Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Michelle Drolet, Cloud Ventures, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Wireless, SOA & WOA, Web 2.0, iPhone, Security, SDN Journal

Wireless: Article

The Rapidly Changing Mobile Landscape

2013 predictions for the telco industry

The telecom industry will be challenged in the coming year as operators learn to adapt to the rapidly changing mobile landscape.

2012 was the year of mobile - big brands and Internet companies have just started to realize the potential impact that mobile communications can have on their engagement with consumers. I expect the mobile trend will continue in 2013, with SMS being the most rapidly changing application. Competition between operators and Internet companies will cause these two distinct worlds to work together in different ways. With this in mind, the following are my 2013 predictions for the telco industry.

We will witness a rebirth of SMS.
In times of crisis or low network connectivity, SMS remains the go-to communication mechanism. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents in the northeastern U.S. lost power for days, making the task of voting in the Presidential election a difficult undertaking. To help voters find the nearest polling station, Google set up a custom instance of an SMS-based locator for voters. When disaster strikes, SMS has a major advantage over voice, OTT services and email. This time next year, rather than focusing on "the death of SMS," we'll be discussing "the rebirth of SMS" thanks to its proven reliability and interoperability in times of crisis.

Google and Facebook will take over the world with SMS.
Picking up where they left off in 2012, the world's two biggest Internet players will demonstrate the power of SMS as they spread connectivity into developing countries. With the successful launch of Google Gmail SMS in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, users can manage their email via text message by activating a simple setting on their Gmail account. Google+ SMS also allows users to update their status via text message.

Similarly, Facebook is using SMS to extend their reach into developing countries. For example, "only" 5 percent of the population in Africa and 7 percent in Asia have access to Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook maintains 45 percent market share in North America and 30 percent in Europe. With the mounting pressure from shareholders, these developing markets present a huge opportunity for the social giant to expand its footprint even further.

LTE will drive down the price of devices and access: a winning combination for consumers.
Today, consumers must look no further than their local BestBuy or Apple store to purchase an iPhone or SIM-free smartphone and obtain the data and access separately. LTE will only compound this trend, as mobile operators will increasingly be regarded as a data pipe. Consumers will continue to experience savings and access to new applications while operators will compete with each other on price, speed and better coverage. In 2013, we expect to see four distinct shifts with mobile operators:

  • Device sales will drop and margins on existing devices will narrow.
  • Operators will try to compensate for lower device sales by attracting users with "access" to their network.
  • To prevent further revenue loss, operators will focus on fostering existing billing relationships with customers.
  • Operators will be forced to "go all in" and invest heavily in LTE, thereby weeding out smaller carriers and positioning larger operators with deeper pockets on top.

RCS-e will fail.
The goal of the GSMA's RCS-e standard aims to help operators offer OTT services such as Instant Messaging, chat, video sharing and file transfer using their existing networks. However, there are four key hurdles that we believe will prevent the initiative from succeeding:

  • Late to Market: RCS-e will be hard pressed to compete with services already being used by existing standards and platforms.
  • Little to No Differentiation: While the likes of WhatsApp and Viber have already developed their services, it will be an uphill battle for RCS-e-based services such as Joyn to match what is out there already. There is no compelling argument to switch.
  • Lack of interoperability: RCS-e requires compatible handsets and network infrastructure. As neither of these are widespread, RCS-e will not work on an international scale for some time so it will be less attractive than the existing OTT offerings.
  • Operator-Dependent Business Model: RCS-e is competing against what are now OTT brand names, which offer their service for free or a minimal charge. The dependence on operators to create RCS-e interoperability is a huge hurdle, and will likely make it economically unattractive for subscribers before services have even launched.

Cross-industry alliances between Web 2.0 companies and carriers will be on the rise.
The lure of mobile for new media companies and vice versa will lead to a massive increase in partnerships with carriers. We have already witnessed a number of deals that indicate that this trend is already underway. Verizon now offers Skype mobile VoIP service for 3G smartphone customers while also offering mobile with video on its 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network. Messaging giant WhatsApp has also partnered with 3 Hong Kong for the provision of a WhatsApp-branded mobile data plan and roaming package. In addition, WhatsApp has struck another deal with Indian operator Reliance Communications to bring WhatsApp to college kids for free as part of its MyCollegePlan. Driven by the prospect of the "next big revenue-generator" in the form of mobile services and mobile advertising, in 2013 we will see many more alliances being forged across industries and through the carrier value chain.

Network instability will continue despite the promise of 4G.
Consumers have an insatiable appetite for newer, faster and more reliable access to technology. But the cost of shorter technology lifecycles is usually network instability. Shorter lifecycles mean less time to recoup the operators' investment, which means less testing and lower quality, all of which point to worsening service for consumers - a true dichotomy of supply and demand. While 2G maintained its rank as the industry standard for over a decade, 3G came and went and has already reached the end of its life cycle in half the time. Furthermore, the sheer volume of Internet-ready devices is contributing to the demise of the wireless data spectrum. As a result, smartphone users can expect to experience slower service and dropped connections.

With the emergence of free or low cost messaging services and OTT players, mobile operators have been forced to innovate, rather than rely on traditional voice and SMS services. As revenues are continually threatened, carriers will reevaluate their business models and search for new revenue-generating markets and partnerships. As a result of this innovation, 2013 will prove to be a favorable year for mobile users. Consumers will experience lower prices and new applications as operators and Internet companies compete for market share.

More Stories By Thorsten Trapp

Thorsten Trapp is Co-Founder and CTO of tyntec. He co-founded tyntec in 2002 together with Dr. Ralph Eric Kunz and developed the company's Mobile Messaging platform architecture. He is also responsible for tyntec's technical innovations and intellectual property.

A communications and software expert, Mr. Trapp founded his own IT services company in 1995. He then expanded his experience in the development and hosting of scalable internet server platforms to the conception and implementation of infrastructure for mobile data transport. Thorsten studied computer science and biology at the Technical University of Dortmund.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Are you interested in accelerating innovation, simplifying deployments, reducing complexity, and lowering development costs? The cloud is changing the face of application development and deployment, with enterprise-grade infrastructure and platform services making it possible for you to build and rapidly scale enterprise applications. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Gene Eun, Sr. Director, Oracle Cloud at Oracle, will discuss the latest solutions and strategies for application developers and enterprise IT organizations to leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy modern business applications in the cloud.
Hybrid cloud refers to the federation of a public and private cloud environment for the purpose of extending the elastic and flexibility of compute, storage and network capabilities, in an on-demand, pay-as-you go basis. The hybrid approach allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. Hybrid cloud environments involve complex management challenges. First, organizations struggle to maintain control over the resources that lie outside of their managed IT scope. They also need greater infrastructure visibility to help reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their company data and resources are properly handled and secured.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise), cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. At NuoDB we're involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., will cover experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Understanding the future of Big Data is crucial in the early stages of decision making around Big Data architectures. In the enterprise, what stands out is the need to integrate Hadoop smoothly into your existing data warehouse architecture, while taking advantage of existing skills and investments. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marty Gubar, Director of Product Management at Oracle, will present a strategy for enabling integrated data management using both Hadoop and relational technologies. In particular, he'll look at how SQL, long the standard for the data warehouse, is increasingly being used on Hadoop. The real prize, though, is Smart SQL processing, seamlessly integrating the data warehouse and Hadoop into a single, Big Data Management System.
The time has come for humanity’s first interstellar trek to Terranuvem, the cloud planet, and Chief Engineer Cyrus Agarwal has been chosen to ready a ship for the voyage. He must make the right architectural choices to transform the ship for the long journey and be prepared for the unknown. He will be tested and overcome challenges during the mission. Join Cyrus and the crew of the Stratus at Oracle VP Rex Wang’s Day 2 Keynote at 14th Cloud Expo for a unique, sci-fi movie experience while learning key success factors for your own journey to cloud.