As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to look forward at what 2017 will bring. Specifically, what will be the key focus areas for Service Providers for the year ahead – both Fixed and Mobile?
Over the past year, 2 topics have been at the forefront of the communications industry: NFV and IoT. NFV is now part of every Service Providers’ investment strategy; most are working with related equipment vendors and running trials. To date, these trials have not made it out of the Service Providers’ lab with lingering concerns around performance and scalability of virtualized platforms. Not to mention interworking with SDN and the legacy, physical network itself. But those obstacles aside, we still expect Service Providers to accelerate both POCs and Lab tests in 2017. IoT is another area seeing investment from Service Providers and Network Equipment providers alike. As Mobile technology moves towards 5G there’s an increased rollout of small cells capable of supporting low latency, low data rate applications like smart energy, building security, infrastructure, retail and healthcare etc. It may still be several years before we see the first, commercially viable applications actually in operation.
What about Service Providers in 2017?
The focus will very much be on the continued drive to reduce both Opex and Customer Churn. Both continue to directly impact the Service Providers’ bottom line. For most westerns countries, both the mobile and fixed line markets have reached saturation and are dominated by no more that 3-4 key players or operators. While penetration levels were still growing, some operators new to the specific territory looked to grab market share by offering customers low entry tariffs. In most cases, this worked and saw continued, and sometimes rapid, revenue growth. However, with penetration and growth flattened out, operators are now competing on network quality and with that, claiming a “best in class” Customer Experience.
This has seen investment in not just network infrastructure but big data platforms, particularly, analytics capable of delivering Churn and Monetization Insight on customer data extracted from a Service Providers network.
At Empirix, our continued focus and development of our analytics platform will extend the value to both Wireless and Wireline Service Providers. Our solutions will continue to place emphasis on Customer Experience and Empirix will offer holistic insight into those key entities that reveals unnecessary Opex and Churn.
Written by Graham Kunz – Graham on Twitter | Posts by Graham
Graham is Empirix’s European Service Assurance Expert and he’s worked in the tech industry for nearly twenty years. More than 14 years of that time has been in Service Assurance, working with wireless customers and internal teams to understand and capture product requirements, as well as develop and introduce products. His global outlook, wireless technology knowledge and technical know-how provide him with an excellent perspective on the current and future direction of mobility and the wireless industry.