taking policy to the
smart connected device

Archive for February, 2011

#M2M gains prominence at MWC

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Another topic that gained prominence at MWC was that of M2M communications. It’s long been recognised that this is a potential growth area, but now the band-wagon is starting to roll. There were reports of significant numbers of net additions for M2M application from at least one major MNO . This is good news, as for too long we have been talking about market potential and not enough about solid activities. Hopefully, this will change, but there’s still a long way to go, despite recent announcements.

Of course, M2M applications are going to penetrate both consumer and enterprise markets, but as this blogger has pointed out, benefits need to be absolutely clear: once the propositions start to resonate, it will be a no-brainer for users to sign up and start spending. The question is, how many of these simple value propositions are present in the market yet? M2M needs to move from being a concept to something that much more tangible and hence with obvious benefits.

A Two-Tier Internet? First you need to see what people are doing…

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Recent remarks from Cap Gemini, quoted in Total Telecom this week seem to suggest that a two-tier internet is an inevitability. This is very much in keeping with other news regarding the end of all-you-can-eat data pricing bundles and differentiated charging policies, so it’s not news per se. But, it’s still unusual to hear the problem articulated in this frank way.

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was full of discussion regarding policies and charging for mobile data users. The motivation behind all of these initiatives is to earn more return from network investments, but the upshot will be that there will actually be a multi-tiered internet, populated by users paying different rates for different levels of access and services. Two-tier is just the beginning!

But, for this to emerge and for service providers to be able to offer packages that deliver on their promises, they must take steps to address visibility of user demands from handsets, dongles and other mobile devices. Without this level of visibility, a multi-tier internet will be flawed and the emerging business models will be shaky at best and, at worst, doomed to failure. It’s one thing to have a multi-tier internet, but even though users will accept different rates of access for different fees, it must be supported by an infrastructure that achieves this fairly. In other words, if users pay for something, they will expect to receive it.

#capcrunch – the cost of overprovisioning

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

In a recent report, Informa highlighted the cost per GB of mobile network enhancements. As we all know, increased data usage is driving capacity investments: a “constant cycle of upgrades”, as the authors put it. The authors also pointed to significant unused capacity in the networks modelled, which resulted in an artificially increased cost / GB.

This is a direct consequence of overprovisioning to meet anticipated demand and is a key reason why MNOs should investigate ways to defer expenditure and use their existing network resources more effectively. As we noted, it’s possible to defer investment by up to nine months if existing bandwidth is used more efficiently. What’s more, not only can expenditure be deferred, but the aggregate expenditure will be reduced as less bandwidth is required to meet user demands overall.

The report raises some fundamental questions and is really concerned with the long-term migration to LTE. But, there’s much that can be done to improve the situation in the meantime and break the “constant cycle of upgrades” in a more graceful manner.