Life goes Mobile!
By Mika Vehvilainen, VP, Nokia Networks
Convergence of the worlds
The world of mobile telecoms was enjoying growth and a predictable path of evolution through much of the 1990s. Today, however, the game and the rules have changed not only in the number and type of market players but also in terms of redefining the objectives and measures of success. As communications, entertainment and media industries converge, the winners are those companies that are predicting and comprehending the extent and impact of these changes, and are guiding their respective organisations to master the new mobile paradigm that has emerged.
The multimedia paradigm is becoming a reality
Mobile data evolution and new revenue generating services are now becoming a reality as the growth of picture messaging, mobile gaming, music and secure mobile enterprise access starts to explode. These industries are converging around an expanding mobile ecosystem that is being driven by newly developed business models. Nokia is supporting this convergence in a number of spheres including the facilitation of cooperation with the music industry, developing new mobile gaming terminals & solutions and working at the enterprise level to communicate the benefits and advantages that are coming from total voice and data mobility.
Voice continues to go mobile
With diminishing price differentials between the cost of calls made on fixed and mobile networks, the end-user preference will naturally be that voice goes mobile. This will dramatically increase the total volume of voice traffic as users migrate their calling patterns to the mobile networks. Mobile solutions to support business voice applications in a large scale are being deployed, and early experience is demonstrating a 25% reduction in enterprise voice communication expenses, and increased revenue opportunities for operators.
Introducing the next 1 Billion mobile subscribers to the world
The mobile telecommunications industry is already serving a global market of over 1.2 billion active voice and data users, almost 1 billion of which are using GSM technology. As the developed markets have mostly reached penetration rates in excess of 80%, much of the high growth in new subscribers will come from the developing markets in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. These high growth markets require a different value proposition to accommodate an economic business model with a lower ARPU generated mostly from voice and simple messaging.
A combination of optimised mobile network solutions, delivering market leading capacity over a highly proficient radio access network, will mean lower operator costs both in network build and operational management. In addition, new GSM terminals that are designed specifically to address the needs of these new market segments will bring the total cost of ownership to affordable levels to an increasing part of world’s population, whilst opening up new markets and segments for operators.
Openness is critical for the mobile industry
The success of GSM has been based on openness and a strong standardisation process. This has ensured fair and reasonable access to the industry for all companies, which in turn creates a highly competitive market and continual inward investment. Companies in all countries and continents have benefited from this openness approach creating an industry worth hundreds of billions of Euros that continues to grow. This can be seen from the fact that there is less than a handful of countries that have not deployed or committed to deploy GSM or WCDMA.
There is a continued focus on developing openness at the service middleware layer in the network. The Open Mobile Alliance, (OMA) is working steadfastly in this direction. The recent agreement for the same open architecture for next generation core networks known as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) in both 3GPP and 3GPP2 standardisation bodies will further increase the service availability across different access technologies.
Openness is also extending to other areas of the network, for example, the Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI). This initiative will speed-up innovation of design while reducing the investments needed by the supporting companies to keep pace with the industry drive to reduce the actual cost of delivering voice and data services. One of the clear advantages of an open system approach is the ability of a group of companies to collaborate and bring products and services to market faster and most importantly at a lower overall cost to the end customer.
The Telecom operators have a key role to play
Operators across the world are focusing on key strategic objectives for their customers. As the customer needs for advanced multimedia services increase, the networks and service delivery platforms are being upgraded to support intelligent content delivery systems with advanced service deployment and management, enabling a wide range of services to be managed with various tariffing models based on their relative perceived value.
The new architecture of this business machinery is a critical technology decision for operators and service providers. The business models of the fixed internet are not applicable in the mobile multimedia world, and the leading technology solutions in this area are based on deep understanding of consumers and mobility. At Nokia we call this business machinery in operators networks “Intelligent Edge”, and are supporting leading operators worldwide in their transition towards multimedia service provision.
Capturing the Market
The mobile market is now developing from growing subscribers, offering voice and messaging services and simple pricing packages, to a more complex service environment. In this new market the winners will be those who understand the consumer needs, the dynamics of the emerging ecosystems and their value proposition, and the technology needed to realise the new services.
Our vision is that life goes mobile, and our intent of “connecting people” lives stronger than ever!