July 2, 2015

Telco-Driven Disruption: What NTT DOCOMO, KT and Globe got right


NTT Docomo earns 15% of its revenues from non-traditional sources, the largest proportion of any telco worldwide. Our latest ‘Dealing with Disruption’ stream research briefing ‘What NTT DOCOMO, KT and Globe got right’ looks at how DOCOMO did it, what did it learn, and what else can be learned from other telco attempts at disruptive innovation?

As they seek new sources of revenue, many telcos around the world are attempting to disrupt adjacent markets, such as digital commerce, IT, entertainment and financial services. While many of these moves have proved to be too little, too late, several disruptive plays have had a significant impact on both the telco’s revenues and relevance.

As well as NTT DOCOMO’s Smart Life portfolio, these include Globe Telecom’s GCash service and KT’s media business, as well as some of those we looked at in the first report in this series (which included BT Sport, SK Planet and AT&T Digital Life and others). Why do some disruptive moves by telcos succeed and others fail? More here.

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June 29, 2015

Gigabit Race; Sprint CTO; EU Regulators; Alexa Fund - Telco 2.0 News Review

The Gigabit Race: AT&T, Google, Centurylink, Bell, TalkTalk.

AT&T’s GigaPower FTTH rollout has expanded again, with the suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth targeted with gigabit fibre. The exchange-side Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) are being provided as virtualised functions from their SDN deployment.

Meanwhile, Google has begun deploying fibre in Salt Lake City and Nashville, using the existing power poles. They’ve also started rolling out in Raleigh, North Carolina, this week.

Continue reading "Gigabit Race; Sprint CTO; EU Regulators; Alexa Fund - Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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June 24, 2015

Mobile Authentication: Telcos’ Key to the Digital World?


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Mobile Authentication: Telcos’ Key to the Digital World?’. Mobile Authentication could be Telcos’ key asset in the digital economy, but they are in danger of losing out through insufficient action. There are good case studies and an excellent blueprint in the GSMA’s Mobile Connect initiative for how to monetise their assets and stay relevant. So why aren’t they getting on with it?

The report is part of the Executive Briefing Service and Dealing with Disruption stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

Digital Identity Ecosystem.png

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June 22, 2015

GigaTWC, first neutrality complaint, Altice, Nokia, Spark, Apple: Telco 2.0 News Review

Backing out of the price war? Sprint upgrade forever delayed; Comcas-T denied; TWC gigabit cable; 5G timeline

Last week, T-Mobile stopped offering its $100/mo share plans. This week, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure suggested that their next move on pricing might be upwards, at least for their unlimited plan. Is this evidence that US carriers are looking for an exit from the price wars? Perhaps. T-Mobile added 2GB of tethering data to its unlimited plan this week, making the plan marginally more generous at the same price point and demonstrating just how flexible the term “unlimited” is.

Continue reading "GigaTWC, first neutrality complaint, Altice, Nokia, Spark, Apple: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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June 17, 2015

Repremiumization: The dangerous self-deception at work in European Telcos


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Repremiumization: The dangerous self-deception at work in European Telcos’. As several operators in Europe downsize their Telco 2.0 Digital Services activity, some are seeking to reframe the Piper strategy as a premium-priced differentiation play based on network quality. This report argues this is deluded and dangerous - a Piper strategy is viable but only by developing cost-leadership in a commodity market.

The report is part of the Executive Briefing Service, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

We see repremiumization as a self-deception strategy…

FIgure 1.jpg

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June 16, 2015

WWDC, Gigabit Mobile, LA munifibre, Title II, double the cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review

WWDC - a substantial range of incremental change

Apple’s WWDC was mostly about incremental change, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t significant. The new version of iOS, for example, seems to make it much more business-focused and may be setting the stage for an “iPad Pro”. A summary of the changes is here. There are also some new apps - Apple is introducing a new push-driven search app called Proactive that is essentially a clone of Google Now, and there’s a news aggregator that is meant to learn from your history, rather like Samsung’s beloved Flipboard.

Continue reading "WWDC, Gigabit Mobile, LA munifibre, Title II, double the cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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June 13, 2015

How 5G is Disrupting Cloud and Network Strategy Today

A primary benefit envisaged of ‘5G’ networks is that latency (i.e. delay times for users) will be massively reduced. This would deliver major benefits for many applications providing that the software for those cloud-based applications is located near enough to the users at the edge of the network. This is likely to drive a massive change in the architecture of the cloud and the network industries.

Our latest report outlines likely scenarios and identifies some early moves that are starting to play out now, such as the merger between Nokia and Alcatel.

There’s also some interesting analysis that suggests that cloud players are not all just building bigger and bigger data centres (see chart below, for example) which gives some further support to the idea that the cloud is already becoming more local - or at least, is not just moving even further away,

data centre size june 2015.png

The table of contents plus part of the introduction that outlines the importance of latency are below, and you can read more on our research portal here.

Continue reading "How 5G is Disrupting Cloud and Network Strategy Today" »

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June 8, 2015

Nokia Edge Cloud, Vodafone-Liberty Global, Apple Streaming, Nielwatch: Telco 2.0 News Review

Nokia launches cloud servers for 5G; North America at 44% 4G; Telenor to drop 3G early; all-digital radio

Well, what have we here? Nokia Networks has launched a new product line, Airframe, consisting of Intel-based servers optimised for cloud services and specifically for the emerging Mobile Edge Computing space. This would roll cloud and hosting servers right into the fabric of 5G networks, bringing them close to the radio air interface to take advantage of the low latency targets. We knew since MWC that Nokia is very, very keen on this, and now here’s some backing with actual money. Here’s an interesting quote:

So you end up with a mix of distributed small datacenters and larger central ones as our model of how networks will evolve going forward

The release is here. Later this week, we’ll be publishing a new Executive Briefing in our Future of the Network stream that addresses the impact of 5G on the cloud and the data centre, so watch this space.

Continue reading "Nokia Edge Cloud, Vodafone-Liberty Global, Apple Streaming, Nielwatch: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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June 4, 2015

Ericsson and STL Partners reveal Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge award winners: Telus, Zain Jordan & Telecom Italia Digital Solutions


STL Partners are pleased to announce the winners of the Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge, a competition that assesses how agile operators are across different areas of their business. The competition was independently conducted by STL Partners and sponsored by Ericsson, with operators worldwide openly invited to participate. STL and Ericsson presented the awards to the winners at TM Forum Live! in Nice.

‘Operator agility’ refers to the ability to move at faster speeds and to learn and adapt quickly to capitalize on new opportunities for improved business and operations management. The Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge winners embodied these principles, demonstrating industry-leading capabilities in core areas of competence.

The Winners
Organizational Agility: Telus

Telus are the winner in the Organizational Agility category. Telus have demonstrated that they embrace change and innovation, placing the customer at the forefront of their business. Telus adopted a Customer First initiative across the whole organization; this commitment to customers has led to both a significant increase in the ‘likelihood to recommend’ metric and a substantial reduction in customer complaints.

Organizational Agility: Establish a more agile culture and mindset, allowing you to move at faster speeds and to innovate more effectively.

Service Agility: Zain Jordan

Zain Jordan, the leading mobile operator in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is the winner in the Service Agility category. Zain Jordan prides itself on challenging existing approaches and methodologies in order to remain the leader in the competitive marketplace in which it operates. The company believes its receipt of the Service Agility Award comes as a reward for its continuous efforts to develop the capability to create products and services in a much more iterative manner, resulting in quicker launch of a much broader range of innovative products and services, with less investment and that better address customer needs.

Zain Jordan has achieved the speed and flexibility needed to differentiate itself in the marketplace through deployment of state-of-the-art, real time service enablement platforms and solutions. These are managed and operated by professional, specialized, and qualified teams, and are driving an increase in profitability and customer satisfaction. Zain Jordan’s highly skilled professionals deliver many innovative service designs each year to customers in the Kingdom. During both the product development stage and post-product launch, Zain Jordan regularly engages in testing and simulating and captures customer feedback to ensure that products better meet customer needs.

Zain Jordan seeks to constantly improve its products and services as well as shorten the length of time it takes to bring them to the market. The level of competition in Jordan is well documented, and in order to remain relevant and successful, adapting to market conditions and satisfying customers is a must. Put in a word, one has to be ‘agile’ in order to succeed and survive.

Service Agility: Develop the capability to create products and services in a much more iterative manner, resulting in products that are developed faster, with less investment and better serve customer needs.

Partnering Agility: Telecom Italia Digital Solutions

Telecom Italia Digital Solutions (TIDS) are the winner in the Partnering Agility category. TIDS have partnered effectively to deliver innovative digital services, including establishing and launching an IoT platform from scratch within 6 months. They are also developing and coordinating all the digital presence at the Expo Milan 2015. They have demonstrated that they can form beneficial partnerships in fast timescales both for TIDS and for Telecom Italia Group.

Partnering Agility: Become a more effective partner by developing the right skills to understand and assess potential partnerships and ensure that the right processes/technologies are in place to make partnering as easy as possible.

Operator Agility
The Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge follows STL Partners’ release of the “The ‘Agile Operator’: 5 Key Ways to Meet the Agility Challenge” study that was commissioned by Ericsson and based on interviews and discussions with around 30 U.S., European and Asian operator executives. The report provided insights and recommendations on key categories that define the agile operator.

Operators worldwide know that IT intelligence is essential in supporting real-time customer demands, especially as networks and systems become more complex,” said Pam Mallette, head of OSS/BSS marketing for Ericsson. “To this end, legacy systems simply cannot deliver the ‘weightless agility’ that is needed to deliver the instant gratification that subscribers crave. The winners of the Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge have demonstrated an intense focus on important agility-driven initiatives that will be key to their ongoing success. We congratulate them on this recognition.”

About the Awards
STL Partners ran the Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge during April-May 2015. The Challenge was an online benchmarking tool that allowed operators to score how ‘agile’ their organisation is across a number of key domains. The highest scoring operators within each domain were shortlisted and winners were selected based on follow-up evidencing calls.

The Telco 2.0 Agility Challenge awards are independent STL Partners awards, with the Challenge being sponsored by Ericsson. STL Partners would like to thank Ericsson for their support in this programme.

About STL Partners
STL Partners are a consulting and research firm, focusing on business model innovation in the TMT sector. STL Partners undertake consulting assignments for telecoms operators and technology companies around the globe and produce thought-leading research under the Telco 2.0 initiative.

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June 2, 2015

Digital Implementation: One Decision That Rules Them All


In digital, there is one decision that makes more difference than every other: what you choose to measure at a given time. It doesn’t sound very ‘sexy’, but if you get it right, your results will be. This post explains why, how to go about doing it, and some tools we’ve developed to help select the right metrics for the moment - including metrics for synergies, an important and complex type of measure for digital businesses operating within an existing core business.

Becoming ‘digital’ is a fundamental drive for all businesses today. It means embracing mobile and online ways of doing business, transforming existing businesses and building new ones. It sounds straightforward, but it’s a lot harder than it seems.

Some of the intrinsic and defining characteristics of digital business are:


  • Digital business models are often very different from their non-digital counterparts (if they exist at all)

  • You can change pretty much everything you do relatively swiftly

  • You can count pretty much everything all the time, real-time, if you want to

  • Where there is an existing businesses, some of the key metrics for new initiatives relate to ‘synergy’ - impacts on and within the core business

These characteristics mean that what you choose to measure, and thus what you base your decisions on, both defines what you see as success and impacts your ability to achieve it. OK, but so what, and how should you choose the right measures?

Continue reading "Digital Implementation: One Decision That Rules Them All" »

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June 1, 2015

GigaCable, 5G, Google I/O, Twilio, Internet of Trucks: Telco 2.0 News Review

Altice: 5 small MSOs = 1 TWC; broadband is the triple play; Charter-TWC surges in the enterprise

Patrick Drahi’s Altice looked at bidding for TWC but backed out because they think Comcast and Charter/TWC are as big as the FCC will ever let them be, and it will be easier to pick off regional cablecos. Drahi says that if they were to buy five small US operators, they would be as big as TWC, which immediately turns the spotlight on Cox, Cablevision, and Co. It’s more evidence of the potential value in those cable networks as the gigabit disruption kicks in.

As Dealbook points out, the key element in the triple play (or quad play) is now undeniably the broadband and cablecos have become increasingly focused on it, while also enriching their product lineup with more SMB, enterprise, and carrier products. Fierce points out that the merged Charter-TWC has become a much more formidable force in enterprise and carrier services, with 88,800 buildings on their fibre network, 215,000 route miles of fibre, and Ethernet interconnection (NNI) with 130 other operators.

In-depth Telco 2.0 coverage is here, in our new Executive Briefing “Gigabit Cable Attacks This Year”

Main pic (2).png

Continue reading "GigaCable, 5G, Google I/O, Twilio, Internet of Trucks: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 26, 2015

Cable Disruption; 1m eNode-Bs; Google IoT; Bubble Dread! Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: NB In case you missed it last week, we’ve just published a new report ‘Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions’, which looks at the key disruptive forces on the network.]

Charter bids for TWC; the gigabit race, in consumer and in business; AT&T fibre build back on

The cable disruption continues. After the Comcast-TWC merger was shot down by the regulators, the original Charter-TWC proposal is back. Charter has apparently agreed to buy TWC for $55bn plus the assumption of $22bn in net debt, paid in a mixture of shares and cash, while it will also complete its acquisition of Bright House in parallel. That will leave Charter with 23m homes in service, as against 27m for the market leader Comcast. The assumption here is that a much bigger No.2 will be far more palatable to the FCC and anti-trust regulators than a much bigger Comcast. The deal could still fall apart, and as a result, there’s a $2bn break fee or “T-Mo bonus”.

Watch this space - a Telco 2.0 Executive Briefing on gigabit cable is coming this week

Continue reading "Cable Disruption; 1m eNode-Bs; Google IoT; Bubble Dread! Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 19, 2015

Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions’. 5G. SDN/NFV. Gigabit cable. WiFi. IoT. Spectrum policy. Vendor consolidation. Despite carefully-constructed business cases for future network investment, the goal-posts are always moving, and even the best-laid plans face possible disruptions - positive or negative. To kick off our ‘Future of the Network’ research stream, we outlined the key questions determining the business case for future investments in the network. This is Part 2, which covers critical network-technology disruptions, the impact of government and regulation, and the shifting vendor landscape.

The report is part of the Future of the Network research stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

Main Picture.png

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May 18, 2015

Apple, Samsung, KDDI, Verizon, Google, Comcast, Iliad: Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: We’ve just published a new report ‘Key Questions for The Future of the Network, Part 2: Forthcoming Disruptions’, which looks at the key disruptive forces on the network.]

Samsung sales dive in China; Chinese MNOs cut 4G prices; KDDI is 57% WiFi

IDC has its reckoning of Q1 Chinese smartphone shipments out, and the message is pretty clear. Apple is No.1. Samsung’s shipments into China are down by 50% year-on-year. And the land-grab is over - the fraction of shipments made up by smartphones is approaching 100%, and growth is slowing down. For the first time ever, Q1 wasn’t a new record.

IDC China Shipments.png

Future growth will have to come the hard way, won from the competition rather than from new adoption. So we’ve got an answer to the question “Who’s going to win Chinese smartphones?” and it’s “Apple”.

Continue reading "Apple, Samsung, KDDI, Verizon, Google, Comcast, Iliad: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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May 12, 2015

Authentication Mechanisms: The Digital Arms Race


We’ve just published a new research paper ‘Authentication Mechanisms: The Digital Arms Race’. The report argues that companies which provide quick and robust authentication mechanisms will be in a strategically important position in the digital economy, and this is sparking an arms race among the major Internet ecosystems - Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. This race is intensifying further as biometrics and wearables promise to make two-factor authentication easier and more cost-effective. What are the strategies of the internet players, and where do they need help?

The report is part of the Dealing with Disruption research stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Extract chart from the report:

Authentication Thumbnail.png

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Telco 2.0 Strategy Report Out Now: Telco Strategy in the Cloud

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