T-Mobile crunching 17 billion transactions a day — what does it do with all that data?

logo_TMobileEach and every day T-Mobile processes 17 billion events, including phone calls, text messages and data. That high-impact, high-profile data crunching recently won the operator an award at IBM’s Netezza Enzee Universe event (Netezza is an IBM data warehousing/business intelligence unit).

The number is impressive enough, particularly when, according to Anthony Behan, global analytics solution owner at IBM worldwide, “last year the figure was 11 billion, so we have seen an increase of 6 billion transactions per day over the last year. Next year, who knows exactly what the figure will be.”

Those 17 billion transactions are sent to a 1.2 petabyte database and crunched using the Netezza application is presented to various T-Mobile internal users.

This represents one of the first examples of telcos doing what telcos should do best – taking the data that they already process in a simple way and transforming that data into information that can used to increase the efficiency of the business – real business intelligence.

At the moment, T-Mobile is using this information to make better use of its network assets, making sure that the quality and capacity is where it is needed. CDR and broadband probes are monitored and the data is cross-referenced across the enterprise. Significant amounts of money are being saved along the way.

Optimizing the network was the first phase in this project but it is interesting that once this huge amount of data was in the right place at the right time in the right way, it went viral. The information is being accessed and used by more and more executives across the business. Currently standing at around 1200, the users include people from finance, corporate accounts as well as sales and marketing.

This is just the beginning.

Understanding and optimizing the network is one (important) application. In the future, T-Mobile plans to use this information and other data o start the journey towards true personalization. Understanding customers completely and individually will ultimately enable T-Mobile and others to maximize the value of services and to place the right value on those services, thus optimizing revenues.

Look for an in-depth Q&A with Anthony Behan of IBM in the next day or two for more on the ways in which telcos should think be thinking about crunching data.

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