MWC: Using the Cloud to Enhance Enterprise and Consumer Services
March 1, 2013 - Aleks
This year’s Mobile World Congress proves to be another testament to the mobile industry’s prosperity. As the show continues to be a launch pad for the hottest new hardware, we’re seeing more partnerships to improve interconnectedness and enhance service delivery as a business imperative.
In its latest report, "The Mobile Economy 2013," the GSMA finds the total number of mobile connections at 7.4 billion this year, up from 6.8 billion in 2012, mainly as a result of customers having more than one connected device.
This number will only grow, especially as M2M services expand to become seamlessly integrated with traditional consumer broadband services. For example, General Motors announced at Mobile World Congress this year a partnership with AT&T to provide LTE connectivity within their automobiles. As the number of connections climbs closer to the world’s population, network operators are embracing new business models to sustain and grow revenues and to compete in a rapidly evolving and dynamic market.
Executing new business models within traditional "bare metal" infrastructure can be a complex, expensive, high-risk environment to serve this ever-changing market. The cloud gives CSPs the platform to control end-user experience over multiple access technologies and across multiple devices, without impacting service continuity.
The growth of M2M presents an opportunity for network operators to take advantage of their position as a hub to add value in areas including access control, charging, analytics and performance management. While Ovum’s Steven Hartley questions that companies offering connected devices like Ericsson would seek greater opportunities if they bypassed operators altogether, it risks alienating close customer relationships.
Virtualized infrastructure provides a real-time environment to innovate business models that maximize revenues and allocate network resources by understanding subscribers’ behaviors and how they use services. In addition to enabling new consumer services, CSPs are exploring new business models within wholesale markets.
- Accelerated time to market: Reduced solution complexity, delivering lower hardware costs and deployment savings versus non-virtualized solutions.
- Rapid service innovation: Ease and simplicity of integration enables network operators to be more creative at lower risk. For example, to trial new services as proof of concepts, or when experimenting with new business models in new verticals.
- Cost efficiency: By paying only for the processing capacity and throughput required to support an on demand service, network operators can reduce hardware and operational cost.
It may not be a question of bypassing operators, but whether a movement toward working better together is necessary. Cloud-based infrastructure supports a common transactional platform that seamlessly integrates with any network, enabling service providers to deploy highly configurable, convergent solutions to support voice, data, content and multimedia services on one platform.