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Leading the Evolution of the Mobile Packet Core

I was reading the latest ACG Research report on Mobile IP Infrastructure and reflecting how the importance of the IP Packet Core has evolved, and how the technology leaders in this area have also evolved.

Back in the “3G era” the Packet Core sat alongside the Voice Core, and was considered an adjunct to the Radio Access Network. The traditional RAN vendors would often bundle the core as part their end-to-end contract. Since initial data services where Mobile Broadband, and monetisation was just based on volume, 3G Packet Cores were all about “feeds and speeds”.

With 4G/LTE the all-IP nature makes the Packet Core the heart of Read More »

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Point of View: Optimisation, Monetisation and Customer Privacy

PJ PhotoGuest blog from Paul Jesemann, Cisco Solution Consultant, Mobile Architecture, APJ

In June, a mobile operator in India was accused of spying on its customers by inserting a javascript in browsing sessions on its 3G network. The service provider admitted it was using a solution to help customers keep track of data usage, yet in press and blogs, concerns were expressed about it being a privacy breach, and a means to track subscriber browsing data for monetisation purposes.

Instead of unnecessarily debating the incident as such, maybe a Read More »

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Trading Mobile Dollars for IoT Pennies

Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal coined the prescient expression “Trading analogue dollars for digital pennies” in 2008 to describe the huge gap that he was observing between the lucrative promises of online and digital advertising and the reality of the meager revenues that it was in fact producing.  Could the same be true of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution?  Are we trading the hundreds of dollars that we are generating from mobile users for the pennies that providers get for connecting “things”?

Connecting the 50 billion projected devices, or things, to the Internet is the cornerstone of the Internet of Things.  Given the challenges of remoteness, mobility and the cost of wiring up these devices, many of these connections will be made over mobile networks.  In fact, Beecham Research estimates that the number of cellular machine-to-machine connections will grow to 1 billion by 2020, up from 172 million in 2013.  It is no wonder that the mobile operators are salivating at the prospect of all this new revenue to be earned from connecting inanimate objects.  This windfall is especially at a time when there traditional mobile business is under attack.  Changes in voice usage and bundled minutes are causing voice revenues to decline and data revenues are under attack from Wi-Fi connections and over-the-top providers (see The Mobile Paradox). Read More »

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Sponsored Data is off to a Rolling Start

In a mobile application ecosystem dominated by Over-the-Top (OTT) providers, mobile operators need to exploit new business models in ways to create value with them. One example of a Monetization use case promising a new business model is Sponsored Data. An early proponent among operators has been AT&T, who defines Sponsored Data as: “a service that enables companies to sponsor the data usage for specific content on behalf of eligible AT&T wireless customers [who] can browse, stream and enjoy content … without impacting their monthly data plan allowance.”

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A year after launch, AT&T spokespersons remain upbeat about its Sponsored Data program, despite only signing up about 10 content partners. What are some of the services enabled? Liberty Mutual insurance customers, for example, can send their smartphone photos from accident claims up to the Liberty Mutual cloud, without incurring data charges from AT&T. Kingsoft gives users of its mobile office software sponsored access to file access and transfers. AT&T states that is sees great interest in Sponsored Data from a variety of developers and content owners, but that such a service based on a new business model will take time to establish itself.

Waving the Green Flag

Other operators are experimenting with the Sponsored Data business model. Customers of T-Mobile’s Music Freedom service can now stream all the music they want from the most popular streaming services without it counting against their 4G LTE data limits. Other operators offer similar sponsored Internet radio services such as Spotify and Pandora, or social media applications like Facebook. Read More »

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Is Big Data the Eyeballs of the Dot-Com Era?

Remember the halcyon days of the Dot-Com era? A frothy stock market, venture capital money flowing like water and famous sock puppets characterized the exuberance of the day. One company ( spent $188 million in just six months to create an online fashion store. And 16 start-ups spent over $2 million each for a 30 second advertising slot during Superbowl XXXIV to crow of their existence. But, all of the money didn’t matter – the mantra was all about capturing “eyeballs.”

The business theory of the day was that if you could get people to your website (the eyeballs) then somehow the money would come gushing in. You were a heretic if you questioned how that would happen. Eyeballs were a very monetizable item, so the more of them the better. Of course, we know what happened. The Dot-Com era came to a Read More »

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