|By Thorsten Trapp||
|February 18, 2013 08:00 AM EST||
The telecom industry will be challenged in the coming year as operators learn to adapt to the rapidly changing mobile landscape.
2012 was the year of mobile - big brands and Internet companies have just started to realize the potential impact that mobile communications can have on their engagement with consumers. I expect the mobile trend will continue in 2013, with SMS being the most rapidly changing application. Competition between operators and Internet companies will cause these two distinct worlds to work together in different ways. With this in mind, the following are my 2013 predictions for the telco industry.
We will witness a rebirth of SMS.
In times of crisis or low network connectivity, SMS remains the go-to communication mechanism. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents in the northeastern U.S. lost power for days, making the task of voting in the Presidential election a difficult undertaking. To help voters find the nearest polling station, Google set up a custom instance of an SMS-based locator for voters. When disaster strikes, SMS has a major advantage over voice, OTT services and email. This time next year, rather than focusing on "the death of SMS," we'll be discussing "the rebirth of SMS" thanks to its proven reliability and interoperability in times of crisis.
Google and Facebook will take over the world with SMS.
Picking up where they left off in 2012, the world's two biggest Internet players will demonstrate the power of SMS as they spread connectivity into developing countries. With the successful launch of Google Gmail SMS in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, users can manage their email via text message by activating a simple setting on their Gmail account. Google+ SMS also allows users to update their status via text message.
Similarly, Facebook is using SMS to extend their reach into developing countries. For example, "only" 5 percent of the population in Africa and 7 percent in Asia have access to Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook maintains 45 percent market share in North America and 30 percent in Europe. With the mounting pressure from shareholders, these developing markets present a huge opportunity for the social giant to expand its footprint even further.
LTE will drive down the price of devices and access: a winning combination for consumers.
Today, consumers must look no further than their local BestBuy or Apple store to purchase an iPhone or SIM-free smartphone and obtain the data and access separately. LTE will only compound this trend, as mobile operators will increasingly be regarded as a data pipe. Consumers will continue to experience savings and access to new applications while operators will compete with each other on price, speed and better coverage. In 2013, we expect to see four distinct shifts with mobile operators:
- Device sales will drop and margins on existing devices will narrow.
- Operators will try to compensate for lower device sales by attracting users with "access" to their network.
- To prevent further revenue loss, operators will focus on fostering existing billing relationships with customers.
- Operators will be forced to "go all in" and invest heavily in LTE, thereby weeding out smaller carriers and positioning larger operators with deeper pockets on top.
RCS-e will fail.
The goal of the GSMA's RCS-e standard aims to help operators offer OTT services such as Instant Messaging, chat, video sharing and file transfer using their existing networks. However, there are four key hurdles that we believe will prevent the initiative from succeeding:
- Late to Market: RCS-e will be hard pressed to compete with services already being used by existing standards and platforms.
- Little to No Differentiation: While the likes of WhatsApp and Viber have already developed their services, it will be an uphill battle for RCS-e-based services such as Joyn to match what is out there already. There is no compelling argument to switch.
- Lack of interoperability: RCS-e requires compatible handsets and network infrastructure. As neither of these are widespread, RCS-e will not work on an international scale for some time so it will be less attractive than the existing OTT offerings.
- Operator-Dependent Business Model: RCS-e is competing against what are now OTT brand names, which offer their service for free or a minimal charge. The dependence on operators to create RCS-e interoperability is a huge hurdle, and will likely make it economically unattractive for subscribers before services have even launched.
Cross-industry alliances between Web 2.0 companies and carriers will be on the rise.
The lure of mobile for new media companies and vice versa will lead to a massive increase in partnerships with carriers. We have already witnessed a number of deals that indicate that this trend is already underway. Verizon now offers Skype mobile VoIP service for 3G smartphone customers while also offering mobile with video on its 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network. Messaging giant WhatsApp has also partnered with 3 Hong Kong for the provision of a WhatsApp-branded mobile data plan and roaming package. In addition, WhatsApp has struck another deal with Indian operator Reliance Communications to bring WhatsApp to college kids for free as part of its MyCollegePlan. Driven by the prospect of the "next big revenue-generator" in the form of mobile services and mobile advertising, in 2013 we will see many more alliances being forged across industries and through the carrier value chain.
Network instability will continue despite the promise of 4G.
Consumers have an insatiable appetite for newer, faster and more reliable access to technology. But the cost of shorter technology lifecycles is usually network instability. Shorter lifecycles mean less time to recoup the operators' investment, which means less testing and lower quality, all of which point to worsening service for consumers - a true dichotomy of supply and demand. While 2G maintained its rank as the industry standard for over a decade, 3G came and went and has already reached the end of its life cycle in half the time. Furthermore, the sheer volume of Internet-ready devices is contributing to the demise of the wireless data spectrum. As a result, smartphone users can expect to experience slower service and dropped connections.
With the emergence of free or low cost messaging services and OTT players, mobile operators have been forced to innovate, rather than rely on traditional voice and SMS services. As revenues are continually threatened, carriers will reevaluate their business models and search for new revenue-generating markets and partnerships. As a result of this innovation, 2013 will prove to be a favorable year for mobile users. Consumers will experience lower prices and new applications as operators and Internet companies compete for market share.
Opinions on how best to package and deliver applications are legion and, like many other aspects of the software world, are subject to recurring trend cycles. On the server-side, the current favorite is container delivery: a “full stack” approach in which your application and everything it needs to run are specified in a container definition. That definition is then “compiled” down to a container image and deployed by retrieving the image and passing it to a container runtime to create a running...
Oct. 13, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 318
Containers are all the rage among developers and web companies, but they also represent two very substantial benefits to larger organizations. First, they have the potential to dramatically accelerate the application lifecycle from software builds and testing to deployment and upgrades. Second they represent the first truly hybrid-approach to consuming infrastructure, allowing organizations to run the same workloads on any cloud, virtual machine or physical server. Together, they represent a ver...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 256
As operational failure becomes more acceptable to discuss within the software industry, the necessity for holding constructive, actionable postmortems increases. But most of what we know about postmortems from "pop culture" isn't actually relevant for the software systems we work on and within. In his session at DevOps Summit, J. Paul Reed will look at postmortem pitfalls, techniques, and tools you'll be able to take back to your own environment so they will be able to lay the foundations for h...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 232
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 207
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data ...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 232
Now, with more hardware! September 21, 2015, Don MacVittie, Sr. Solutions Architect. The “continuous” trend is continuing (get it..?), and we’ll soon reach the peek of the hype cycle, with continuous everything. At the pinnacle of the hype cycle, do not be surprised to see DDOS attacks re-branded as “continuous penetration testing!” and a fee … Read More Continuous Provisioning
Oct. 13, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 126
Despite all the talk about public cloud services and DevOps, you would think the move to cloud for enterprises is clear and simple. But in a survey of almost 1,600 IT decision makers across the USA and Europe, the state of the cloud in enterprise today is still fraught with considerable frustration. The business case for apps in the real world cloud is hybrid, bimodal, multi-platform, and difficult. Download this report commissioned by NTT Communications to see the insightful findings – registra...
Oct. 13, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 415
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...
Oct. 13, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 729
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Oct. 13, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,348
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
Oct. 13, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 329
DevOps Summit, taking place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and Javits Center in New York City, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Oct. 13, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 201
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Oct. 13, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 359
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Oct. 13, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,343
For it to be SOA – let alone SOA done right – we need to pin down just what "SOA done wrong" might be. First-generation SOA with Web Services and ESBs, perhaps? But then there's second-generation, REST-based SOA. More lightweight and cloud-friendly, but many REST-based SOA practices predate the microservices wave. Today, microservices and containers go hand in hand – only the details of "container-oriented architecture" are largely on the drawing board – and are not likely to look much like S...
Oct. 13, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 636
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 260
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 228
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.
Oct. 13, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 296
Docker is hot. However, as Docker container use spreads into more mature production pipelines, there can be issues about control of Docker images to ensure they are production-ready. Is a promotion-based model appropriate to control and track the flow of Docker images from development to production? In his session at DevOps Summit, Fred Simon, Co-founder and Chief Architect of JFrog, will demonstrate how to implement a promotion model for Docker images using a binary repository, and then show h...
Oct. 13, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 328
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Oct. 13, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 228
As we increasingly rely on technology to improve the quality and efficiency of our personal and professional lives, software has become the key business differentiator. Organizations must release software faster, as well as ensure the safety, security, and reliability of their applications. The option to make trade-offs between time and quality no longer exists—software teams must deliver quality and speed. To meet these expectations, businesses have shifted from more traditional approaches of d...
Oct. 13, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 296