity and transaction, IoT connectivity, number portability, roaming, and more.

Internet of Things
IoT will, in conjunction with 4G and 5G, change how people communicate and interact with technologies opening up new revenue streams for service providers. It is an essential part of capturing and transmitting data to power smart city use cases like smart lighting, smart grids, heating, and lighting. Telcos are applying IoT to home automation and wearable devices to enhance their overall customer experiences. In the coming years, IoT smart sensors will be implemented in gaming environments, healthcare, personal fitness goals, sports, and more.

Cyber Resilience
The telecom industry has always been the most vulnerable target for cyberattacks given the vast amounts of sensitive data stored on various complex networks. A few years ago, for instance, one of the more significant attacks compromised the personal details of 157,000 TalkTalk customers. 5G brings its own set of security threats, and telcos need to prepare for any kind of direct or indirect cyber attack. This means building adequate IT infrastructure and pairing it with talent and processes to support resiliency. Effective cybersecurity must include the implementation of threat detection, incident response methods, and prevention methods.

How to seize these opportunities

Start your digital transformation journey now
A recent report predicts that the OSS/BSS market is expected to grow from USD 2.77 billion in 2019 to USD 8.78 billion by 2026, indicating a significant potential for telcos to support diverse digital services than limited traditional services. To ensure successful digital transformation, CSPs need to upgrade to digital BSS, which can be implemented in phases to pace out investment. This helps operators seize data opportunities as the market evolves and ensures quick time-to-market, monetization, and smooth management of the latest communications services. A next-gen digital BSS stack also facilitates high-value 5G use cases, including IoT (management and offers), and experience-based charging.

Invest in 5G infrastructure
As 5G permeates, mobile operators will need to invest significantly in 5G infrastructure to deliver high data speed, low latency, and to support billions of connected devices. Besides the billions being spent on 5G RAN, the 5G Core is an important investment. 5G Core with cloud-native features expands the service capabilities of telcos; provides scalability and agility; supports 5G network protocols including extensive use of REST APIs and eases migration to service-based architecture.

Ensure strict regulatory policies
According to Statista.com, the number of devices connected to the IoT is expected to reach 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025. IoT-enabled networks are more vulnerable to major cyber invasions and crimes. Insufficiently protected devices such as laptops, tablets, routers, webcams, smartwatches, automobiles, and home security systems can be turned into weapons by hackers, cybercriminals, or hostile organizations and states, so it’s essential to implement adequate cybersecurity measures.

Overcome network coverage issues
Having reliable 5G network coverage will require a massive investment of time and finances. Operators can resolve network coverage issues by taking these measures:

Infrastructure sharing alleviates network coverage issues and helps operators deliver better connectivity and network performance by pooling resources to maximize coverage buildout.

The open radio access network (O-RAN) movement is separating the software and physical layers of RAN, eliminating vendor lock-in and allowing budgets to go much further in procuring equipment.

Network monitoring tools remain a powerful mechanism to resolve network issues. These tools provide real-time alerts to the concerned teams when there is downtime, device unavailability, performance issues, or any deviation from an accepted network baseline. Further, network configuration management tools help track any changes in settings and send alerts in case of unauthorized changes while providing a mechanism to roll back to earlier settings.

Also, Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi)/WiFi Calling helps overcome the challenges faced by subscribers due to poor or no network coverage. VoWiFi helps customers make calls and remain always-connected, increasing the quality of services and customer experience.

Automate inventory management
One of the major challenges operators face with 5G is managing billions of IoT devices. Further, with evolving technologies, the CSPs having diverse partnerships require constant efforts to manage and allocate resources and inventory. Inefficient management could lead to complicated and faulty invoices, increased risk of fraud, data breaches, insecure network endpoints, and revenue losses. To avoid these complications, CSPs should have a universal system with legacy and new automated inventory tools, which also maintain an inventory of virtual networking components and logical networks like network slices. Subsequently, deploying a next-gen inventory management system provides real-time inventory information with factual and predictive data, helping make quick allocation decisions that ensure the conservation of investment and help gain an edge over competitors.

Manage partnerships efficiently
CSPs need real-time billing and policy control capabilities to seize and monetize opportunities that all-IP 5G means new devices, use cases, partnerships, business models. This calls for diverse partnerships inherent in wholesale and 5G networks. With growing complexities of managing diverse partners, it multiplies the challenges to efficiently manage several partners like wholesale, interconnect and roaming partners, OTT/content players, distributors, MVNO, affiliates, and agents. Deploying end-to-end partner management and settlement solution (PMSS) helps operators smoothly and flawlessly manage the complete partner lifecycle and support distinct agreement policies, revenue models, and settlement modes. PMSS plays a vital role in the 5G business and has the highest potential to launch innovative 5G billing use cases like network slicing, device-based experiences, converged offerings, and more.

Digitize customer experience
A Walker study suggests that by 2020, customer experience (CX) will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Enhancing and digitizing the customer experience should top the list for every forward-thinking telco. 5G and IoT will likely emerge as the new battleground, with operators keen to employ new digital business models. And as expectations cross industry boundaries, telcos must remain focused on redefining the CX with more innovation, such as deploying AI-based tools and omnichannel support.

Be prepared for what’s next

5G is expected to significantly change the face of telecommunications. The three main use cases of 5G – Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine-type Communications (mMTC), and Ultra-Reliable and Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) – promise to deliver superfast wireless connectivity, lower latency, and digital innovations. And while it is expected to revolutionize the customer experience, 5G will stimulate the demand for next-gen devices, adding to severe network densification. With this forecast, CSPs have huge revenue potential from their retail and enterprise clients by digitalizing the customer experience. Additionally, they can offer B2B and B2C clients an enhanced spectrum of services such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and a host of other leading-edge next-gen services. Operators can unveil the monetization opportunities that 5G promises and achieve a high-level of orchestration and automation with a robust 5G Core solution along with a modern digital BSS stack.

Rani Shanmugam

Rani Shanmugam

Marketing Content Writer

Long story short, Rani writes about the workings of telecom networks. Short story long, she has a rich and diverse background as a developer, business analyst, and technical writer for broad-spectrum solutions across various industries, and is now focused on telecommunications marketing. She unwinds by painting with her toddler son and loves to whip up elaborate meals fit for a feast.

Top 7 benefits digital BSS delivers, now and in 5G

Top 7 benefits digital BSS delivers, now and in 5G

Top 7 benefits digital BSS delivers, now and in 5G

 

14th of January 2020

 

 

 

As evidenced in countries where it has launched, 5G brings massive innovation potential but is challenging to monetize if its only unique offering is ultrafast speed. Many operators are aware that 5G success depends on their digital Business Support Systems (BSS) and bringing innovation to their own business models. A recent study by TM Forum reveals that 72% of CSPs believe 5G revenue growth is completely dependent on transforming their BSS and OSS. However, digital transformation is beneficial even before 5G is rolled out: a robust BSS stack enables implementing and monetizing key 5G use cases, such as OTT partnerships and new business models, on previous-gen networks.

5G networks are anticipated to deliver a transformational customer experience with improved speed, connectivity, network coverage, interoperability, and more. And this will be further enhanced with omnichannel support, which offers a highly personalized, consistent, seamless, and holistic view of the complete customer journey. Enabling faster speeds and connectivity, rapid service creation and monetization, and differentiated partnership models for new revenue streams will be a necessity for operators. Those ready with 5G Core (5GC) architecture before the 5G market matures will have a competitive edge. It provides a high-level of orchestration and automation with the use of a modular 5G service-based architecture (SBA) required to meet future challenges and business needs. An effective digital BSS helps to fully monetize this transformation and derive maximum ROI.

How digital BSS unlocks 5G potential

With limited features and rigid architecture, legacy BSS cannot keep up with the evolving demands of customers as they embrace a digital lifestyle. With a digital BSS stack, operators can seize the benefits of 5G – a fact they are well aware of. According to this report , the global digital BSS market is expected to reach approximately USD 7,416 million by 2025, at a CAGR of roughly 15% between 2019 and 2025.

A digital BSS provides an elastic, modern, and convergent system in a virtualized network environment, giving CSPs an edge over competitors and enabling them to readily offer unique 5G services. An effective BSS transformation helps modernize fixed and wireless networks, as well as support CSPs to introduce differentiated services and automate business processes.

What should you look for in a digital BSS?

5G facilitates real-time rating, metering and charging for sophisticated digital services, along with monetization schemes such as QoS tiers, OTT billing and charging, partner settlements (B2B2X), and more – all of which is possible only with a flexible and agile BSS platform. Robust digital BSS architecture using the latest 5G standards is essential in this competitive and ever-evolving market – today and well into the future – to be able to support a dynamic environment and provide quick time-to-value in delivering new features and functions.

Top benefits operators enjoy with digital BSS

Modern digital BSS features help improve and monetize legacy as well as next-gen networks, driving the following benefits for operators:

1. Rapid and phased deployments
A truly modern digital BSS is modular, cloud-native and deployed virtually. For operators not wanting to undertake a complete digital transformation at one go, it’s possible to implement in phases, so there is low risk involved in migration and fewer resources are required to launch it. Further, End of Life is less frequent, and the hardware is much easier to manage.

2. Accelerated monetization of use-cases
A 5G-ready digital BSS stack lets operators rapidly monetize the data network with innovative and personalized offerings, enhancing the digital experience for subscribers and improving customer loyalty. The elastic and convergent platform provides a network environment for CRM, convergent charging and billing, with REST APIs that offer the flexibility to quickly introduce a host of digital services with new billing models.

3. Centralized catalog management
With 5G, network slicing, and the surge of IoT and other data-intensive services like AI and VR, it will be challenging for CSPs to meet the demands to support new business models and use cases on the fly without expensive and lengthy backend code changes. A digital BSS stack with a centralized product catalog enables CSPs to swiftly respond to this network evolution. A common product repository and robust API framework allow CSPs, partners, and distributors to accelerate TTM for new products and services and improve revenue and customer engagement. With modern centralized catalogs, plans can be defined by many metrics such as volume, value, time, and quality of service. This core functionality helps ease teamwork and collaboration, manage offers efficiently, support multi-play offerings, and provide quick access to prebuilt use cases library.

4. Improved customer management
Customer relationship management covers all important aspects of the customer lifecycle, from registration and hierarchy to offering a 360-degree view to CSRs for subscribers as well as enterprise customers. With digital CRM, operators can implement automated workflows, streamline sales and support, and use chatbots and AI to reduce manual CSR workload. Additionally, it enables instant issue redressal and quick troubleshooting with web and mobile self-care including live chat options, lowering operational expenses and reducing churn.

5. Efficient revenue management
CSPs need real-time billing and policy control capabilities to seize and monetize opportunities that all-IP networks bring. Convergent charging facilitates automated rates and charging mechanisms. Further, revenue management solutions with reliable interconnect and billing for roaming help manage diverse partnerships, enabling CSPs to efficiently charge other operators for use of their voice, data, SMS, and other network infrastructure. A modern digital BSS with real-time APIs can also facilitate new 5G use cases like surge or congestion charging at times when the demand for digital services is high.

6. Enhanced partner management
A digital BSS stack with an integrated partner management platform helps improve operational agility by streamlining the partner lifecycle. It helps cultivate relationships with simplified onboarding, self-service, and support for a host of partner functions such as content, OTT, IoT, interconnect agreements, roaming, MVNO, and others. A partner management solution with open API integration works seamlessly with third-party systems.

7. Automated omnichannel support
Improving customer experience is not merely about providing better user interfaces on various devices, but also integrating the process across channels. Omnichannel support allows operators to provide a consistent, seamless, and highly personalized self-care experience through web, mobile and social media platforms, ensuring swift problem resolution while making customers feel more connected and valued. The most recent additions to this trend are WhatsApp-, AI- and NLP-powered chatbots for instant redressal of customer queries.

Telcos are already in the battle to build 5G networks and intend to offer improved quality of service to customers. And as they invest billions of dollars in 5G RAN, they must remember that an effective 5G strategy includes IT systems to generate ROI on that investment. Digital BSS has the great benefit of being modular so it can be rolled out in phases, mitigating the risks involved in a largescale migration of one’s billing system. To maximize their chances of success, operators must modernize their infrastructure with a digital BSS transformation today.

Rani Shanmugam

Rani Shanmugam

Marketing Content Writer

Long story short, Rani writes about the workings of telecom networks. Short story long, she has a rich and diverse background as a developer, business analyst, and technical writer for broad-spectrum solutions across various industries, and is now focused on telecommunications marketing. She unwinds by painting with her toddler son and loves to whip up elaborate meals fit for a feast.

Telecom Niue sees widespread adoption of 4G following launch, Alepo and Blue Arcus partnership credited

  • Main mobile service provider on the South Pacific island of Niue
  • In August last year, it launched 4G/LTE plans using Alepo’s digital BSS platform
  • The project has given residents and tourists access to new services: 4G speeds, VoLTE calls, digitized bill payment
  • Already more than 50 percent of the Island has come on board

Tuesday, June 25, 2019, NIUE – Telecom Niue, the main mobile operator of the island of Niue, has seen significant revenue growth and widespread adoption after launching 4G using business support systems (BSS) from core network and mobile software solutions provider Alepo.

The 4G offers were announced in August 2018 as part of the government’s plan to transform telecommunication on the South Pacific island. Residents and tourists now have access to 4G speeds, competitive pricing, and advanced data services including Voice over LTE (VoLTE). digital self-care, including online bill payment, has been added.

To achieve their goals, Telecom Niue employed a digital BSS from Alepo including a PCRF (Ro/Rx) for advanced monetization and control of data services, including prepaid billing.

“This was the fastest BSS migration we have ever done,” said Derrick Gross, President of Alepo.

The digital transformation, along with the introduction of modern services and plans, has seen more than half of the Island’s population adopt 4G within a few months of launch.

“Our goal was to modernize communication in Niue, and the swift growth we’ve seen is a testament to how much this project has been appreciated by our subscribers. We were already impressed when Alepo met our stringent deadline without hiccups. And we continue to appreciate the quality and flexibility of their solutions,” said Brett Collier, 4G Rollout Manager, Telecom Niue.

“Our advanced CRM and charging features are particularly valuable for this deployment. Alepo’s self-care and mobile application are highly flexible, enabling Telecom Niue to offer the best possible services catered to their customers’ specific needs,” said Vishal Mathur, VP Solution Integration, Alepo.

Alepo has partnered with Blue Arcus for the project.

“Having worked with Alepo on several LTE and WiFi projects since 2016, we have time and again seen their expertise in the deployment of 4G LTE solutions. Telecom Niue’s latest offering is one of our many combined successes,” said Naren Yanamadala, CEO of Blue Arcus.

The project is the third Alepo-Blue Arcus collaboration in the Pacific Islands, following successful deployment of policy, charging, and billing solutions for the Marshall Islands National Telecommunications Authority, and another with Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation in Tuvalu.

About Telecom Niue

Telecom Niue Limited is a company incorporated in Niue and fully owned by the government of Niue. It was formed out of the business and operations of the Department of Post and Telecommunications.

As part of the government’s corporatization of utilities in early 2016, Telecom Niue was registered as a private company. It is the sole provider of mobile and fixed telephone services in Niue and the main provider of internet services.

The company’s mission is to ensure affordability, reliability, security, and high-quality telecommunication services anytime, anywhere.

For more information, please visit www.telecomniue.com

About Blue Arcus

Blue Arcus Technologies, Inc. is a California-based company that specializes in providing cost-effective mobile network solutions across the globe. The company also addresses telecommunications needs through its rural and remote community solutions, maritime and ferry solutions, tactical and emergency solutions, and mobile network solutions.

For more information, please visit www.bluearcus.com

About Alepo

Alepo Announces Major LTE Win to Provide Policy and Charging for BLU Telecommunications in Ghana

Alepo Technologies, Inc. announced its partnership with BLU Telecommunications Limited (BLU) to launch new 4G LTE services in Ghana. Alepo will deploy a complete LTE solution for policy control, charging, and BSS / OSS.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Austin, TX — Alepo, a leading provider of network and IT software solutions for global communications service providers, announced today that it will provide policy and charging control for a new 4G LTE network at BLU Telecommunications in Ghana. Blu plans to launch LTE services – including data, voice, IPTV and Wi-Fi hotspots for residential and commercial customers – in the second half of 2014.

As part of the network launch, BLU will leverage Alepo’s Service Enabler 9.0 (SE) – a complete, carrier-grade BSS / OSS framework that enables a smart customer experience as well as an efficient back office. Pre-integration of SE 9.0 with Alepo’s policy and charging control nodes means that BLU will be able to readily deliver, manage, and monetize LTE services, upon launch and as those services and market demands evolve.

Initially, BLU will focus its LTE network on the delivery of data, Wi-Fi, content, and IPTV. Blu plans to later extend its offerings to include services such as IMS & VoLTE, assured of its future-proof solution from Alepo.

“It was vital that we choose a scalable and flexible solutions provider such as Alepo, experienced in multi-service, convergent charging and policy with a strong dedication to LTE,” stated Ekow Thomson, COO at BLU.

Alepo will also provide a high-performance AAA infrastructure to support Wi-Fi hotspot services, and will integrate its platform with third-party vendors including Cisco and Huawei.

“We are excited to deliver such high value to our LTE service provider customers,” stated Dan Stern, Vice President of Sales at Alepo. “With our proven dedication to launching innovative LTE services for service providers around the world, Alepo has significant insight into the immediate and long-term goals of LTE service providers. We continue to develop advanced software solutions that enable our customers to lead their markets with the delivery and monetization of new data services and capabilities.”

About BLU

Blu Telecommunications Limited (BLU) is a Ghanaian owned premier telecommunications company utilizing the latest 4G technology to deliver ultra-fast broadband to consumers in Ghana. Blu has secured a 4G license from the National Communications Authority, the Regulator of Telecommunications in Ghana and will be launching its services in 2014, providing a wide range of telecommunications services including data, voice, WiFi hotspots and IPTv services to residential and business subscribers using an ultra-fast 4G LTE network. www.blu.com.gh

About Alepo

Alepo and IBW Announce Launch of 4G Networks

Austin, TX, October 27, 2011 — Alepo and Latin American service provider IBW announced today the successful commercial launch of multiple 4G networks in Central America using Alepo’s LTE-ready 4G Online Charging System. With it, IBW is able to offer prepaid data and voice services over WiMAX today and LTE in the future.

The investment in 4G technology represents a major step forward in the region and reinforces IBW’s position as a market leader. By deploying a convergent charging and billing system that supports WiMAX and LTE, IBW can readily launch new services over LTE as they become available without replacing the existing core network, resulting in lower CapEx and faster time to market.

“In such a transitional period for emerging 4G technologies, it was crucial to implement a solution that can readily adapt to changes in technology, market conditions and regulations,” said Paul Ives Choiseul, IBW CTO. “The flexibility of Alepo’s Online Charging System reassures us of our investment, even as technologies evolve and our subscriber base grows.”

IBW will utilize Alepo’s flexible platform to offer a wide range of convergent 4G services to corporate and residential customers across Central America and has recently launched its consumer brand, Japi (http://www.soyjapi.com) in Costa Rica and El Salvador, with Guatemala to follow soon.

Alepo’s 3GPP-compliant Online Charging System (OCS) is a convergent charging & billing system that handles the real-time rating, charging and balance management of all IP-based services. Part of Alepo’s comprehensive Service Enabler platform, it incorporates business management applications such as revenue assurance and voucher management to create an end-to-end, carrier-grade solution. The flexible, future-ready solution can support multiple radio access technologies (RANs), facilitating the addition of LTE to IBW’s existing WiMAX network or a complete migration to LTE in the future.

“With simultaneous deployments in multiple markets, IBW has proven to be an ambitious and forward-thinking market player,” said Jonathan Garini, Alepo Vice President of Products. “Alepo was able to meet IBW’s aggressive timetable and deliver a market-ready core solution that offers an immediate and continuous ROI.”

About IBW

IBW, an emerging service provider across Central America, is positioning itself to provide high-quality commercial and residential services, including voice, data and video, over a licensed 802.16e WiMAX network. Today, the company has a presence in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador and operates its 4G consumer services under the “Japi” brand.

About Alepo