And the GTB Consumer-Service Innovation Awards go to… (spoiler alert! XL Axiata, Sprint, and Amdocs)

“Men and women in the industry are making a huge difference to the world” explains Alan Burkitt-Gray, executive editor of Global Telecoms Business. “At the GTB Innovation Awards, we want to celebrate WHAT men and women across the industry are doing to make a huge difference to the world.” And last night, GTB chose to celebrate the innovation shown by leading service providers XL-Axiata and Sprint, together with Amdocs.  More >>

So, is Alexa going to be your phone now too?

Those of us of a certain age can unfortunately remember the days when your parents could listen to voice messages left for you by your boy/girlfriend on your family answering machine at home. Embarrassing. But are we now moving back to the future with Amazon’s recent announcement that Alexa users who own an Echo, or who have the app installed on their iOS or Android smartphone, can now call or message one another for free?   More >>

Amdocs wins TWO Leading Lights awards (and we’re very proud about it)

A finalist this year in a whopping four categories, Amdocs walked away with two prestigious Leading Lights Awards – Outstanding Communications Technology Vision and Best Deal Maker – at the disco-themed gala dinner last night in Austin, Texas. (Unsurprisingly, no additional awards were picked up for our dancing).  More >>

More than just a fashionable move

It’s obviously far too early to tell whether Intel’s $15.3 billion proposed acquisition of Mobileye, the maker of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), will prove a smart maneuver, but at least Intel’s accelerated move into autonomous driving has a clear route forward. Which is more than can be said for Levi’s announcement that its new connected jacket, The Commuter, powered by technology from Google’s Advanced Technology and Products group, will be on sale this fall.  More >>

YouTube TV – it’s not about the streaming service

Most of the reviews about YouTube TV, the streaming service launched earlier this month in five North-American markets — Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area – totally missed the point.  More >>

Can AI rescue you from the Ninth Circle of Hell?

Back in 2013, Janie Emaus described the nightmare she went through trying to reach her gas company through their automated answering system for the Huffington Post. She wasn’t the first to compare automated customer service systems to hell. In 2011 Time Magazine reported that the ninth circle of customer-service hell began with a phone call looped through an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system…  More >>

Read all about it! What publishing can learn from digital transformations in telecoms (and vice-versa)

Sometimes it’s useful to take a look outside the telecoms world at what’s happening in other verticals and pick up an insight (or three) about how other industries are handling similar situations, like dealing with disruption or how to develop an effective digital transformation strategy. Take publishing, for example….  More >>

Is the price of your privacy a new flashlight app?

Remember the dodo bird? No surprise there if you don’t — it disappeared a long time ago. Unfortunately, our privacy looks like it’s heading in the same direction as our now legendary feathered friend. It doesn’t seem to matter that everybody agrees how extremely important privacy is — we’re still happily giving it up in exchange for a navigation/social/search, or even a flashlight app.  More >>

Why innovation isn’t just about a really great idea

Let’s be clear: innovation isn’t a one-off Eureka moment. Archimedes had spent a lifetime as a scientist before his insight that the volume of water he displaced in his bath must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged, while Newton didn’t really discover gravity because an apple fell on his head. Instead, innovation is a process – one which takes time, focus and effort. In our industry, I would describe innovation as “the process of creation of new value in anticipation of future demand”, and this, inevitably, means change. When you look at […]  More >>

Dad, can I have a car subscription for my 16th birthday?

My youngest daughter (who is 12) is never shy when it comes to letting us know what she wants for her birthday. And I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time she hits 16, she’ll be asking – neither for a car nor driving lessons – but for a subscription to a car service.  By 2021, as car sharing and autonomous cars become common, will our kids even need to spend money on driving lessons or own a car? In recently published research, Morgan Stanley analyzes the significance of Daimler joining forces with Uber, noting that both companies are stretching their vision […]  More >>

Why mobile financial service providers can’t afford to ignore loyalty programs

Forgotten your ATM card? Don’t panic – just use your phone to withdraw cash instead. It’s all about having the choice, explains Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo’s head of A.T.M. and branch banking to the NY Times. “If you’ve lost your card or left home without your wallet, chances are you still have your smartphone in your hand.” Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America are planning to introduce cardless options to all their ATM machines by the end of the year, but steaming ahead of them is JPMorgan Chase, which has more ATMs in the United States — 18,000 — […]  More >>

Pay attention at the back-end

Although content is expected to be the main focus of next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings taking a much-anticipated Monday evening keynote spot, service providers are actually paying very close attention to their back-end systems. In the first Mobile World Live industry survey of around 1,000 key decision makers from across the mobile ecosystem, a clear majority (66 percent) believe that the emergence of network functions virtualization (NFV) and the advent of 5G technology, will require mobile operators to completely replace legacy back office BSS, OSS or IT systems. As the survey’s authors note, […]  More >>

Want to maximize the success of your digital transformation? Make the CIO your digital educator

If you’re an average Japanese farmer, chances are that you’re 66 years old and there are a lot fewer of you around than there used to be. With the number of workers in farming and forestry workers dwindling significantly in recent years, several IT players in Japan, (Fujitsu being an example), are considering storing farmers’ agricultural knowledge in the cloud so that their expertise can be passed on to the next generation, using computers as their digital educators. Whether computers can ever properly substitute for human coaching/mentoring (or robots replace a human workforce for that matter) remains an open question. […]  More >>

My daughters’ daughters won’t have to learn to drive – but will they even need to work?

Anyone seen that Mashable video at the end of last year showing how the Tesla autopilot predicted – and then avoided – a sudden crash two vehicles ahead on a Dutch highway? It’s pretty extreme footage and any driver will be left wondering how, without the help of the artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in the car, they would have known when to start breaking. So 2016 has almost ended up where Total Recall left off in 1990, when Arnold Schwarzenegger had to deal with Johnny Cab, a self-driving taxi robot (although, ironically Arnie ends up taking over the driving himself). […]  More >>
FM Radio is opening door for service providers

Digital killed the radio star

For over 80 years, people have been tuning in to FM radio for the tunes that get them through their day. But this week marks the beginning of the end of FM. The government of Norway has announced they were beginning the shutdown of broadcast FM radio throughout the country, a process which will be complete by the end of 2017. They won’t be shutting down broadcast radio, just moving it to Digital Audio Broadcasting – or DAB – which offers more channels, better audio quality and cost savings for broadcasters which can be invested in more content development. The […]  More >>

Want to earn US$1.6B after only 5 years? Just go virtualize your video-delivery network

Calling all parents, does this sound familiar? Our five-year-old is quite happy to watch her favourite shows on any device – except for on a TV. I’ve even taught her how to stream content from the iPad to the TV in an effort to persuade her about the comfort and benefits of watching on a big screen, but nothing works. (“It’s more fun to watch it like this!”) And it’s not just her…  More >>

How did you do your Christmas shopping?

Don’t tell the kids but even Santa probably uses the Internet for some help with all that shopping and deliveries. My guess is that most of you bought some, perhaps even all of your Christmas gifts online. If so, did you manage to keep all your presents a surprise from the intended recipient? Well done if you did, because as the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Stevens discovers, your browsing history or the ads that follow you around on the Internet can unfortunately sometimes give away the surprise you have in store. Buying her husband a present on the family Amazon […]  More >>