In Hong Kong, a telecommunications provider has partnered with the Yellow Pages to deliver a vital service to its IPTV subscribers: The ability to find a nearby restaurant online, order a take-out meal and have it delivered at half time during a soccer game.
The carrier not only facilitates the order and gets credit from subscribers for offering a unique service, it also takes a slice of the billing.
That’s the kind of “brand orchestration” service providers will have to turn to if they want to survive in the future, says Kim Perdikou, Juniper Networks Inc.’s executive vice-president.
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Partnering is one of the innovations carriers will have to turn to in their struggles with ‘over-the-top’ providers like Google and Apple that are taking away the brand they had 20 years ago, she told the Canadian Telecom Summit earlier this month.
“Your name needs to be back out that you provide a good experience,” she said.
Part of that strategy also includes overhauling carrier networks to meet the demands smart phones, tablets and other IP-enabled mobile devices are putting on systems designed only for voice traffic.
By Juniper’s calculations, service provider networks will start to break in 2015, she said, unless something is done. And merely adding capacity won’t be enough, she warned.
“The level of investment you’ll need with the current technology means you’ll spend more than you’ll gain in revenue … It’s going to be harder and harder unless we challenge the way we build networks.”
“It’s time for us as vendors — and I include Juniper — to innovate around the architectural transitions and to deliver and transform the economics of the solutions we give you.”
That means network equipment makers have to deliver ways of building more energy-efficient gear, cut the number of layers in the data centre and even re-architect their equipment.
For example, she said in an interview, Juniper has replaced three edge routers with what it calls a universal edge router that, with cards, can be programmed to handle broadband, mobility or managed services.
Or, because about 45 per cent of service provider outages are caused by human error, equipment makes need to learn how to make their products more intuitive, she said, and automate processes.
There’s no need to rip and replace carrier networks, she said. But the networks will have to be re-architected. “Every single piece that you change and every capital dollar you spend should be on transforming the economics and the experience.”