I was in Singapore two weeks ago and had the chance to meet Malcolm Rodrigues and Greg Mittman from an emerging broadband service provider called MyRepublic. MyRepublic is a new service-based operator (SBO) licensed in Singapore in 2011, purpose-built for Singapore’s national broadband network (NBN). Since the launch of the NBN service in Singapore, it has created new opportunities for SBOs to lease the network from OpenNet, the company that operates the NBN in Singapore and sell high-speed fiber broadband services to consumers and businesses in the island country. And MyRepublic is one of the most interesting companies I have seen, with an innovative business/go-to-market model that:
Has an operational model based on light assets. Leveraging the NBN network and a neutral operation company, MyRepublic is able to get access to the nationwide fiber broadband network at the same price as other established telecom operators in Singapore, including the incumbent SingTel. It only needs to put its own gateways and other limited network assets at OpenNet for service provisioning, network monitoring, billing, etc.
Carrier IQ software, which consists of embedded software on mobile devices and server-side analytics applications, enables mobile operators and device OEMs to understand in detail a wide range of performance and usage characteristics of mobile services and devices. These include both network-facing services such as core voice and data offerings, as well as non-network-facing capabilities such as music players, cameras and other side loaded media, in order to assist with product and service development and roll-out [emphasis added].
Customer Intelligence is not a spying operation. The promise of CI is not reductively commercial. Instead, proper CI practices help businesses – with their customers' consent – to understand the preferences and needs of their customers. Firms also use CI processes and technologies to determine and enforce an optimal and respectful relationship with customers.
What lessons does the Carrier IQ incident highlight?
CI pros have an ethical responsibility to customers.CI pros are customer advocates after all. They cannot truly represent customers unless they also help their employers understand appropriate boundaries for data capture. Helping customers also helps businesses, protecting firms from the risk of public outrage and litigation. CI pros: Help your employers understand when data capture goes too far.
A growing number of workers own personal smartphones that they might want to use for work. However, IT support costs and security implications for personal mobile devices connected to the corporate network are unclear.
As a result, sourcing and vendor management (SVM) professionals need tools to improve visibility into the real costs of their firm's mobile program. Moreover, this challenge will grow as most firms expand their bring-your-own mobile programs during the next three years.
SVMs also want tools that improve transparency and accountability around mobile work apps for things like enterprise software license compliance by personal device users. Smart SVMs at firms with many or a fast growing population of mobile information workers have already studied or are studying ways to mitigate mobile cost and security risks associated with allowing employees to use personal devices like smartphones and tablets for work.
Mature market telecom operators can learn from many of their fellow service providers in emerging markets. Recognizing that contexts differ – and they certainly do – there is still a sharp contrast in approaches to their markets. Ellen Daley and I just returned from India where we met with Indian telecom operators and services firms, and conducted an interactive session with telecom product and service providers – Forrester TelecomNext 2010. Both were an opportunity for us to listen and learn as well as share our observations on the industry.
With well over 500 million subscribers and a growth rate of more than 11% a quarter in 2009, the Indian mobile market is certainly attractive. But, Indian telecom operators face a tough competitive environment with some “circles” having upwards of a half dozen or more service providers (there are 23 telecom regions in India, known as “circles”), and the overall market packed with thirteen competitors. ARPUs are low and shrinking, with an average of about $2/month in March 2010. And, the price tag for 3G licenses in India added additional pain, with some vendors paying almost $3 billion in the spectrum auction. High costs and low revenues do not make for an easy road ahead.
At Cisco’s Collaboration Conference wrapping up in San Francisco today, Cisco doubled down on their bet on collaboration. Since acquiring WebEX in 2007, Cisco has not been shy in acquiring companies to rapidly fill out their Unified Communications and Collaboration Portfolio – 3 of the 4 acquisitions announced in the last month are directly beneficial to their collaboration portfolio – Starent enhances mobility, ScanSafe enhances security, and Tandberg enhances open video capabilities. Cisco has also tasked their development teams with improving and delivering new products enabling them to deliver a dizzying 61 distinct new products and product upgrades. A year after publicly proclaiming their intent to compete aggressively in the collaboration market, Cisco is leveraging their agility and speed to deliver a cacophony of capabilities to the market.
Cisco’s Collaboration Portfolio is keeping up with the Jones... and the Smiths and the Johnsons
Avaya has announced today, July 20, 2009, their desire to acquire Nortel’s Enterprise Business Unit and the shares of Nortel Government Solutions and DiamondWare, Ltd, bidding $475M for the businesses. Avaya has offered to assume $28M in debt associated with Nortel Government Solutions as part of the transaction. This kicks off a set of processes that will lead to a new owner for Nortel – and it may be Avaya or some other bidder.
Why are Nortel and Avaya interested in joining forces?
I have just returned from the Annual International Nortel Networks Users Association (INNUA) Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. At the event, I was again struck by the loyalty of the Nortel customer base. There were 1,500 some in attendance. I saw Nortel customers and partners who hailed from Boston to San Francisco and as far away as Denmark, India, and Brazil. Nortel had a group of nearly 250 partners from the Carribean and Latin America in town for training as well. Attendance was down considerably (nearly cut in half) compared to last year, but those who were in attendance were serious – considering their options and Nortel’s future. While Nortel compared their history to Pittsburgh’s – a gritty town with staying power that has reinvented itself for the new economy – customers really wanted to know about the future. Nortel preferred to focus on comparisons to the six time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers – customers wanted to compare then to the Pittsburgh Penguins wondering whether they could pull off one more win to take the Cup.