ScienceBusiness is a great new online magazine covering Europe and how IP is turned into winning SMEs. Richard Hudson who is one ScienceBusiness founder convinced me to produce a bi-weekly colum on what we at Occam see happenidng on the groun here. The first installement can be found here or below in the post.
Online, down the line
I had the opportunity to take part as a speaker on an investor panel at the recent Total Telecom World Telecommunications Congress in Geneva. The panel was interesting - a strange dialogue between happy VCs funding disruptive telecommunication technologies (VoIP, IP convergence etc…) and troubled telecom executives. The key lessons from the conference can be structured as follows (those note are based on the minutes/comments taken by E. Jouanne from Occam Conseil).
The industry in experiencing cycles of maturation with similar patterns: “Invest → chase volume → price down → competition eliminated → consolidation”, today the number of “Baby Bells” is down to 2.5. The price of bandwidth is continues to fall, even if we are now for the first time seeing price stabilisation in some areas. The “must-haves” in the environment are Service Level Agreements and secure/reliable networks. Key stats: +65% - IP traffic last year +100% - forecast for this year’s IP traffic, based on +25% this quarter. raffic structure “95% of the traffic is data. Video. Flat rate ”
P2P impact on biz models
Video bandwidth, Services entertainment, “5% is voice. VoIP accelerates changes (main driver in Business: to replace PBX)”, Value-added managed services, Tech to monetise and measure “what customers use”, customer centric measurement.
Evolution in the mid term: Dynamic Frequency Allocation. Convergent networks: Intelligent Management Systems.
“Voice revenue will disappear for sure. The only question is when will it be 18 months or 5 years?”. In the future three main areas of concern for the customers: “Quality of service: pricing will be key” Quality for pay: right lane, left lane. Internet Service Providers will have to be forced by local regulations to disclose any IP delay management (used to slow down VoIP applications) “Security issue”
“Today turnover for mobile is 80% voice, 14% SMS, 6 % data “→ “Ultimately it will be like fixed access turnover”. “There will more Instant Messaging usage (IM is the killer app for teenagers. IM will be bundled with VOIP), therefore more data traffic.”
Huge potential, could be called not quadruple play, but infinite play . Pricing. Flat rate vs. pay: you need to measure whether you charge or not, because there are costs associated to those events. Video on Demand most disruptive for the content industry and small TV stations. Digital Rights Management, secure network, quality
So what? Three cool innovative companies to watch
Checkpoint (VoIP security)
Baracoda (telecom churn management via Bluetooth-based services)
Zenops (mobile gaming)