Transform or Die says Informa

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Informa Telecoms & Media has published new research reporting that telecom network transformation is necessary for operators to remain profitable and provide value for their subscribers.

The telecoms market is experiencing an evolution like no other: Voice revenues are eroding; Web-based and Over-the-Top (OTT) services are cannibalizing the operators’ own services; while total profits in the value chain are dropping. Operators need new ways to counter this erosion and new paradigms to follow in order to remain relevant in the fast-paced, user-driven telecoms market.

Given that they are competing against new entrants in a new economy, telecoms operators are now starting to adopt technologies, concepts and processes from adjacent, successful markets, including the IT and Web domains. However, in order for these concepts to be truly disruptive and drivers of growth, operators are now finding out that they will need to transform their operations and businesses first.

“Mobile and fixed operators are under a considerable threat from parties both inside and outside the traditional telecoms value chain. Given the threatening economic environment, operators are scrambling to find ways to optimize and transform their business,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and author of the research. “Operators that can transform into agile companies that operate lean – and preferably more open – networks will be the winners of tomorrow.”

Traditional network practices have relied on antiquated methods, including dimensioning, deployment and upgrades. All-IP, IPv6, SDN and virtualization are considerably different technologies from those the operators have been accustomed to – they now require a significant effort to embrace IT concepts beyond the data center. The access, core, transport, service provisioning and signaling parts of the network and OSS require significant upgrades to be able to adapt to Web-world requirements where services need to be created in days rather than weeks or months.

End-to-end infrastructure vendors are well-positioned to help operators achieve this transformation, but there remains a question as to whether this will increase vendor lock-in. Specialist vendors that have a limited network footprint are not likely to lead this transformation as their visibility into the network is likely to be limited. Therefore, there is a gap in the infrastructure market, which can be filled by the system integrators that can combine best-of-breed components, open-source tools, existing infrastructure and various other tools to provide what the operators require.

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