This blog post is by Ben Roome, Head of Media Relations, from Broadband World Forum 2010, Paris.
Broadband World Forum is an event that has broadened along with the advent of higher-speed wireless access. As many companies are here in Paris talking about wireless, as they are fixed technologies.
On our booth we’re pushing the smarter networks message. We’ve made no bones about the fact that we have some very particular assets that other vendors lack to cope with the explosion of always-on smart devices. Of course, building smart networks isn’t just about coping with this traffic.
Smarter revenue models
Smarter networks can actually open up new revenue opportunities for service providers. At our press conference this morning, Beppe Donagemma, head of the company’s business in West South Europe said: “The rapid rise of fixed and mobile broadband are compelling every communications company to rethink its business. The growth of smart devices over the past three years is putting unforeseen pressure on operators. That’s driving the need for smart networks.”
Essentially, the points of smart networks boils down to three key things:
Firstly, to satisfy insatiable demand. You can see it on the show floor: everybody has a smart device with apps (location tools are particularly handy!), email, messaging always on. This puts networks under massive strain. So coping with this is an essential step.
Secondly, communications service providers must differentiate their service. They have a hugely strong relationship with customers – and are far more adept than newer over-the-top service providers (no names!) at keeping that information secure. They can be a focal point to allow a single log-on to multiple services offered either by them, or from the ecosystem. (A good example of this, of course, is our Ubiquity TV implementation with Belgacom).
Becoming more agile
Finally, and this is a really tough transformation hinted at by the first two, operators must become far more agile. They need to adopt new technologies and transform how they do business, creating an ecosystem that shares the value they provide to the customer in a fair way.
The smarter way to customer retention
And operators must get this right. Our studies have shown that just a 5% improvement in customer retention can boost a service provider’s profitability by 75%. But currently, customer loyalty is on the wane. In fixed networks, half of the people who change networks do so, not because of a more attractive offer elsewhere, but due to dissatisfaction with their existing service.
Smarter networks are the only way of reversing this trend.
In a later post from BBWF, we’ll talk about five key requirements that underpin this vision, with specific examples from the show floor.
Meanwhile, check out our ‘Simple Truth About Smart Networks’ video: