“ISPS Are The Rising Stars Of The Telecoms Industry” Predicts ATOS Consulting

Pre-3GSM, Atos Consulting identifies the hottest industry trends in a new report.

London, 7 February 2006

A new report, Telecoms Predictions 2006, released by Atos Consulting, the business consulting arm of Atos Origin, predicts that ISPs are rapidly taking their place alongside traditional telecoms companies as the service providers of the future.

In a presentation to industry watchers, Cees de Jong, senior vice president, global telecoms market, Atos Origin and Mark Becker, managing director, telecoms at Atos Consulting, outlined that ISPs have a perfect opportunity to win market share in an environment of rapidly shrinking voice revenues and increasing demand for converged voice and data services. Becker stated that the ability to develop and launch new services rapidly alongside having a robust technological infrastructure will be critical prerequisites if operators are to profit from the IP revolution.

“ISPs are the new stars of the telecoms market. Their low operational costs, huge access to customers and the fact that they are already IP enabled means that they already have the edge over many existing telecoms operators. In the battle to win new and keep existing customers, innovation and speed to market is key; no group is better equipped to steal the march than that the ISPs,” said Becker.

Atos Consulting

Atos Origin at 3GSM World Congress 2006, Barcelona

Atos Origin will be present at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from February 13 – 16, 2006 and exhibit in the Smart Communication Valley stand Hall 2, G88 – G89. At the event it will be focusing on 4 main topics:

Telecom Consulting

IP Convergent Services
Outsourcing and Application Management

MVNO Global Services

Atos Origin’s turnover in the telecoms industry is close to ˆ1 billion and it is the 2nd largest telecom IT services provider in Western Europe. It delivers consulting – through Atos Consulting – systems integration and outsourcing expertise to 350 customers around the world, including major telecom operators such as France Telecom, KPN, Telecom Italia and Vodafone. Atos Origin has been active in the telecoms market for more than 20 years.

Experts will be available to present our competences and recent contract wins in more detail.

Summary of Atos Consulting’s Telecoms Predictions 2006

The Atos Consulting Telecoms Predictions 2006 report identifies a raft of trends that will shape the telecoms industry over the next twelve months. The trends fall into three distinct areas:

  • VoIP and IP Services
  • Convergence in Billing
  • Mobility

Within each area, Atos Consulting identified some of the hot topics that the industry should watch closely and act upon.

VoIP and IP services

IPTV
Internet Service Provider (IPTV) really is the next big thing. In a bid to pull themselves out of a rapidly shrinking voice business, telcos have one major hope: IPTV. IPTV development is still in its infancy, however. A few technology companies have developed products ahead of the game and in preparation for the first big deals to be done; Microsoft’s Media Centre being the most obvious. But there is no fully-fledged strategy for roll-out at present and, some would argue, little real understanding of the drivers and demand for IPTV.

Consolidation, specialisation and strategic Alliances

A recent IDC and Atos Consulting joint research study states that by 2010 the market will have consolidated around the largest organisations. Massive consolidation in the market will mean the emergence of a group of ‘super players’, across all areas. Even in the Internet services arena globalisation is evident. Good examples of this include the global uptake of Hotmail and Yahoo mail services and newer players like Google. In fact, ISPs could well become the service providers of the future; broad customer base, strong partnerships with content providers, agile product development strategies.

Hosted voice solutions

The opportunity for future voice services lies in hosted IP applications that combine traditional network operations and new enhanced IP services. These services range from simple video conferencing to contact centre applications.

Future demand for these types of bundled packages will be principally derived from educational efforts on the part of service providers, and the overall growth of IP connectivity in each of the Western European countries. As IP VPNs and IP voice services become more prevalent, demand for applications that connect old and new environments and improve network security and efficiency will also grow.

Service bundling a reality

Discussions have already moved away from VoIP as a standalone service, as voice is rapidly becoming an integral part of an overall IP solutions package including voice, data, video and other value-added services. VoIP and Wi-Fi services will be bundled as part of Internet access products.

Everybody has been pursuing the same triple-play bundling strategy for consumers but in 2006 expect to see consumer services providers expand to a grand slam offering.

Licensing, compliance and regulation

The regulation of IP services is the natural next step for IP services. In a bid to win the customer battle, telcos are critically aware of the need to assure customers of the safety of using their services and, as such, are putting security of customer data at the forefront of their strategies. Those that are quick to bring secure solutions to the market will win the trust of the market and potentially gain significant market share – having a robust security strategy will help companies stand out as being truly customer-centric.

Convergence in Billing Systems

Continued outsourced billing solutions for large operators
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has been predicted widely to increase in the next year and BPO service providers will increase their foothold on the market. In consumer-land, nobody has taken the complexity of multiple medium billing in-house as yet and so the trend to outsource continues.

For telecoms operators there is significant commercial advantage to be had through outsourcing the billing process and there is evidence that outsourcing has been beneficial for many companies.

Unification and harmonisation of billing process

On average telecoms companies leak 15% of their revenue year-on-year through non-collection of services used. So it pays to get billing right. In addition, in order to keep customers loyal their experience as a customer must feel slick and seamless – no matter how many different services they choose to use.

One of the most important developments of 2006 will be research and development of the single-customer view and the aggressive move towards developing a unified billing architecture. To reach and retain profitable business and consumer customers effectively, service providers must unify billing architectures and accelerate automation and process improvements.

Flexible billing architectures for competitive advantage

If telcos want to more than merely survive, they need to deploy billing systems that will give them a competitive advantage. 2006 will see telcos build flexibility into their billing solutions to support the rapid launch of the new services dreamt up by marketers. The mixed-tariff model of selling products – IPTV, voice, data, as well as mobile versus fixed line service packages – will automatically call for an increased level of sophistication at billing stage.

Expect to see a more event-based billing structure around consumption of specific pieces of media – a bit like watching a pay per view movie.

Mobility Top Trends

Trust and security

Security will be high on the agenda for telco operators in 2006 in the battle win the loyalty of existing customers and win the trust of new ones.

The other key factor will be in using a strong mobile security strategy to convince enterprise of the value of building a truly mobile workforce. The consumer battle has all but been won with the business market having been neglected thus far, and businesses are still letting worries over security slow mobile uptake.

CRM – understanding the customer need

Creating a single view of every customer will become the Holy Grail for every company. This will breed understanding of what the customer wants and will also enable companies to service customers better – from content provision to billing.

Telecoms operators will increasingly be faced with customer demands for new and innovative services delivered simply via a converged model but being able to do this depends on telcos really tracking and understanding the needs of customers.

Experiential mobility and m-commerce it’s all about functionality and fun. 2006 will continue to see the development of experiential mobile applications and the emergence of m-commerce services, increasing in reach and importance over the next two years.

Rich content applications for mobile devices and true ability to do almost anything you want via your mobile device. Growth of off-portal mobile entertainment will give rise to the development of home-grown and original content. Enriching the experience for mobile users.

Next generation messaging worldwide text messaging platform

Atos Consulting

Given the success of SMS, messaging is widely regarded as critical in the battle for market share. Mobile Instant Messaging will take hold and evolve over the next 18-month period and many European operators have invested heavily in MIM. Key priorities are:

  • converged messaging solutions
  • mail to voice
  • premier SMS
  • voice portal
  • MMS postcards

Mobile messaging will be the bridge that will assist operators to aid the take-up of mobile data in Western Europe. This will be vital in attracting and retaining the IGG and so we can expect to see a proliferation of new multimedia services over the next 12 months.

Fixed mobile convergence (FMC)

The convergence of the fixed and mobile markets looks set to have a profound effect on the telecom industry as it redefines how telecoms services are delivered and how carrier businesses are structured.

Using a mobile handset, future users will be seamlessly served and charged based on the services they use and they contents they access, rather than on access technology. This will enable carriers to sell capability rather than capacity and move from a product to a customer-focused operation – critical in the ongoing battle for market share.

Wireless broadband: WiMAX the next big thing?

WiMax product development has finally become reality thanks to recent industry developments and the crucial ratification of the 802.16e standard.

Possible movement from companies like Vodafone down the WiMax route will see a move towards making mobile computing a reality via smartphone and there has been some suggestion that 2006 will see the death of the PDA as access and quality of service will improve on smaller handsets.

Atos Origin at 3GSM World Congress 2006, Barcelona
Atos Origin will be present at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from February 13 – 16, 2006 and exhibit in the Smart Communication Valley stand Hall 2, G88 – G89. At the event it will be focusing on 4 main topics:

  1. Telecom Consulting
  2. IP Convergent Services
  3. Outsourcing and Application Management
  4. MVNO Global Services

Atos Origin’s turnover in the telecoms industry is close to ˆ1 billion and it is the 2nd largest telecom IT services provider in Western Europe. It delivers consulting – through Atos Consulting – , systems integration and outsourcing expertise to 350 customers around the world, including major telecom operators such as France Telecom, KPN, Telecom Italia and Vodafone. Atos Origin has been active in the telecoms market for more than 20 years.

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