25 May 2018

Expanding borders through managed service hubs

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The emergence of new communications platforms like SMS and VoIP have enabled constant, global connectivity. However, the rise of these platforms is also impacting revenues for the traditional voice market as traditional voice revenues are not being offset by the increase in IP Voice. In fact, IDC predicts that spending on fixed voice services will experience a six percent decline in 2018 and will represent less than 10 percent of the total telecom market by 2021.

In order to change this economic model, many companies in the telecom wholesale space have turned to third party management models. Roaming clearing houses and hubs have managed the inter-operator roaming process for many years, while co-location and hosting facilities have been managing infrastructure.  Applying managed service models to inter-operator telecoms wholesale systems and processes creates opportunities to improve cost performance and drive business growth.

Another way to grow your voice business and keep costs down is through applying the principles of network function virtualisation (NFV). This approach makes it possible to build a profitable voice business through measures of efficiency, rather than top line revenue generation. Instead of focussing on building margin through incremental revenues, it allows instead for a focus on the cost element associated with investing in next generation network, services and systems.

A 'Network-as-a-Service’ (NaaS) approach enables migration to IP service delivery without the need for heavy capital expenditure and without the need to tie service delivery to long term investment cycles. While this creates a dependency on the NaaS provider, the dual sourcing approach can ensure redundancy and business continuity, as well as the opportunity to work with service providers with complementary physical network assets, for better regional coverage as needed.   

Putting It All Together

Tata Communications offers a managed service model that employs a combination of applications in the cloud, network virtualisation and service virtualisation. Our world class IP network provides predictable performance and service-level agreement (SLA), and we also offer a routing engine and fraud protection mechanism. Our model provides several opportunities for telecom providers to grow their businesses:

•  Productivity and efficiency

This type of model aims to minimise capital expenditure and reduce cost. This creates a more flexible usage based approach to service consumption and eliminates capital investment. The model delivers quick access to Network-as-a-Service and Virtual PoP solutions, supporting growth of next-generation IP networking. 

•  Borderless growth with control

With an interest in expanding global routes, a virtual service approach delivers borderless growth options based on regional targets. New services, applications and tools can be brought on stream as needed to support a company’s business objectives. The dynamic nature of the model protects legacy investment while being able to access new services with a predictable cost outcome. 

•  Performance

Communication services can be matched with the appropriate types of complementary tools and features. For example, voice services can be matched with fraud protection as well as routing optimisation. Reporting and analytics can be harnessed to add an extra dimension to network efficiency. With 3rd party KPIs being applied to monitor performance, a more predictable approach to performance also becomes possible. When connecting routes, you are also ensured that QoS and QoE are optimised and delivered on an end-to-end basis

Pursuing the managed services approach also opens doors to knowledge and expertise in areas such as managed voice termination services, customer and supplier aggregation, optimal routing or fraud protection. This ensures that a leaner wholesale service operation can be run, with a focus on trading efficiency, while other services are provided to supplement the core trading function. Such an approach can of course be extended to accessing applications in the cloud. Under this model a wholesale team can be retained in-house, while the back-office systems required to manage the wholesale business are maintained and supported by a 3rd party. This can extend to applications including voice trading tools and cost analysis applications. The idea extends to a range of OSS/BSS functions such as provisioning, mediation, billing or bi-lateral management. 
The growth and continued adoption of IP communications across the mobile and telecom ecosystem provides global connectivity for businesses, but also a challenge for telecom providers. A third party managed service provider is the key to continuing to expand borders and revenue in this ever changing space.
 

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