Operators must develop innovations like HD voice recognition if they want to keep pace with the changing dynamics of the mobile market, trade delegates have been told.
Telecoms software company OpenCloud held a round table discussion in central London last week between operators, consultants and analysts. Delegates heard that as well as developing new innovations, ensuring customers were aware of existing services was critical for operators.
As well as developing technology like voice recognition software, apps were seen as a crucial way of strengthening revenue. Heavy Reading Associates analyst Caroline Chappell said: ‘Telecom is already being punished. Revenue is going down. Shareholder pressure is growing on companies to be like Google or Facebook. Application development service innovations are extremely important.’
However, France Telecom’s senior manager for application servers Sebastian Grabowski said operators need to be cost-effective while driving innovation in their business. OpenCloud CEO Jeff Gordon (pictured) told delegates that innovation was crucial if operators were to stay ahead of new players entering the market. He said: ‘Telecom is in a mature state but new players are still coming in.
Some may say operators have so far had a very easy business to run. However, in the next three years we’ll see a major change in the industry which will result in winners and losers. We have already seen operators being undercut by up to two-thirds in France. It’ll be very competitive. And we have to remember creating and innovating new services is very expensive.
‘Innovation is about being fast and creating any new models requires taking in the cultural issues, having the right people and the right technology. However, operators must not underestimate the fantastic opportunity they have to create services. They have a great deal of information about their subscribers, who they are and where they are just for starters.’
France Telecom’s director of platform and services Adam Filisinski said co-operation between companies was crucial for their mutual health. ‘Change must be related to technology and operators and innovators must work together to simplify the process. This will allow us a greater leverage position between government and business,’ he said.
But telecoms consultant Alan Quayle warned companies not to lose sight of the services they provide. He said: ‘There’s already bundling of various data services and operators have many services that customers are not aware of – greater awareness is part of the challenge. It all eventually boils down to customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and customer advocacy.’