R Systems 2015 predictions: Network virtualization, Volte and VoWiFi

In 2015 carriers will be more proactive in taking actions against over the top (OTT) revenue leakage, by offering refined new services that appeal to more sophisticated consumer demands. Also, we see 2015 as the VoLTE momentum, a year in which we will see diverse market consolidation initiatives.

Shy but first concrete movements towards virtualization
Everybody speaks about network virtualization but until we see some real deployments at least several years will pass with a lot of buzz around terminology. But I think we will at least start seeing some innocent trials. However, the movement towards virtualization begins as operators begin to future-proof their networks and as they move towards more agile charging systems.

Mobile operators will continue to court and purchase Fixed-Line providers
Unlike for most telecoms operators, OTTs are not restricted by borders, being able to penetrate markets regardless of region – and the operators, who are restricted in this area, need to work harder to secure revenues. As BT is set to acquire EE, 2015 will see mobile operators continue to court fixed-line providers – and vice versa – to expand their bundles, increase customer loyalty and secure new revenue streams.

Big data analytics used for better customer experience
As operators look to introduce sophisticated plans, bundles and services for both consumers and enterprises – Big Data analytics will be a key area of revenue development.

Rise in innovative services
For years operators have sat on their traditional cash-cows like SMS and voice to bring in revenues. But as new services and OTT providers start taking larger and larger chunks out of the market, operators will react by introducing new services, value-added bundles and tariffs to monetize areas that OTT providers cannot penetrate. As a result, existing infrastructure and PCRF systems will face the challenge of adapting to these new services. Flexibility will be key.

VoLTE and VoWiFi
In 2014 we continued to see deployments of VoLTE by mobile operators like T-Mobile US and 2015 we’ll bring new deployments also in Europe. Furthermore, Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) will be deployments, 2015 becoming the year when Wi-Fi Offloading becomes a must-have tool in mobile operators’ capabilities. As demands of high-quality Internet data exponentially increases, some of the operators will use Wi-Fi offload as a way to ensure they can deliver the most reliable data.

“The next year is going to see a lot of change in the telecoms market, and in some respects it will be the year that determines their future success” said Raluca Rusu, CEO at R Systems. “The key theme for 2015 will be flexibility therefore operators will have to opt for open technologies that enable them to deploy new services that can work across several networks and countries extremely fast and easy. Rolling out LTE will help operators become more cost effective, especially with OPEX. Network virtualization and resource-sharing will better secure cost efficiency for carriers. Of course, the threat from OTTs will never subside – but they also present opportunities. Ultimately, next year, operators will learn to cooperate more rather than compete and build closer strategic alliances.”

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