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Research predicts partnering explosion as carriers look to third parties

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IP telephony firm, Jajah has published a report, which found that traditional carriers are struggling to successfully drive new and innovative services to their customer bases and, concerned about the threat from Internet based competition, are more receptive to partnering to get access to the innovative services they need to remain competitive. The global shift from wireline to wireless is the fuel behind the drive for new services that will help retain revenue.

The research confirmed that carriers are no longer searching for a ‘silver bullet' solution, explained Jajah CEO Trevor Healey. "Instead they are looking to invest in services that leverage the power of their network and can evolve over time, enabling them to have a consistent engine of IP-based innovation to draw from for different customer segments. With our open IP Platform and managed services, Jajah is delivering services today that help carriers drive ARPU from their customer base and give them a foundation for continued innovation."

Is choice the killer app?

Changing consumer behavior has a clear impact on carrier strategy. By adopting a ‘suite' approach to IP service delivery, carriers allows customers to personalize their own services and ensuring customer loyalty by providing ‘must have' applications on an existing network. Consumer loyalty is now more closely aligned to devices, applications and online communities than to networks and service providers. The launch of the iPhone demonstrates this, driving over 500million application downloads of the 15,000 applications available on the app store and counting. Carriers are seeking to emulate this success.

The Telecommunications Industry Issue Index is compiled through a series of interviews with C-Level executives at US and European telecoms providers and gives insight into the strategies, opportunities and challenges for major international carriers in FY09. In addition to new findings around innovation partnerships, a focus on services and a preference for partnering with IP platform providers, the research also highlights the continuing decline of landline revenue and concern about cloud-based services. In contrast there is a positive attitude towards embracing IP technologies and clearer strategies from carriers on how they plan to address this challenge.

Key findings from Jajah's 2009 Telecommunications Industry Index include:

  • New, agile competitors threaten telcos: Carriers are increasingly concerned about the threat from competitors outside the telecoms sector. Companies like Google and Skype can offer IP-based services that are quick to market and don't have the costly overheads of conventional telecom companies."
  • Innovation loves a downturn: Many carriers recognize they need to drive innovation but have not been successful in developing new services to date and are now having R&D budgets cut. Carriers need to find a route to innovation that also allows them get new and profitable services into the market quickly
  • The customer remains King: As landline revenue decreases carriers are focused on customer retention and developing the right mix of new services to create differentiation and keep competitors at bay
  • Opportunity and threat: When compared with the last Industry Review, carriers feel that they have a clear IP strategy in place but there are still concerns about the extent to which services will become cloud-based and so what infrastructure they will need to get services to market
  • No quick fix: Carriers are no longer looking for a killer app to solve their problems. IP strategies now focus on developing a number of solutions that leverage existing networks and can provide ongoing service creation for customers depending on demand
  • The death of the landline: There is a global decrease in landline revenue and carriers need to invest in wireless to retain customers and offset tradition wireline business models

"The research shows a clear shift from wireline to wireless and the growing adoption of mobile broadband services", said Jon Arnold of J Arnold & Associates, the analyst consultancy engaged by Jajah for the research. "Subscriber behaviors are changing, value propositions are shifting and new business models are emerging. Service providers are quick to acknowledge they cannot do it all themselves, and Jajah is well positioned to help them address these challenges in 2009."

The full report (8 pages, pdf file) is available for download on the Jajah website.

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Tags: google  iphone  eu  arpu  skype  itu  edge  driving  mobile broadband  landline  app store  jajah