Mobile operators ready to invest in IT; turnaround time still a concern?


In the wake of the
emergence of new applications being deployed by telecom operators and a
demanding customer-base, IT will be considered as a lifeline for telecom service
providers’ growth.


Wireless major Sprint
has partnered with solutions providers to deliver the Sprint Biz App
Marketplace. Available at Sprint Biz App Marketplace, the self-service portal
gives customers the ability to browse and purchase a variety of applications
targeted specifically to address businesses’ mobile application needs.


On an average, mobile
operators spent around 7-8 percent of their Capex on IT. The IT spent used to
be around 5 percent of total Capex 12-18 months ago. Investment in IT is
growing. We are investing in new applications to meet customer needs and
competition,” said Shafiq Anujm, vice president – IT, Videocon


The data traffic is
70-90 percent of the total for HSPA and HSPA+ networks. The data traffic per
user is doubling every 18 months.


Telecom operators are
under pressure to manage data Tsunami. They are struggling to find growth in
their core business. 3G mobile net additions are increasing at rapid pace where
as fixed broadband net additions are decreasing by 20 percent. People are
migrating to app store on a rapid pace.


Moreover, the
projection of lower profitability with newer services leaves operators in acute
dilemma as there should be prudent cost management.


We are keen to
invest in IT infrastructure to improve customer satisfaction. But turnaround is
a big challenge. In many occasions, we are forced to go through several
processes to execute projects on priority basis. IT infrastructure vendors need
to solve this issue,” Anjum added.


It is time for
telecom operators to look at revenue growth and profitability growth and IT can
play a big role in transformation. The flexible and potential implementation of
IT module can play a vital role in expanding the current role of telecos.


The success of IT in
telecom will be hinging on flexible, dynamic and content aware billing and
charging options and tighter integration of the above to business analytics and
combining with commercially sound go to market strategies,” said Nitin Bhat,
partner at Frost & Sullivan.


IT can play a lead
role in improving OSS for network reliability and end to end service quality,
convergence in IT architecture for on platform and off platform VAS, agility to
bring new services to market at the same time scaling the traditional areas,
service assurance in a cross industry business model,” Bhat added.


Enterprises are
moving to the cloud, according to Yankee Group’s 2011 US FastView: Cloud
Computing Survey.


With mobility as an impetus, 38 percent of enterprises
project the deployment of over half of their software applications on a cloud
platform within three years compared to just 11 percent today.


At the same time,
service providers
are reporting increasing enterprise and ISV activity in establishing mobile
initiatives for a variety of horizontal- and industry-specific B2B, B2E, and
B2C applications, according to IDC.


Though it sounds
that implementation of new IT services is important, the point of flexible IT
architecture cannot be left ignored as to serve telecom industry, IT might have
to step back and make the architecture flexible in accordance to telecom sector
needs,” said Anil Pochiraju, managing director, India & Saarc region, F5


IT will revolutionize
the telecom sector. Telecom in emerging countries can boom further by spending
more on IT.


By Rashi Varshney
[email protected]