The mobile market place is undergoing major shifts and mobile carriers are facing major challenges in staying competitive in delivering mobile services, and scaling their mobile networks efficiently. Voice and SMS are commoditized, and the revenues are shifting from voice to data while the combined revenue of voice and data is not able to keep pace with rising cost of delivering mobile data. VoLTE and RCS investments, while visionary, are not making a positive impact on top and bottom lines fast enough. Service providers are scrambling to accelerate innovation to keep up with the mobility needs of consumers and enterprises and losing customer ownership to over-the-top services like Skype, WhatsApp and literally hundreds more.
Traditional value added services like voice mail are no longer generating revenue, while international roaming revenues are under regulatory and commercial pressure. It’s not easy staying both relevant and profitable, but what is still clear is that mobile service providers still reign when it comes to the amount of subscribers being served, and the amount of data they are able to collect, not the least of which is location based!
On the network front, cellular network service providers are challenged to keep up with the coverage and capacity demand by adding macro cell sites alone. This is not spectral-efficient nor cost effective, nor can macro cells be deployed fast enough. The densification of cellular networks is growing dramatically as a result, leveraging small cell and WiFi networks and offload mobile data traffic, which requires new levels of security and network challenges. The exploding “mobile edge” and the interconnection between various network types (cellular, WiFi, fixed, mobile) and the applications traveling over this mix of networks is fueling the advancement to Network Function Virtualization (NFV) because it’s simply impossible to grow and manage all of this except with – software.
Adding an additional layer or two to this transformational time for our industry is the number of players entering the space, on top of the multi-billion companies like Samsung, NEC, Google, Amazon, whether with advancements in devices, applications or the cloud. How do we get this all to “work together” from a technology standpoint (reducing the traditional burdens of “interop”) and from a business standpoint (creating an environment where participants can be competitive while often finding themselves in co-optition situations?)
Open standards is helping – whether at the physical layer with Commercial-off-the-shelf servers – or at the application layer with wave after wave of API and SDK creativity. Can successful service providers, and large enterprises, risk ignoring any of the trends and developments, from the ground up? We think not.
Our vision, and so our mission is to make it easier for everything to work together, up to and including OTT; and provide a cloud environment to innovate. An example of that is our fring solution that service providers are white-labeling to go to market in months, not years.
Think of this as a “Mobile Mosaic” – create your own pattern (business model), find your own pieces (components), build your own mosaic (brand) and learn to not just co-exist but compete with the best business partners, whether traditional or up-and-coming.
We’re very excited this week to share Session Grid with you and will have lots more to interact with you around in the coming weeks and months. Mobile Mind will be reporting, for example, from CTIA September 9-11, and I’d love to meet you there, and see how your own particular Mobile Mosaic is starting to form.