April 14, 2014

Comcast/TWC, Free/Bouygues, Google Lobby: Telco 2.0 News Review

The 9th Annual ‘OnFuture EMEA’ Executive Brainstorm & Innovation Forum (formerly ‘New Digital Economics EMEA’) is designed to equip up to 200 specially-invited business leaders with new, breakthrough ideas, methods and tools on how to grow significant new revenues in the next 12-18 months leveraging Mobile, Cloud and Big Data. For the full agenda click here, to apply to participate click here.

Heartbleed: OpenSSL has a really, really bad day at the office

The Heartbleed bug, discussed in detail at Hacker News, makes it possible for an unauthenticated attacker to extract arbitrary chunks of memory from any Web server running the most recent versions of OpenSSL, the most common implementation of HTTPS, without even causing anything to be recorded in the system log. (XKCD explains it visually here.) The memory contents involved might include absolutely anything, including passwords, private keys, and SSL certificates. Affected sites need to patch the software, revoke and replace their SSL certificates, regenerate keys, and probably also make the users change their passwords.

Netcraft has observed a spike in both certificate issue and revocation, but points out that the real surge has yet to arrive, possibly because the certification authorities are overwhelmed by the demand.

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April 7, 2014

Strategic Regulation, EU and USA: Telco 2.0 News Review

Euroregulators: no more roaming charges, and would you like some net neutrality with that?

The European Parliament this week voted in favour of a package of measures put forward by Neelie Kroes, in the last months of her term in office at the European Commission.

The text would end intra-European retail roaming charges by the 15th of December, 2015, take measures to improve 4G and 5G spectrum management, and introduce strong net neutrality language into EU regulations. You can get the document here. Some more discussion is here. There are also more measures regarding marketing, which require operators to include “actual data speeds”, whatever those are, in contractual terms.

The next step is the council of ministers, which could accept it or send it back with or without amendments to a parliament that voted for the current version 534 to 25. The big change here was that a provision that “specialised services” could be exempt, which had been added by the parliament’s industry committee after heavy pressure from the telcos, was cut out.

Naturally, an epic storm of lobbying can be expected at the Council - as Chris Marsden’s blog points out, ETNO is threatening as much.

In the Netherlands, meanwhile, there is so little interest in mobile TV that the regulator is looking at the possibility of clawing back the spectrum and refarming it for cellular. They’re also looking at turfing the wireless microphones out of the 700s and refarming that in line with ITU recommendations.

And here’s a fascinating loophole around the UK’s new charge on E.164 number assignments.

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April 2, 2014

Software Defined People: How it Shapes Strategy (and us)


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Software Defined People: How it Shapes Strategy (and us)’ Much of what we need to know, do or get, can now be delivered through software, pretty much at any place at any time via mobile. It is a key tool, and how we use it increasingly shapes our lives, businesses, work and identities. Why are telcos missing out, and what do businesses of all types need to do about it?

You can read an excerpt of the report here We’ll also be exploring the implications at the OnFuture EMEA Brainstorm, 11-12 June in London. Email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003 to find out more.

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March 31, 2014

Google vs AWS in the cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review

Google goes after the cloud majors; AWS hits back with product suggestion API; learn from DTAG’s Terastream

It’s been said before that Google’s cloud offerings seem disappointing coming from a company synonymous with the technologies that underly the cloud, as if they weren’t fully committed to it. Google App Engine had a brief heyday among the developers until Google introduced a new billing scheme that hit some of them with huge bills, and they flocked away to Heroku, AWS, and others.

Last week, Google took the offensive.

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March 28, 2014

Facing Up to the Software-Defined Operator


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Facing Up to the Software-Defined Operator’ In this report we see five major trends leading towards the overall picture of the ‘software defined operator’ - an operator whose boundaries and structure can be set and controlled through software. This presents threats as well as opportunities for industry players selling and wanting to sell to telcos.

You can read an excerpt of the report here We’ll also be exploring the implications at the OnFuture EMEA Brainstorm, 11-12 June in London. Email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003 to find out more.

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March 24, 2014

China Mobile, welcome to voice & messaging disruption! Telco 2.0 News Review

China Mobile profits fall; 1800 band key in LTE, says GSA; 45% of mobile traffic offloaded to WLAN; US spectrum

China Mobile’s annual profits have fallen for the first time in 14 years. It’s the familiar story of the mix shifting from voice and messaging to data as disruptive OTT apps hit the traditional services - messaging revenue is off 6.5% and voice off 3.4% while data revenue is up 24%.

Events like this are precisely why we created ourThe Future Value of Voice & Messaging strategy report. Check it out!

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March 17, 2014

“Massive price war”; NumeriSFR; “building greatness”: Telco 2.0 News Review

Son threatens “massive price war”; T-CFO says consolidation inevitable, walks it back; AT&Leap closes, at last

Masayoshi Son has relaunched his campaign to acquire T-Mobile USA, making an appearance on TV in which he threatened, or promised depending on your point of view, to launch a “massive price war” if he got his way. The big issue is that T-Mobile has done a pretty decent job of price competition by itself, and the FCC might not see it that way.

T-Mobile USA’s CFO, meanwhile, seemed to say that a merger was inevitable, although a closer reading of his comments suggests that he means further consolidation is inevitable if the regulator didn’t change its spectrum policy:

“The government can’t have their cake and eat it too. If they think there really needs to be four players in this market on a nationwide basis, they are going to have to put some structural protections to ensure an adequate distribution of spectrum,” he said.

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March 13, 2014

Telefonica’s digital re-structure - summary and review of analyst webinar held 12th March 2014

Eduardo Navarro, until recently Group Chief Strategy & Alliances Officer at Telefonica and since March this year its new ‘Chief Commercial Digital Officer’, held a webinar for analysts yesterday (12th March) to describe the reasons for the re-structure of Telefonica’s digital activities and the closing of Telefonica Digital (TEF Digital) as a separate Business Unit. Eduardo led the establishment of TEF Digital two and half years ago. Below is a summary of what he said and our initial analysis.

Have the lights gone out?The “light bulb” at TEF Digital; have the lights gone out?

He said that “nothing had changed in terms of the vision and strategy”. The reason for the change was to “remove the barriers to moving fast”.

In particular he said that a year ago he decided that the company needed to bring ‘digital’ activities much closer to the Operating Businesses (Europe, LATAM, Spain) and now they have implemented that plan.

He said that TEF Digital had been a success in terms of growing revenues, increasing value to the company and helping to create a ‘digital DNA’ across the company. However, now is the time to embed this more deeply in the main organisation.

In practice it means the following:

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March 10, 2014

Telco 2.0 News Review: French Revolution

French revolution: Free hits results out of the ground again, Bouygues/SFR and Bouygues/Free deals; future RANs

All eyes this week are on France, where the disruption initiated by Free Mobile is working itself out. Everything is in flux, and the personalities of France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard, Bouygues owner Martin Bouygues, and Free founder Xavier Niel play an unusually important role, as a good story in Le Monde makes clear.

Vivendi faces two possible buyers, Bouygues, which is offering €10.5bn in cash and a 46% stake in the combined company, and Altice, the parent company of French cableco Numericable.

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March 3, 2014

Telco 2.0 News Review: Post-MWC News Binge

Comcast-Netflix peering deal; FCC points Section 706 at neutrality; Telefonica Digital is no more

Before we dive into the Mobile World Congress news pile, there was serious regulatory action and important news on the Comcast-Netflix dispute last week. After weeks of arguing, the giant cableco and the monster video-cannon signed a peering agreement under which they will set up direct interconnection between their networks in exchange for a side-payment from Netflix. Cue much shouting about net neutrality.

In a must-read post, CDN expert Dan Rayburn provides a detailed explanation of the dispute and the detail, with financials and insight into the technology.

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February 19, 2014

Self-Disruption: How Sprint Blew It


Our latest research ‘Self-Disruption: How Sprint Blew It’ shows how Sprint’s necessary shutdown of Nextel turned into a commercial disaster, losing valuable customers, reputation, and market share. Our analysis shows that amidst the drama of the Softbank deal and the complexity of a major network upgrade, SMB customer needs were neglected, and its competitors (VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile) stepped smartly in.

We’ll be discussing the US market further at the Onfuture America 2014 Brainstorm (May 20-21, Mountain View) including insights on from the Telco 2.0 Transformation Index research on AT&T, Verizon, and the overall CSP Benchmarking study.

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February 18, 2014

Comcast, Vodafone, NBN, Sprint, Apple, Lenovo - Telco 2.0 News Review

Comcast jumps in on Charter-TWC; continued cable consolidation coming; Liberty Global; Ono

We were all watching the Charter-TWC deal, and then it turned into a Comcast-TWC deal. Comcast, not content to pick up assets Charter might offload, jumped in with a $45bn bid for the whole of TWC this week and got a yes. Much reaction is here.

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NFC v BLE v SIM v Cloud: the Mobile Marketing and Commerce technology battle


We’ce recently published a new report that will help digital commerce players assess some tough technology and strategy choices in the on-going mobile marketing and commerce battle.

The report addresses questions such as:

  • Will bricks and mortar merchants embrace NFC or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or cloud-based solutions?
  • If NFC does take off, will SIM cards or trusted execution environments be used to secure services?
  • Should digital commerce brokers use SMS, in-app notifications or IP-based messaging services to interact with consumers?
  • What are the big players backing, and what will be the key indicators that a specific technology is likely to win?

You can read an excerpt of the report here and we’ll also be covering Mobile Marketing and Commerce at the Onfuture America 2014 Brainstorm (May 20-21, Mountain View) and OnFuture EMEA 2014 (June 10-11, London) - email us at contact@telco2.net to apply to participate.

Chart Excerpt from Mobile Commerce Technology Battle Report

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February 10, 2014

Vodafone results; Cable deals; B4RN; Voice; Google CAPEX - Telco 2.0 News Review

The Telco 2.0 Transformation Index, launched today, gives an overall comparative benchmark and in-depth analysis of the progress of five leading telcos (AT&T, Verizon, Telefonica, SingTel and Ooredoo) in terms of transforming their operations and building new ‘Telco 2.0’ business models. Overall, it shows that SingTel and Telefonica have made more progress than AT&T, Verizon and Ooredoo, but that all are still at a relatively early stage of maturity and have much still to do. Click the image for more details:

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Vodafone FY - basically horrible in all developed markets; M-PESA moves on shore in Kenya

Vodafone’s results for the year are in. Where you stand on Vodafone basically depends on whether you think the price war in the US will be more brutal than the continuing economic crisis in peripheral Europe. If yes, it looks like selling VZW was sensible. If no, it looks like they sold the best mobile operator in the world to buy more assets in a string of bombed-out economies. It’s fair to say that the results back the second option; service revenue was down 4.8% quarter on quarter, with yet another double digit slide in Spain and Italy. You might have hoped that the Southern European markets would have bottomed out by now, but the slide is actually accelerating, with Italy off by 16.6%.

It’s not just the Mediterranean, though.

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February 5, 2014

CSPs / Telcos: Join our Enterprise Mobility Programme


If you work on behalf of a Communications Service Provider (CSP) in marketing, strategy, technology, IT or product development/management, we would like to ask you to join and participate in a strategic research programme we are undertaking on Enterprise Mobility.

This programme will conduct and produce research to help key decision makers define and evaluate their Enterprise Mobility strategy. As part of the programme we will share a report detailing Enterprise customers’ needs and challenges in successfully deploying Enterprise Mobility solutions and, also, benchmark CSPs’ current offerings against those needs on a regional (non-player specific) basis. Having identified any gaps between customers’ needs and telco activities, this research will define a strategy for CSPs to establish a stronger foothold in the enterprise mobility market.

To participate and receive the research in full, please complete this anonymised 4-minute survey focused on your current Enterprise Mobility offering and portfolio. (NB It does not require you to reveal competitive or strategic information).

The survey can be found here

We’ll also be exploring Enterprise Mobility in further depth in our research and our executive brainstorms in Silicon Valley (May 20-21) and London (June 10-11).

For those who would like to know more, below is an introduction to some of the hypotheses that STL Partners is investigating:

  1. In pursuit of agility, efficiency, new revenue sources and closer customer relationships, enterprises are turning to mobility to transform the way employees work with engaging mobile apps that harness device-specific functions and capabilities. These apps generally need to connect to and exchange data with back-office systems, many of which pre-date the mobile era. As a result, organisations are looking to partners to provide the tools, technologies and skills to customise and develop apps, do the heavy lifting of deployment and lifecycle management, and accelerate business value.
  2. Telcos need to identify alternative ways to grow revenues from enterprise customers. These include:
    • Monetising the growth in data creation and consumption to offset the inevitable decline in voice services (from consumer and enterprise markets)
    • Pursuing new service offerings such as Machine-to-Machine (M2M), Cloud Services, and real-time insight from the cellular network
    • Providing infrastructure and technology services that offer flexibility and economies of scale, allowing enterprises to focus on exploring new technologies instead of maintaining and managing existing ones.

Telcos have a timely opening to take an enterprise mobility proposition to market. However, to date, deployments have been niche and opportunistic rather than part of a long-term strategy.

In our recent report: The 50bn Enterprise Mobility Opportunity: four steps for Telco to take today, STL Partners identified a four-step structured approach that telcos can embark on today, and gain competence and confidence as they move up the enterprise mobility stack to higher value offerings. The four levels of evolution involve:

  • Level 1 - mobilising their own operations and internal processes

  • Level 2 - offering a managed environment to enterprises for their apps, whether on premise or in the cloud

  • Level 3 - providing hosted mobility together with off-the-shelf enterprise apps, with the option to add “last mile” customisation to the enterprise’s specific requirements and provide an enterprise app store

  • Level 4 - providing hosted mobility and developing bespoke, highly differentiated apps that solve customers’ unique business challenges

However, building out these capabilities will require substantial commitment and investment - not only in platforms and tools but also in people, via a transfusion of talent from related industries.
STL Partners is inviting telcos to participate in a study to explore their appetite for and inhibitors to establishing a foothold in the enterprise mobility market, the findings of which will be revealed in a forthcoming report.

Access the survey here for a complementary copy of our next in-depth study on Enterprise Mobility

The survey is split into two sections and explores CSPs’ internal and external Enterprise Mobility strategy, ambition and implementation challenges.

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