Items filtered by date: May 2018

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), a leading Asian operator, is extending their Openet Policy and Charging solution to support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) as a further advancement of its successful 4G network.  

SLT is rolling out VoLTE with the objective of enabling better quality voice and more optimal use of network resources, as part of SLT’s plans to provide digital services to both consumer and business segments.

Priyantha Fernandez, CTO, SLT
This extension of Openet’s service will not only allow us to rapidly enable high quality VoLTE, but help us further on the journey to providing advanced digital services to our customers. We are very happy to build on an already successful relationship with a best-of-breed vendor like Openet.

Jason Buckalew, VP of Sales, Openet
We are proud to further support SLT’s 4G advancement by offering subscribers exciting new services such as VoLTE. These will serve to enhance customer experience while allowing SLT to optimise network capacity investments.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Comcast’s Xfinity and Fandango businesses announced a unique integration that gives movie fans the ability to find local showtimes and movie tickets right on their television. 

Starting with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Xfinity X1 customers can say “Get tickets” into their X1 voice remote while watching the movie trailer to search more than 30,000 theatrical screens in the U.S., marking the first time this capability is available on a set top box.

The companies expect to extend this feature to additional new releases throughout the year.

X1 customers who watch the latest Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer on Xfinity On Demand will receive an on-screen notification prompting them to say “Get tickets” into their voice remote (or press the info button on the remote) to initiate the online ticket-buying process. From there, they’ll be able to review a list of showtimes at nearby theaters.

Customers can also opt to send the local showtimes to their mobile phone to complete the purchase via Fandango’s mobile app or website.

Nancy Spears, VP, Strategy and Execution, Comcast Cable
Fandango is the perfect partner to help us give customers a fun, easy way to go right from watching TV at home to enjoying the newest releases in the movie theater.

Mark Young, SVP, Head of Business Development and Strategy, Fandango
We’re thrilled to team up with Xfinity to offer millions of X1 customers across the country a convenient new way to use their TV set and voice-activated remote to buy movie tickets right from their living rooms.

Google Cloud Platform(GCP) has joined AT&T NetBond and makes available G Suite through AT&T Collaborate for business customers.

Through Google’s newly launched Partner Interconnect, business customers will be able to use AT&T NetBond for Cloud to connect in a highly secure manner to Google Cloud Platform.

The new alliance also makes G Suite, Google’s cloud-based productivity suite for business including Gmail, Docs and Drive, available through AT&T Collaborate, a hosted voice and collaboration solution for businesses of all sizes.

Using Google Cloud Partner Interconnect through AT&T NetBond for Cloud allows businesses to move workloads across multiple cloud environments without ever touching the public internet.

Partner Interconnect offers organizations private connectivity to GCP and allows data centers geographically distant from a Google Cloud region or point of presence to connect at up to 10Gbps. Google has joined more than 20 leading cloud providers in the NetBond® for Cloud ecosystem, which gives access to more than 130 different cloud solutions.

Additionally, with G Suite now available alongside AT&T Collaborate, businesses will get access to a single source for chat, voice, video and desktop sharing to bring people together and help them work smarter. Businesses can also enable carrier-grade voice reliability and security from within the G Suite applications. G Suite can be used across virtually any device, regardless of work location, providing further flexibility to an increasingly more mobile employee base.

Google Cloud and AT&T’s ongoing relationship is focused on delivering innovative, collaborative solutions to businesses.

Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer, AT&T Business
We’re committed to helping businesses transform through our edge-to-edge capabilities. This collaboration with Google Cloud gives businesses access to a full suite of productivity tools and a highly secure, private network connection to the Google Cloud Platform.

Paul Frrand, President Global Customer Operations, Google Cloud
AT&T provides organizations globally with secure, smart solutions, and our work to bring Google Cloud’s portfolio of products, services and tools to every layer of its customers’ business helps serve this mission.

Telia Company has joined forces with Finnish Neste to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and to improve business efficiency.

The first result from the co-operation is the Neste SmartTruck service for heavy-duty vehicles which allow companies to use a single interface to access numerous applications, including fuel consumption optimization, tachograph data transfer automation, and mobile refueling for professional drivers.

The Neste SmartTruck service has been designed as a platform for new features and applications. It is the first common step between Telia Company and Neste towards new types of services.

Lorries, buses and coaches produce around a quarter of CO2-emissions from road transport in the EU and around six percent of the EU’s total CO2-emissions. To curb the emissions the EU Commission has proposed to set the first ever CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the EU.

The Neste SmartTruck service for heavy-duty vehicles allows companies to use a single interface to access numerous applications, including fuel consumption optimization, tachograph data transfer automation, and mobile refueling for professional drivers.

The service also includes GPS positioning, which helps with fleet management, planning, and the driving itself. 

Kalle Mehtola, Head of IoT Sales, Telia Finland
With new technologies and business models, we can jointly develop responsible solutions for many industries. The challenges with transportation are so great that strategic and deep-rooted co-operation between the various parties is needed to resolve them. 

Mika Hyotylainen, VP of Marketing, Business Area Marketing & Services, Neste
Our business customers have been waiting for new solutions that both reduce emissions and improve business efficiency. Through the collaboration with Telia, we can offer an even broader range of services to our customers.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Three UK CFO, Richard Woodward will be taking on enhanced Chief Commercial Officer role, following the departure of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Grant Stevenson.

Grant Stevenson, CCO has decided to return to Australia for family reasons following 18 months in the role.  Today, the commercial activity in the business is split between Grant and Richard Woodward with Grant having responsibility for the Three branded products and Richard overseeing the Wholesale and non-Three branded products including Smarty, the digital-only value offering. 

The commercial activities of the business will now be combined into a single unit under Richard, who will be responsible for delivery of all of Three’s margin and channel activities. 

Darren Purkis, Deputy CFO is promoted to replace Richard's previous role,  joining the Senior Management Team and taking on all formal CFO duties. 

Darren has worked at Three UK for 9 years, having been Finance Director at Warehouse Fashions and having held finance roles for Borders Books, Kingfisher plc and Marks & Spencer Group.

Qualcomm on Tuesday launched Snapdragon XR1 Platform, a new chip designed for standalone Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) devices.

The XR1 platform also has special optimizations for AR experiences with AI capabilities offering better interactivity, power consumption and thermal efficiency.

OEMs such as Meta, VIVE, Vuzix and Picoare already developing on the 'world's first dedicated XR1 platform', said Qualcomm.

XR1 integrates Qualcomm Technologies’ heterogeneous compute architecture, including the ARM-based multicore Central Processing Unit (CPU), vector processor, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and Qualcomm AI Engine. Other key features include an advanced XR software service layer, machine learning, the Snapdragon XR Software Development Kit (SDK) and Qualcomm Technologies connectivity and security technologies.

The XR1 platform also provides an AI engine for on-device processing. This engine provides customers the ability to process AI-use cases and run high performing, power efficient machine learning based computer vision algorithms that can help with key AR use cases like better pose prediction, object classification, etc.

Visual Technology

The XR1 platform will enable consumers to be immersed in their favorite movies, programs and sports by supporting Ultra high-definition 4K video resolution at up to 60 frames per second for high-quality VR HMDs. New dedicated hardware and software algorithms within its Qualcomm Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP) can help significantly reduce unwanted noise from snapshots producing a substantially improved final picture in high-quality AR headsets.

The integrated display processor provides a range of display options with hardware accelerated composition, dual-display support, 3D overlays and support for leading graphics APIs, including OpenGL, OpenCL and Vulkan. The platform also features advanced vision processing capabilities fundamental for technologies like Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO), which lets users move around in the virtual world or interact with augmented objects in an AR experience.

Audio

The XR1 platform uses Qualcomm Technologies 3D Audio Suite, Qualcomm Aqstic Audio Technologies, and Qualcomm aptX Audio for high-fidelity audio experiences and “always-on, always-listening” voice assistance as well as Bluetooth playback. XR1’s head-related transfer functions (HRTF) enable users’ ears to synthesize binaural sound that feels like it comes from a specific point in space.

Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM, Mobile Business Unit, Qualcomm Technologies
As technology evolves and consumer demand grows, we envision XR devices playing a wider variety of roles in consumers’ and workers’ daily lives. By integrating powerful visuals, high-fidelity audio, and rich interactive experiences, XR1 will help create a new era of high-quality, mainstream XR devices for consumers.

Published in Technology & Solutions

The Strategy Analytics’ Service Provider Group new report, “US Wireless Outlook: T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Accelerates 5G with 17% Uplift” predicts that 5G adoption will speed up in the US with an approved merger of the number three and four wireless operators.

Along with Dish Network and the cable companies getting into wireless—Comcast gained over half a million subscribers on its MVNO Xfinity Mobile in the first year, and Charter Communications and Altice USA are working on wireless launches—the competitive wireless landscape in the US is heating up as 5G deployments are on the horizon.

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director at Strategy Analytics, explains, “Will the Un-carrier become a carrier? We doubt it. The new T-Mobile even as a strong number two player more on par with Verizon and AT&T will remain disruptive and go after growth with its market-leading 5G smartphone positioning using low and mid-band spectrum. With the merger, the new company would be better positioned for a convergence play, growth in automotive and other high mobility/broad coverage 5G use cases, with new strength in wholesale and enterprise and positioning for Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) with 5G network slicing.”

Phil Kendall, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, adds “The faster 5G deployment and adoption will be the main merger benefit for US consumers, though everything comes at a cost. Operators in three-player markets enjoy EBITDA margins 3-4 percentage points higher than those in four-player markets so a merger on this scale may weaken price competition and increase operator profits.”

Ken Hyers, Director, Emerging Device Technologies comments, “We expect early 5G smartphones in 2019 and 2020 to be very expensive, approaching US$1000, due to their high technical complexity and normal early mover premiums. T-Mobile and Sprint may need to subsidize the first wave of 5G smartphones if they want to bring down retail prices to realistic levels that early mass-adopters are willing to pay.”

Key findings of the report include:

 - The T-Mobile/Sprint merger will drive 17% uplift of 5G subscribers, with marginal improvement in revenue outlook;

 - While a combined T-Mobile/Sprint would have a stronger national play and spectrum advantage, both Verizon and AT&T are more than capable of responding and managing market share losses;

 - The upside of faster 5G driven by the merger could be offset to some extent by a less competitive pricing landscape and potential for operators taking more profit out of market;

 - By 2023, Strategy Analytics forecasts that the merged T-Mobile/Sprint operations will have outperformed the individual operations by almost 1 percentage point market share of gross additions, 0.5 p.p. subscription market share, and 0.4 p.p. revenue market share.

Strategy Analytics anticipates that the subscription market share gains of T-Mobile/Sprint will be felt relatively evenly between Verizon and AT&T. However, Verizon's greater reliance on the postpaid market for its revenue, the market where the accelerated 5G development will be mainly felt in this forecast timeframe, will result in it being marginally more impacted by the merger in revenue terms.

More than half of internet users surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan and Germany watched video content out of their homes at least once a month, according to consumer surveys conducted in the first quarter of 2018 by business information provider IHS Markit.

Of those viewers, one out of six did so on a daily basis. Internet users between the ages of 17 and 24 over-indexed in out-of-home video in these countries - 80 percent viewed content outside their homes at least once a month, and nearly 25 percent of those who did, did so on a daily basis.

According to the latest report from IHS Markit, Brazil had the highest incidence of out-of-home video viewing among the countries surveyed, with two-thirds of respondents viewing content at least once a week. Men were, on average, nearly twice as likely to watch video content out of the home on a daily basis than women, with the highest difference in the UK, where they were three times as likely.

As portable devices become an increasingly popular way to access videos, the ability to view content outside the home is also a key factor in the video services consumers choose. In fact, more than half of respondents claimed the ability to watch videos on their mobile devices was somewhat or very important, rising to three-quarters, among younger consumers — those aged 17 to 34. More than two thirds of 17- to 34-year-olds in homes with pay TV subscriptions used their multiscreen services on a smartphone or tablet at least once a month, compared to just half of those between the ages of 35 and 54.

Online video services are the go-to platforms for content

Netflix had the strongest crossover with pay TV across markets surveyed in Q1 2018. “In Brazil, Netflix overlap with pay TV is the highest, with three quarters of Claro TV and Sky Brazil customers taking Netflix alongside their pay TV subscription. Amazon overlap remains low in a market where Amazon Instant Video is only available on a standalone basis, with minimal localization of content and where local players Claro Video and Globo Play see higher uptake,” said Daniel Sutton, analyst for TV media at IHS Markit.

“Pay TV operators are responding to the growth in online video by expanding distribution of their multiscreen services across devices and bringing third-party apps onto their own set-top boxes.” said Fateha Begum, associate director for connected devices and media consumption at IHS Markit. “In the UK, Virgin Media customers are twice as likely to have a Netflix subscription than Sky TV customers, highlighting the benefits of content discovery integration”.

YouTube, Netflix and Amazon were the most popular video platforms in the five countries surveyed, when looking for something to watch, beating pay TV and broadcaster video-on-demand (VoD) services in most markets in the first quarter of 2018. However, the popularity of these platforms varied according to geography. For example, YouTube was the most popular service in Japan, with 84 percent reporting it as their first choice when looking for something to watch, while Sky TV in the UK was the only pay TV operator to maintain the top position in any country surveyed, with 30 percent of UK respondents claiming it is their first choice.

“The extensive reach of online video platforms, covering customers from across the various pay TV platforms and devices, threatens pay TV service viewership and value perceptions,” Begum said. “Bringing online video services to set-top boxes allows pay TV operators to maintain and control their customer relationships and experiences, while presenting their platforms as the best way to find and view the widest variety of content.

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