Archive for the ‘BSS/OSS’ Category

Video challenge likely leads to new buzz word overload

videoAfter Cisco reported that mobile video will account for two-thirds of traffic by 2014, there have been no shortage of announcements about “video optimization” tools to help operators grappling with the sheer amount of computing power needed to support simultaneously streaming video sessions. (more…)

Mobile TV: If at first you don’t succeed…

mobiletvSince about 2006, the media, vendors and service providers have continued to preach that consumers want programming on-the-go but thus far the prospect of viewing local news, sports, entertainment and other content on a mobile device has not yet taken off in the U.S. market. Friday’s announcement by the Mobile Content Venture though is yet another attempt. As a joint venture of 12 broadcasters (including NBC, Fox, ION and Cox), the MCV is committing to at least two ad-supported free-to-consumer channels in 20 markets by the end of 2011. Their hope is to deliver mobile video service in markets representing more than 40% of the US population. (more…)

Will the U.S. follow the U.K.’s lead in allowing traffic prioritization?

Well,  “across the pond” some interesting news hit the UK’s Register this morning, as the government there has ruled that ISPs will be allowed to charge content providers to prioritize their traffic. The communications minister Ed Vaizey confirmed that “net neutrality” remains irrelevant in the UK under the European Commission. (more…)

Smartphone management: Technology versus ‘Humanness’

AT&T today announced the possibility for better smartphone management thanks to a partnership with MobileIron, but I find myself being somewhat cynical about noble attempts to rein in the inherently selfish and somewhat lazy nature of human beings. (more…)

DPI will be a balancing act of protecting networks and customer privacy

Continuous Computing has published three policy management white papers commissioned from industry analyst Disruptive Analysis. The white papers take a good look at Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) in mobile broadband networks—always an interesting topic because it pits operator necessity for traffic management and targeted services against consumer desire for privacy assurances. But simultaneous to that desire is the consumer desire for more compelling, personalized content, for which they are willing to sacrifice – at least it seems — some level of privacy. (more…)

Telco cloud success depends on flexibility, scalability of application servers

verecloudNot long ago, I interviewed Verecloud’s Hossein Eslambolchi about leveraging cloud computing for more sophisticated orchestration of services. In that talk, he spoke of the tens of billions of end points that will have to be managed and scaled. Because application servers are the “worker bees” for creating and deploying application environments in a cloud (along with web servers and management servers), it’s a seemingly natural next step that Verecloud today announced it will use GigaSpaces extreme Application Platform. (more…)

Cable companies will have to travel the same OSS/BSS path as telcos, but faster

cordcutI read with some interest news of cable TV cord-cutting this morning (a trend that CP has covered in recent days at TW Cable and Comcast), and it got me thinking: there’s no doubt that the days of “single-purpose” devices like TVs are numbered, as the iPad, smart phones and multi-faceted devices become increasingly popular. People want dynamic, integrated experiences and the flexibility to consume their preferred content over any device, over any pipe, during any time of day. (more…)

AT&T’s Twitter-based troubleshooting raises privacy concerns

twitterAT&T is using Twitter to track dropped calls, reports MIT’s Technology Review, which writes:

“By mining messages shared on Twitter, AT&T gets extra real-time information and can prioritize fixes. . . They do this by tapping into the programming interface tools Twitter makes freely available. A general set of queries pulls in every tweet related to AT&T’s mobile service before a more rigorous set of rules homes in on those related to service quality, for example messages containing words like ‘call dropped’ or ‘3G.’”

AT&T then extracts the approximate time the tweets were sent and the locations of their senders. According to AT&T, this approach helps detect issues about 20 minutes earlier than the first customer service call comes in.

While the benefits of this approach to AT&T and its customers are clear, some of us may find the privacy aspects of this practice disturbing. Tweets may be in the public domain. But if AT&T can link a specific Tweet with a specific customer’s location without the customer’s knowledge, what’s next? Can the carrier sell that capability to businesses? And if so, what terms should the businesses be allowed to search for? What should they be allowed to do with it? And to what extent should AT&T screen businesses before offering them that capability?

Revenue increases from loyal customers are undeniable, but not so easy to attain

moneyA recent TM Forum Insights Research report “Exploiting Analytics” talks of how a 5% improvement in customer retention rates can yield as much as much as a 75% increase on the bottom line. (more…)

Could VZW have avoided refund scandal with due diligence or a better billing solution?

verizonAs I reported a couple weeks ago, Verizon will, indeed, be doling out one of the largest customer refunds in history, and definitely the largest FCC settlement ever recorded. Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay $25 million to the U.S. government and at least $52.8 million in refunds to approximately 15 million customers who were overcharged when built-in phone software accessed mobile networks and the Web. The culprit was a $1.99-a-megabyte data access fee that appeared on the bills of customers without data plans. Apparently, these users accidentally initiated data or Web access by pressing a button on flip phones that automatically initiate a Web browser. (more…)