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Siloed Legacy Networks 'Biggest Roadblock' For Smartphone Service Improvement

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January 28, 2011

Siloed Legacy Networks 'Biggest Roadblock' For Smartphone Service Improvement

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

A recent post on policy management solution provider, Openet’s Blog noted that by now, "we all know what consumers want, and what operators want to give them in a wireless world. Personalization, high-value services and robust content all make smartphones that much cooler -- a win for the subscriber."

The author of the post, Christopher Hoover, also mentioned that more data on subscriber preferences, service upsells and increased loyalty are "a win on the operator side."

Yeah, tell us something else we don't know, right? Those things are on any sane industry insider's wish list. Hoover allows this, and adds his diagnosis: "The industry is still identifying the roadblocks to making this a reality. Let me demystify this for you: the biggest roadblock is siloed, legacy networks."

The way Hoover explains it, which makes a lot of sense, is that voice and data "are still two separate networks in many cases, mainly due to recent mergers and acquisitions, despite all the talk of convergence. Likewise, back-end systems such as billing and charging are also siloed, preventing monetization, innovation and of course, increased ARPU. These networks can actually cause data profitability to decline while the costs of operating voice networks increase."

What to do? Hoover has a good idea: ?"Bust up these silos and integrate all networks and systems, allowing for delivery and monetization of third-party, OTT content." And no, it's not as grossly expensive as you might think. It's one of those cases where it's more costly not to do that: "Network innovation can directly correlate to supporting new types of content at never-before-seen speeds and levels of profitability."

Earlier this month TMC (News - Alert) reported that NDS, a provider of technology solutions, entered into a partnership with ARM (News - Alert), a provider of semiconductor intellectual property services, to enable OTT delivery services on connected TVs. The cooperation will enable connected TV manufacturers to implement a ready-made software solution that will provide a framework for OTT services, easily integrated with a variety of devices.

Jonathan Beavon, Director of Segment Marketing at NDS (News - Alert), said: "Infinite TV provides an end-to-end delivery mechanism for OTT services on connected devices."?

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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