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Big Carrier Debate calls for more collaboration

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More collaboration across the wholesale industry will play a key role in international carriers creating innovative new solutions to meet the growing demand for data.

That was the viewpoint expressed by a number of industry leaders who took part in Capacity’s Big Carrier Debate (the Sequel) at this year’s Capacity Europe, held in London.

The panel, which featured high level speakers from Telefonica, Orange International Carriers, PCCW Global, Verizon, and Deutsche Telekom International Carrier, which relaunched earlier this week, as exclusively revealed by Capacity.

As a follow-up to last year’s successful Big Carrier Debate, this panel looked at innovation within the carrier industry, with moderator Erik Kneiferdt, of TeleGeography, asking each speaker how their companies are leading in innovation.

Eric Cevis, of Verizon, pointed to the US telco’s leadership in 5G communications – the fifth generation of mobile technology. According to Cevis, collaboration across the industry will be key to the success of 5G.

He said: “We look forward for 5G which goes beyond an evolution into revolution in terms of how we work with other carriers to bring about this technology. It will need more partnerships and more collaboration.”

5G was also a key consideration for Orange International Carriers, according to Pierre Louis de Guillebon, who also sat on the panel. He said that, to tackle both 5G and the internet of things, Orange is “pushing fibre into all of our networks to support our end users.”

Marc Halbfinger, CEO at PCCW Global, pointed to his company’s acquisition of Console Connect, announced at the end of last year. The acquisition of the platform gave it more of an ability to “deliver on-demand services” for its customer base.

He explained: “Transformation at PCCW Global has been centred around our acquisition of Console Connect, and the ability to deliver on-demand services. The more we as service providers automat eboth the backend and frontend for interoperability, the more we can offer on-demand services. We believe that automation on demand and communities, through innovation channels evolving worldwide, will help drive innovation in the carrier community.”

For interoperability across several carriers to work, there needs to be “standards based architecture. LSO means we can scale more quickly across the countries represented here, and these discussions need to be had in the MEF forums and the TM Forum’s as well.”

Halbfinger also pointed to the work of the Global Leaders’ Forum, for which he is also chair, in driving collaboration across the international carrier community. He explained: “If we take the legacy bilateral constructs then we may forget about carriers alone. It may require a completely new commercial framework to replace bilateral roaming, and it may require carriers to sit down and work out the backend together, getting rid of that traditional model.

“Historically carriers have a willingness to inter operate and create traffic with one another, outside of an ecosystem centric to themselves. Arguably our openness slows us down, but if we can find the road map to deal with that oxymoron, we may be in good shape.”

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