We need to own the customer experience, say operator CMOs

They say “communications is a close-knit industry” and I think that’s a pretty accurate description after taking the 08.40 FGC train from Plaça d’Espanya to the Fira Gran Via – temporary home to the massive Mobile World Congress conference. Fortunately for me, impersonating a tinned sardine for 15 minutes every day was the only less-than-pleasant moment in an otherwise excellent customer experience in Barcelona earlier this month. And customer experience was very much the main course on the menu at the CMO lunch hosted by European Communications and Amdocs at MWC, where senior marketing executives, including service provider CMOs from […]  More >>
Amdocs Corporate Editor Jeff Barak  meets the connected suitcase at Mobile World Congress

Introducing the world’s first connected suitcase: you didn’t know you needed it until now… (Live from Mobile World Congress)

Worried about losing your suitcase? Concerned your luggage is overweight? Fraught with fear your phone is about to die on you? Your worries are now over – for the small cost of $500, you can become the proud owner of the world’s first connected suitcase. Scheduled to hit the market towards the end of the year and demonstrated here at the GSMA’s Innovation City at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the suitcase has a GPS that communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can always know where it is. Of course, that wouldn’t have really helped a colleague of […]  More >>
AVG CEO Gary Kovacs: "Privacy policies should be just one page, in clear English" (Photo courtesy of AVG  Technologies)

AVG’s CEO explains how to combat a dangerous cyberworld (Live from Mobile World Congress)

He didn’t mince words. Trust is under threat in the new digital world, stated AVG Technologies CEO Gary Kovacs in today’s keynote address at Mobile World Congress. And without this trust, he continued, people will become reluctant to make the most use of the digital services available to them. And while it’s true that as the head of a major company providing computer security software, Kovacs has a vested interest in making such claims, it is a definitely a dangerous cyberworld out there…  More >>

When will wearables finally go mainstream? (Live from Mobile World Congress 2015)

Well, if Eric Migicovsky, the founder and CEO of Pebble, can’t answer that question, nobody can. Launching the new Pebble Time Steel watch at a panel on Day Two of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Migicovsky simply stated that a smartwatch was: “a watch that helps you get stuff done… without forcing you to change your habits.”  More >>

FCC head makes spirited defense of net neutrality ruling (Live from Mobile World Congress 2015)

Tom Wheeler, the US Federal Communications Commission chairman, made a spirited defense of the recent FCC ruling to reclassify fixed and mobile broadband as a telecommunications service and place it under regulation.  Speaking in the final keynote session of the day here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Wheeler claimed: “This is no more regulating the Internet than the First Amendment regulates free speech in our country.” Despite determined probing from GSMA director-general Anne Bouverot, who interviewed the FCC chairman on stage, Wheeler insisted that the decision to enforce net neutrality rules that prevent Internet providers from blocking or throttling […]  More >>
5G means your car will become your mobile office explains KT CEO Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang

Welcome to a 5G world – and get ready to stop driving. (Live from Mobile World Congress 2015)

While consumers around the developed world are getting used to the roll out of 4G networks, here at Day Two of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the real excitement centers on 5G which, as European Commissioner, Digital Economy and Society, Gunther Oettinger put it: “In a nutshell, the advanced 5G infrastructure is expected to become the nervous system of the digital society and digital economy” But what does this actually mean for consumers? As Qualcomm’s CEO Steve Mollenkopf explained: “With 5G, the Internet will follow you around. Right now, it’s in your pocket with your smartphone.” And according to Dr. […]  More >>
Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions: security is a number one priority

Mobile World Congress: What a difference 10 years makes

It’s been ten years since the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) event moved from Nice to a much larger venue in Barcelona, and a lot has changed since then. Consider that back in 2005 the iPhone hadn’t even been invented yet – that happened in 2007, followed quickly by wearables, smart watches and tablets. The way we are communicating is changing dramatically:  More >>
Waiting for the opening keynote at Mobile World Congress

Mind-blowing statistics, anyone? Five key facts from the keynotes (Live from Mobile World Congress)

Ask any one of the 85,000 attendees at Mobile World Congress, and my guess is they’ll confirm it: one thing there won’t be a shortage of this week in Barcelona will be statistics. So courtesy of Amdocs Voices (and because we don’t want our readers to miss out), here are five key facts that surfaced during today’s keynote sessions in Barcelona:  More >>
The CEO keynote discussion today at Mobile World Congress:l to r GSMA's Anne Bouverot, Telenor's Jon Fredrik Baksaas & Deutsche Telekom's Timotheus Hottges

What do customers really, really want? Just ask Vodafone’s CEO. (Live from Mobile World Congress)

Do service providers know what their subscribers really want? According to Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao, they do. Speaking at the opening session of Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona today, Colao shared some recent Vodafone market research into what people want.  More >>
No doubt who the star attraction was today at Mobile World Congress: half an hour before Mark Zuckerberg is due on stage and the auditorium is full (photo credit: Jeff Barak)

Facebook’s Zuckerberg launches charm offensive at service providers (Live from Mobile World Congress)

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched a charm offensive aimed at mobile operators today in Barcelona, but if the comments made earlier this morning by service provider chief executives at Mobile World Congress are anything to go by, it’s unlikely he’ll have won over any new friends. In his keynote session which concluded Day One of the conference, Zuckerberg started off by praising the operators for bringing connectivity to the world’s population: “Operators are leading the charge to connect everybody. They’re doing all the work, building the towers, laying down the fiber.” Zuckerberg was in Barcelona to talk about […]  More >>
hands up

Mark Zuckerberg’s marketing lesson for mobile financial services

When Mark Zuckerberg talks, it pays to pay attention. And although the Facebook chief executive wasn’t directly addressing the issue of mobile financial services in an interview with Bloomberg Business, he hit the jackpot when explaining how to increase its adoption: make the service easy to use. Outlining the principles of Internet.org, the Facebook-sponsored project to connect the world to the Internet by providing some basic services for free, Zuckerberg argued that the main barrier behind Internet adoption was not necessarily connectivity issues or price (although in some parts of the world these are huge obstacles), but rather convincing people […]  More >>

Buddhist monks and data packets? Bharti Airtel shares a customer segmentation story…

What do Buddhist monks have to do with data packets? No, we didn’t know either until Bharti Airtel’s Uddalak Chatterjee took us through the dos (and don’ts) of how to get customer segmentation right in a country which is as widely diverse as India. Presenting at last week’s CEM Telecoms conference, Chatterjee, who is Bharti’s Director General Customer Experience, shared the major challenge of how to effectively segment and present relevant offers to over 900M subscribers who speak over 200 languages between them. Chatterjee explained that it didn’t take Bharti long to realize that bombarding customers with multiple offers via […]  More >>

All eyes on Freewheel as it takes on the mobile operators

“This is big” said GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers about last week’s announcement by Cablevision about the launch of “Freewheel” – a low-cost phone service that’s based entirely on Wi-Fi connectivity. The reason this is “big” industry news is that it’s the first time that a large cable company has been viewed as a substantial competitor in the wireless space. While broadband, cable or satellite operators have already competed with fixed-line operators, most of them haven’t many inroads with mobile offerings. Some (like their fixed competitors) have tried to partner with mobile operators, or have bought wireless spectrum.  Other cable companies tried to […]  More >>

How to get consumers to buy into wearable technology. (Smart sock, anyone?)

Anyone else noticing a trend? Over the past few weeks, it seems like everyone is talking about wearables (and that includes service providers). “Brave companies are jumping in to test and deploy wearables” admired Maribel Lopez on AT&T’s Network Exchange blog. O2 added to the conversation with Alyson Edmunds noting that companies were “searching for the one killer business benefit that will bring wearables” into work. And if you don’t know anything about wearables, help is at hand thanks to Telstra and their “Wearables 101- tips”, along with their new Wearables Wednesday feature. This month’s International CES consumer electronics and consumer show has […]  More >>
Eyal felstaine presenting

The “neat and orderly” $11 Billion world of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

“NFV is the new tsunami transforming the communications industry,” Amdocs’ Dr. Eyal Felstaine told industry experts and researchers as he opened yesterday’s conference on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) at Amdocs, held in partnership with the Technion, Israel’s leading institute of technology. And with carrier spending on NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) predicted at reaching over $11 billion in 2018, “tsunami” does seem like an appropriate description. For those unfamiliar with NFV, networks rely on hardware servers (boxes) placed near customer locations, which allow those customers to receive specific services. The boxes are complicated to install, expensive to replace, and slow down […]  More >>

Why 1.7 billion people won’t be using Apple’s mobile payments service

“In the first 72 hours, we’d gone over the 1 million mark on activations of cards” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, describing the initial enthusiastic response of Apple customers to its recently launched mobile payment service. And if you’re the proud US-located owner of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, the latest iPads, (or a future owner of an Apple Watch), you too can use “Apple Pay” to make one-touch payments at retailers with near field communication (NFC) technology-enabled terminals, using credit or debit cards linked to your Apple account. So will Apple yet again manage to revolutionize the way […]  More >>

How can service providers get a fair deal out of the Internet of Things?

The other day, I came across a great blog post by Telesperience Chief Strategist Teresa Cottam in which she questioned the ability of the communications industry to “show her the money” from the emerging Internet of Things. She feels there’s no clear commercial model right now for the Internet of Things and that this, combined with a complex ecosystem of partners, make it unclear as to who, in the future, will pay whom, and for what: “Without a fair deal for communication service providers, they won’t have the money to invest in networks that can shoulder the ever-increasing data that we’re […]  More >>