[ t r ansf or m] [ di gi t al ] [ busi ness]
the risk of
£Show me
the money –
profit from
new services
– finding the
missing link
How communications are making bright ideas reality
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 3
TM Forum Yearbook, 2012/13
Publications Managing Editor
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Published by:
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© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by
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[ transform ] [ digital ] [ business ]
Anita Karvé is a writer and editor at TM Forum, responsible for the
Inside newsletters. She has more than 15 years’ experience in high-
tech journalism, including roles as Managing Editor of Billing World &
OSS Today and Technology Editor at Network magazine.
George Malim is a freelance technology journalist. He has covered
the communications market since 1999 and contributes to Global
Telecoms Business, VanillaPlus and Wireless magazines.
Dr. Phil Marshall is the Chief Research Officer of Tolaga, where he
leads its software development and research. Before founding Tolaga,
he was an executive at Yankee Group for nine years. Marshall has 20
years’ experience in the communications industry.
Rod Newing has contributed regularly to the Financial Times for
16 years on technology, communications, business and health. He
also contributes to supplements in The Times, Daily Telegraph,
Washington Post and a range of professional and trade magazines.
Vaughan O’Grady is a freelance writer and editor specializing
in communications and the oil and gas industry, as well as
general business and technology themes specific to Africa and
the Middle East. He is a former editor of GSM World Focus and
Communications Africa.
Tammy Parker has covered the communications industry since
1986. She previously was a principal analyst and editor with Informa
Telecoms & Media and earlier held top editorial positions at RCR
Wireless News and Wireless Week.
Tony Poulos is a regular speaker and chairman at conferences
worldwide. He was Contributing Analyst for IDC, and writes and
videos interviews for Telecom Asia. He headed TM Forum’s Revenue
Management Initiative until 2010 and is now Market Strategist. In
June 2011, Poulos was named by Billing and OSS World as one of the
25 most influential people in communications software.
Robert J. (Rob) Rich is Managing Director of TM Forum’s Insights
Research. He has more than 19 years’ experience in market research
and consulting, including 11 years as Executive VP at Yankee Group.
Before that he spent 17 years in the computing and networking industry.
Jim Warner heads the Westport Group, a strategic innovation
consultancy, and is a past President of TM Forum. Today he serves
as an executive advisor, providing cutting-edge thinking on how
to capitalize on emerging markets and technological opportunities
especially in smart grid, M2M communications and eHealth.
John Williamson edits the yearbook Jane’s Military
Communications, and is co-editor of the Mobiledotcomms electronic
magazine. He is a regular contributor to the Inkslinger.news website.
Previously he worked for Telephony, Telecommunications and
Microwave Journal.

Monica Zlotogorski is vice-chair of TM Forum’s Latin American
Advisory Board. She edits the Forum’s Inside Latin America
newsletter and writes for our Inside Leadership newsletter. She has
over 15 years’ international business experience and speaks five
languages. She works for Openet.
Printed by:
Stephens and George
4 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Thoughts from the top
9 Next steps in the connected digital world
Keith Willetts, Chairman, TM Forum
We are on the verge of the next big evolutionary
spurt, as 6 billion of us move towards having
web-connected devices.
13 In ‘interesting times’, don’t plan – prepare
Martin Creaner, President and CEO, TM Forum
Standards are crucial in the never-ending process
of transformation to remove cost and risk, and
foster creativity.
16 Simplification and standardization will support the
next wave of innovation
Erik Hoving, Chief Strategy, Innovation &
Technology Officer, KPN Group
The connected world is expanding massively as the Internet
evolves from its fixed roots to mobile and location.
18 Challenging, but exciting times lie ahead
Liu Aili, Executive Vice President & Board Member,
China Mobile Communications
How to evolve your business while dealing with 5 million
new subscribers every month and fierce competition.
Familiar themes, new twists
22 Global perspectives: The era of flat innovation in
communications and why you can’t ignore it
By Monica Zlotogorski
Being able to design and develop new, innovative services
is putting developing economies on an equal footing with
developed economies – there is no room for old thinking.
30 Show me the money
By Vaughan O’Grady
Will M2M, mHealth, international money transfer and
smart grid connectivity eventually explode in the market?
Or will the development of more efficient approaches to
market-readiness have a more lasting effect on mobile
operators’ bottom lines?
36 Making communications leaner and fitter for the long haul
By Rod Newing
Managed services can transform service providers’
businesses, but only if they are managed properly –
success isn’t about the lowest possible price.
42 The era of Big Data brings big opportunities
By Rod Newing
As we move into an era of unprecedented amounts of
data, we look at how policy-based management can
liberate innovative new services from what threatens to
be unmanageably large amounts of data.
48 Is the cable boom over or just beginning?
By Vaughan O’Grady
In the post-downturn era, the sale of Swedish multi-
service operator Com Hem to a private equity group raised
some interesting questions about whether – and if so
how – cable companies have bucked the economic trend.
52 New frauds join old as operators embrace
enterprise risk management
By George Malim
Fraud is a fact of life for service providers. The situation
will only get more demanding as new services
proliferate, providing more opportunities for the dishonest
in areas such as machine-to-machine to near field
communications, and as more content-based services
travel across networks.
56 Cyber attacks propel security concerns up the
corporate agenda
By John Williamson
All too often, cyber security is not given priority until
something happens. How are national governments
and government agencies looking to tackle threats
and what steps can be taken in the boardroom to
improve security?
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 5
59 Let the Games begin, but will technology’s benefits
end quickly?
By George Malim
The London 2012 Olympic Games is seeing massive
technological investment in a deprived area of one of the
world’s greatest cities. We assess the potential techno-
logical and social legacy of the Games.
64 Activation and automation are key to successful
fiber deployments
By Anita Karvé
Broadband is not ubiquitous. However, the emerging
Gigabit Passive Optical Network standard will help reduce
the cost and amount of infrastructure required for mass
market deployment.
New horizons
68 The new Oklahoma Land Race
By Keith Willetts
We will see phenomenal change and impact as the digital
economy rolls out to everyone and almost everything on
the planet. This next few years will be a time of fabulous,
almost limitless, opportunity.
72 Getting mobile money
By Annie Turner
Ten things you need to know to understand the value
chains involved in mobile money services and what’s
going on, with whom, where.
75 How smart is the grid business model?
By Vaughan O’Grady
The communications industry is ready for smart grids: tried
and tested approaches to fixed and wireless infrastructure
and delivery, along with established, standards-led billing
and rating systems, could be a direct fit for the brave new
world of intelligent power generation and distribution.
Utilities may have other ideas.
78 M2M: the age of the machine
By Jim Warner
Machine-to-machine is an exciting, diverse and fast
growing market opportunity. In many ways it isn’t a single
market, in the traditional sense, but rather a collection of
numerous niches – each with its own set of requirements.
85 Mobile broadband demand drives real-time
charging and billing
By Phil Marshall, PhD
The communications industry has been talking about
the imminent need for real-time billing and charging for
a long time. Here we re-examine the business case, and
how the continuing expansion of mobile broadband will
create the need for them, hand-in-hand with policy-based
management of new services and more data.
92 Getting from cloud nein to cloud nine
By John Williamson
Cloud security has big implications for government agencies
and commercial organizations alike. Many governments
describe it as the biggest single risk they face. We take a
look at the threats and some possible solutions to them.

6 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
96 Cloud service brokers aid enterprise customers
By Tammy Parker
Cloud has shifted from concept to mainstream, but the
rush to transform business is creating unwieldy service
environments. This is particularly true for enterprises,
many of whose IT departments are ill-equipped to
manage multiple cloud service providers. This has led to
the creation of a new business entity, the cloud service
98 Monetizing mobile broadband
By Phil Marshall, PhD
The drivers for improved network economics are
relatively well understood, but strategies for monetizing
mobile broadband services are proving a challenge. This
is particularly the case as mobile broadband collides with
Internet-oriented business models.
104 Is self-service the answer to better customer experience?
By Annie Turner
Data analytics is going to become an increasingly precise
science as it becomes ever more important to hold onto
customers and make more profits from them, while self-
service will simply be expected as the base line – how
well it is executed is likely to become a big differentiator.
106 Getting real about data analytics
By Rob Rich and Annie Turner
Analytics are a very hot topic in many industry sectors.
Perhaps the biggest question regarding their role
in communications is how to realize their full value,
particularly in the area of making better informed
decisions quickly? There is considerable evidence
we’ve a long way to go.
108 Spectrum squeeze spurs management innovation
By John Williamson
Spectrum is a physically limited resource, with ever
increasing demands placed on it. This is a huge issue for
defense and mobile service providers – defense seems to
be painfully aware of the situation, the mobile operators to
a lesser extent, but now they too are beginning to grapple
with this issue.
112 Resource management is critical to viable new services
By Tammy Parker
Getting infrastructure resource management right is a
necessity for operators striving to launch new services
economically and efficiently. Problems are amplified with
the ongoing convergence of networks and services and
the need for automation.
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
116 TM Forum: Building our connected world
Last year was a record year in so many ways, thanks to
the commitment and effort of our membership, which
for the first time exceeded 800, equating to some 60,000
individuals from 195 countries. The TM Forum Frameworx
suite of standards was, as always, at the center of many
of our activities.
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www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 9
edition of our yearbook,
Perspectives 2012. It takes
as its theme our industry’s
progress to a fully connected
digital world. Here you’ll find
everything from pragmatic
views on issues we are
already grappling with to
forward-looking articles about
things that are on, or just
over, the horizon.
The transition to a digital
world seems to have been
unfolding for a long time, but
like all evolutions, it happens
in fits and starts.
Back in 1995, luminaries
such as Nicholas Negroponte,
then at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
media lab, published his
highly influential book Being
Digital; Bill Gates’ best-seller
The Road Ahead appeared –
and perhaps most tellingly,
Clayton M. Christiansen
published an article called
Disruptive Technologies:
Catching the Wave.
In the time since, we’ve
seen a number of over-heated
bubbles of hype like the dot-
com boom, the 3G spectrum
bubble (rapidly followed by
bust), and of course massive
macro-economic challenges.
But underneath the surface,
all of the key enablers of
the digital world have been
coming together to create a
position for rapid lift-off.
Since the mid-1990s we’ve
seen communications grow
from around half a billion
phones (mainly in privileged
developed countries) to
reach a significant majority of
the world’s 7 billion people.
Africa has gone from a
communications backwater
to become the second largest
mobile market on the planet.
And now we are seeing
the next big evolutionary
spurt: as those billions of
mobiles are rapidly evolving
from just offering voice and
messaging to being fully
web connected and the
platform for a global digital
tsunami of applications,
social networking, instant
information, entertainment
and education.
While it might be difficult
to remember life before
instant messaging, Google,
Facebook, Amazon and
Twitter, imagine the
transformation of your world
if you once only had access
to a few books in a distant
library and now the sum total
of all human knowledge is at
your fingertips!
Whatever I can do from
the village where I live in
the U.K., a villager in India
or the Sudan or Indonesia
can do too – that’s a truly
liberating use of technology,
one of which we should feel
immensely proud and one
that will accelerate profound
economic rebalancing and
shifts of political power.
Next steps in the
connected digital world
“The transition to a digital world seems to
have been unfolding for a long time, but like
all evolutions, it happens in fits and starts.”
Thoughts from the top
10 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
That transformation will
happen a lot faster than many
people think. As Joseph
Licklider, one of the true
godfathers of the Internet
said: “People tend to over-
estimate what can be done
in a year but underestimate
what can be achieved in a
decade,” and now that all
of the key enablers are in
place, the connected digital
world will explode. But
many industries, including
somewhat perversely
the communications and
computing industries,
are fundamental to this
transformation, yet are often
not ready to deal with its
implications. They are not
alone, the same is true of
organizations in just about
every industry you can think
of. Certainly the public sector
and governments are only
just waking up.
So far the digital world
has only swept over a
relatively small number of
industry sectors but still
with devastating effect: the
‘digital foothills’ have been
the music, publishing and
entertainment businesses,
which have been changed
beyond recognition with
online music stores and the
mushrooming of devices
like smartphones, tablets
and eReaders. Record stores
and DVDs are already an
endangered species and
before long, books maybe too.
With the vital enabling
ingredients in place – low-
cost, reliable communications
almost globally; cloud-based
storage, computing and
applications; the next big leap
will be the 'Internet of things’
– the ability to connect
billions of devices that have
little processing power,
from cars to homes, energy
utilities to healthcare.
The digital world will
impact every business
sector on the planet with
new business models and
markets, but also bring major
threats to those who fail to
seize the opportunities of the
digital economy. Others will
seize them instead.
For each of us, the social
impacts will continue to
echo: we’ve already seen
that the power of the digital
world, through the web,
cameras in mobile phones
There are many ‘moving
parts’ to the connected
digital world and it’s not
surprising it’s scary, since
human beings have never
done it before or faced such
a massive transformation of
the way people, businesses
and governments the world
over work, play and interact.
Everything we know from
major points of inflexion in
the past, albeit on a much
smaller scale, are that
incumbents get hurt in the
process unless they are very
smart and move fast: of the
ten largest companies in the
world 100 years ago, only
two survive today.
One of the largest today is,
of course, Apple, which was
on its knees just over a decade
ago – such is the volatility of
the digital world, but there
are limitless opportunities in
numerous niches and sectors
that could be exploited if you
are bold, brave and innovative
enough to try.
Making the most of
opportunities and dodging
the bullets are themes I
explore in my article on
page 68 as well as in my
forthcoming book. I hope
you find them both thought-
provoking and helpful.
Keith Willetts
TM Forum
“There are limitless
opportunities in
numerous niches
and sectors that
could be exploited
if you are bold, brave
and innovative
enough to try.”
and the likes of Twitter can
remove dictators and change
the lives of countless millions
of people. Why stop there?
Why do you need people to
represent you in government
when we have the means to
allow everyone to express
their views instantly? Why
waste precious time and
resources moving millions
of people in and out of cities
each day when much of what
they do could be done from
home electronically, saving
millions of hours’ travelling,
pollution and stress?
Nor is this just about digital
information: we are not far
away from the day when
machines will be able to
remotely construct all sorts of
items, using designs produced
hundreds or thousands of
miles away. For example,
the demonstrations of 3D
printing at the 2012 Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas
in January were impressive –
certainly the technology is in
its infancy, but clearly it has
massive potential.
The communications
industry, the linchpin of this
whole transformation, finds
itself in a paradox: since
communications lie at the
heart of the digital world
and none of these things are
possible without it, it has the
most to gain. Yet because
the established world of
communications is being
changed too, many seem to
be afraid of the future and
are unclear how to position
themselves in the new world.
Thoughts from the top
Thoughts from the top
Thoughts from the top
Huawei Smartcare.pdf 1 30/01/2012 12:28
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 13
from every direction. It is also
well understood that every
communications company is
grappling with transformation,
not only of their network,
systems and processes,
but also of their product
portfolios and business
models. And transformation
is an ongoing process.
Our industry is changing
so fast that every 12 or 18
months we need to adapt or
die. A transformation program
defined in 2006 couldn’t
foresee the revolution
caused by the iPhone. A
plan from 2008 couldn’t
foresee the next market
explosion created by the
iPad, the rapid maturation
of cloud, or the ongoing,
economic challenges. Hence
transformation is a never-
ending process because
things never stand still.
We also know that network
operators are in danger of
being ‘relegated’ to providing
‘dumb pipes’, delivering
someone else’s services to
someone else’s customers.
But for some of the larger
carriers, being one of a small
number of global, commodity
transport providers could be
an attractive proposition. Scale
is the key and this is not an
option for smaller players who
need to reinvent their business
models and make themselves
sufficiently valuable to earn
a place in emerging value
chains, accepting that the
over-the-top (OTT) model is
not going away.
In addition, networks’
security and the management
of customers’ data are
massive challenges, while
the issues of fraud, revenue
leakage and enterprise risk
management are rapidly rising
up service providers’ agendas.
The main focus of TM
Forum is to help members
address these problems and
execute solutions. While
the challenges are many
and various, they can be
categorized into three core
Firstly, where is new
revenue going to come from
to replace the shrinking
income from phone calls,
texts and flat-rate prices for
broadband? Certainly as a first
step, every service provider
is seeking to make the most
of what they have through
innovative marketing, product
bundling and pricing options
to increase the average
revenue per user.
Many service providers
are more adventurous and
are also looking at location-
based and advanced content
delivery services to generate
In ‘interesting times’,
don’t plan – prepare
you live in interesting times”
is always said to be both
a blessing and a curse: A
blessing in that you feel more
alive when great change and
drama is underway; a curse
as the word ‘interesting’
can readily be replaced by
‘painful’ or ‘dangerous’. As
we sit here at the beginning
of 2012, we are witnessing
the accelerated evolution
of communications, one of
the industries that has most
defined our modern world.
Technological innovations
have had a massive impact
over the past two decades on
the size and ubiquity of the
industry, but the accelerated
evolution that we are now
witnessing is being driven
by the need to reinvent the
In particular, over the past
six or eight years, service
providers have moved from
being obsessed with how to
regain the dominant position
of the previous 100 years,
to the realization that the old
industry is dead and buried,
and a new beast is being
born before our very eyes.
There are things we all
think we know about the
future; it’s no secret that
regulation and competition are
squeezing service providers
Thoughts from the top
14 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Thoughts from the top Thoughts from the top
complementary streams of
revenue. And a brave few are
exploring more leading-edge
topics such as the application
and service opportunities
around smart grid, eHealth
and mobile payments.
Whatever the revenue
replacement strategy, the
killer question is, who will get
the revenue from these new
services? What strategies can
be deployed to ensure that
all the revenue doesn’t go to
OTT players?
As I mentioned earlier,
OTT is not going to go away,
so service providers need
a strategy to bring value
to the other players in the
value chain that they will
be willing to pay for. This
means developing a new
competency as a business
to business (B2B) player to
complement the existing
business to consumer (B2C)
know-how. In many instances
it will mean giving up
‘ownership’ of the customer
in return for a thinner slice
of revenue, but from a much
bigger pie.
The second core challenge
surrounds improving
customers’ experience.
Although the subject is often
at the top of the list in a
company’s annual report, it
receives more publicity than
investment. Yet in a time of
dramatic change and massive
competition, customer
experience is a critical factor
in maintaining and expanding
market share. The good news
is that innovative customer
experience practices are found
right across our industry.
TM Forum has carried out a
lot of research into enhancing
customer experience and
found that companies are
really making progress, and
often in an holistic, rather than
piecemeal, fashion.
have at least 50 percent of
their brains (in some cases 99
percent) focused on cutting
operational costs and the risk
associated with IT.
This of course is the
heartland of the TM Forum.
Our Frameworx suite
of standards is all about
is certainly here to stay.
And let’s be crystal clear
– standardization does
not limit differentiation.
There will always be an
almost infinite number of
ways different players can
stand out from the crowd
through functionality, service
and delivery excellence.
Standardization simply
removes an unnecessary and
unwanted layer of cost and
complexity that all players
have to bear.
Someone said to me last
year that ’planning’ is a form of
insanity that we all participate
in, as it is based on the
assumption that we can predict
the future. We may not be able
to plan with any certainty, we
can certainly ‘prepare’.
I don’t claim to be able
to predict the future better
than anyone else, but I can
say with confidence that any
service provider who prepares
itself by tackling the above
three core issues is likely to
be one of the winners in our
connected world.
Enjoy yourself on this
journey and relish these
interesting times. Challenges
are to be embraced, and
the rewards will be great
for those who prepare
themselves well and execute
with excellence.
Martin J. Creaner
President & CEO
TM Forum
“Our Frameworx suite of standards is all
about increasing the flexibility and agility
of the service provider's management
Service providers must
view customer experience
as being ‘every touch-point
between the provider and the
customer’ and address every
single one. It’s not just about
excellent customer support,
but excellent billing and
branding. It’s about excellent
product design, marketing
and product bundling. Each
of them can have an equal
impact on your customer’s
perception of you, and on
their perceived experience.
One only has to look at brand
leaders like Apple to see how
an holistic approach generates
loyalty and pays dividends
over decades.
The third core challenge
is increasing efficiency and
reducing operational costs
and risk. Despite how much
we all talk about replacement
revenue streams and better
customer experience, every
service provider’s CIO will
increasing the flexibility
and agility of the service
provider's management
We recently ran a survey
of some 90 service providers
on their use of Frameworx,
and we found that more
than four out of five are
using Frameworx inside
their organizations, and more
than three out of five are
mandating Frameworx in their
procurement activities.
This means that Frameworx
has now reached the tipping
point, becoming the mainstay
for service providers in their
drive to increase operational
flexibility while reducing cost
and IT risk. Of course, there
is still a long way to go and
the Forum needs to evolve
Frameworx constantly to
remain relevant to an ever
changing industry. But at this
stage it seems clear that the
Frameworx suite of standards
Thoughts from the top
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Today, most operators use Service
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profitable and stable customer relation-
ships -- at an individual level. Today’s
SQM is quite effective for assessing
aggregated customer data. But it is not
able to maximize customer satisfaction
for individual users. The new approach
is like practising medicine by looking at
the health of individual cells. The benefit
to operators is obvious. The benefit
to users is that the network works as
expected, every time.
How does a user-centric
approach work?
To an operator, aggregated network
service levels may seem okay. But while
overall network reliability is fine, an
end-user may have dropped calls due to
a device problem, a service area issue,
etc. “For me, it’s just not working. My
web browsing on my iPad at my home
works, but email on my Droid does not.”
Pinpointing problems will rapidly improve
network performance and of course solve
customer satisfaction issues, in most
cases before they happen. Previously,
operators used traditional, subjective end-
user satisfaction measures.
Today’s user-centric approaches enable
operators to use additional objective
indicators to assess satisfaction by
correlating the true association between
end-user context QoE modeling, PSPU
service quality management and multi-
technology, multi-vendor network
performance optimization to deliver (a)
precise Customer Experience Indicator
(CEI) calculation (b) Aggregated Per
Service Per User-oriented Quality
Management and (c) Targeted Business
Value Analysis, which shall ensure
superior customer experience.
Bits and pieces of data are useful only
if they create value for the customer or
shareholders. Providing PSPU data to
a data miner not only produces quick
network fixes, but more importantly, it
can provide information for proactive
and predictive measures. Additionally,
the data can be used to produce a CEI
score. This is a patented measure of
customer satisfaction using an algorithm
of PSPU data and survey results.
What are the key considerations for
selecting a user-centric solution?
A user-centric solution requires a signifi-
cant investment of operator time
and money. Choosing the right partner
is of paramount importance. A great
partner can:

Provide a total product portfolio
that covers the entire requirement
for multi-vendor, multi-technology
networks. To manage complex multi-
layered services there is a need to
adapt to growing and changing network
requirements for managing Next
Generation Networks in combination
with legacy systems. In many cases
to determine the root cause there may
be a need to correlate the aggregated
indications from multiple sources, i.e.
applications, devices, to view the total
interactive process flow for a particular
The collection and interpretation of
these indicators require the understand-
ing of all components in today’s multi
vendor/technology environment.
A highly trained and experienced field
support group that is not only capable
of performing the required testing but
also skilled in accurately interpreting
the results and recommending the
optimum solution. The entire exercise of
gathering data and conducting surveys
is worthless unless the results can
be properly evaluated, correlated, and
analyzed to produce meaningful results.
These results must be accurate and
reliable since they form the cornerstone
for the entire exercise and there is
no room for error. Once the results
have been analyzed and the service
impacting issues have been identified
an action plan can be implemented. The
success of any project relies heavily on
the partner having a highly trained and
knowledgeable field support group.
Willingness to commit to a true
partnership as this process can only
be successful with a collaborated effort
with mutually beneficial goals and
results. A user-centric solution is a long-
term detailed process requiring a joint
commitment from both parties to ensure
success. The partner must be capable
of demonstrating a strong, long-term,
corporate and financial commitment.
As a result, the user-centric approach
is uniquely positioned to link the KPI
monitoring with Per Service Per User
KQI assessment to enable User Centric
Context Modeling and result in the
collaboration for business excellence.
Truly managing customer
experience has begun
Trevor Cheung, Director of HUAWEI SmartCare service solutions marketing
16 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Simplification and
standardization will support
the next wave of innovation
where we are going, it’s
helpful to look where we’ve
been. In particular I believe
that there are four milestones
within the last 30 years that
have shaped our industry and
brought us to where we are
today. As you will see, I think
we have reached a point
where we will see another
great wave of innovation.
The first big change to our
industry happened in the
1980s when we began the
move from analog to digital.
The second came in the
early 1990s with the launch
of mobile communications.
Around the turn of the
century, we started to
implement fixed broadband
over the PSTN and in 2008
mobile and broadband
combined, and changed the
landscape completely.
All four are major
technological shifts, which
in any other industry would
have played out differently,
with lots of new people and
very different businesses
emerging: by comparison,
look how the sequencing
of the human genome has
transformed the global
pharmaceutical industry. Yet
Thoughts from the top
the communications industry
has not, in my opinion,
adjusted sufficiently to that
progression from analog to
digital some 30 years later
In many ways, the industry
has accommodated that shift
into its established ways of
working, rather that changed
and the financial sector
has emerged looking very
different indeed.
The second turning point,
the arrival of mass market
mobile, has been a much
bigger market than anyone
could ever have dreamed of
when GSM was launched
“Mass market mobile has been a much
bigger market than anyone could ever have
dreamed of when GSM was launched.”
fundamentally in response
to it.
In fairness, though, many
other sectors have only been
altered radically by digitization
since the beginning of the
new millennium too.
Arguably the first to feel
the full effects was the music
business, changed beyond
recognition by the arrival of
the iPod and iTunes in 2001.
It has been followed by a
collapse of the newspaper
industry’s business model
as classified advertising
disappeared, while the TV
and film sectors are in the
throes of trying to adapt to
their new circumstances,
back in 1992, but the
communications industry,
which until then had always
been about the fixed world,
managed the transition well
from a technology point of
Mobile is about more
than technology, though, it
requires a different mindset
and marketing, and some
would argue that mobile too
has been dealt with like an
extension of the original,
fixed world rather than a
whole new business and
technology, with unique
Certainly that is the case
with the arrival of fixed
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 17
Thoughts from the top
broadband around the
turn of the century: the
communications industry
embraced it and we took our
customers along with us –
we remained in control of our
destiny, despite the bursting
of the dot-com bubble.
Then in January 2007, a
man in California launched a
phone with a big battery and
touchscreen – the iPhone –
and everything changed.
Innovation was no longer
made available to customers
by technicians, suddenly it
was delivered right into their
hands in the shape of apps
and app stores. Customers
engaged with it immediately
and they make their own
choices about what they
want, what they don’t and
what they want to change, at
any time, without any notice.
Likewise social networks
have changed the
communications world
too: before, everything
went through a value chain
provided by big IT and
communications firms, and
their suppliers.
Now its goes through
platforms built by the likes of
Android, Apple and Microsoft
who are directly supporting
the apps developers and
their customers. Where
to next? We don’t know,
but what I can say is that
sometime around 1994, I
predicted that there would
be 2 million mobile users in
the Netherlands by 2000. In
fact, there were 4 million. At
the time the prediction was
made, people thought it a
huge, unobtainable number
because back then we had
around 150,000 people with
carphones, not mobiles like
we know them today.
So the equivalent now is
thinking, “How are we going
to cope when we’ve got 400
million apps on the Android
platform? What’s it going
to mean to the connected
world?” Well we’ve been
here before, in a way too. In
the 1990s, we were worried
about how we were ever
going to navigate the web
when it started to grow
exponentially, then Google
and search showed up.
We are at the point
where to deal with this
next explosion of usage the
communications industry
needs to simplify and
standardize our processes
to that we can enable the
“To deal with this
next explosion
of usage the
industry needs
to simplify and
standardize our
coming wave of innovation.
We’re in the process of
doing just that, right now,
as we move into an era of
local search and apps. The
connected world is about
to expand massively, as
the Internet increasingly
moves away from its fixed
access roots and becomes
predominantly a medium
based on mobile and location.
Erik Hoving
Chief Strategy, Innovation
& Technology Officer,
KPN Group
18 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Challenging, but
exciting times lie ahead
Please can you describe the
current state of the Chinese
communications market?
How has it changed in recent
years and what important
changes are taking place?
In the last 10 years, China’s
communications market has
experienced great changes
– revolution is not too strong
a word. From the macro
perspective, we are witness-
ing the most far-reaching in-
dustrial progress ever, driven
by both government and the
whole ecosystem, resulting
in services like triple play
(three networks converge),
the ‘Internet of Things’, cloud
computing and the mobile
China’s macro economy
is growing and expanding at
high speed, as the industry
that underpins so much of
this – communications – is
also booming. China Mobile
has almost 700 million cus-
tomers, with 5 million new
ones added each month. We
need powerful systems to
support this rate of growth
and new business models
are emerging daily.
Although we have so many
opportunities, there are huge
challenges too. The data
tsunami is universal across all
industrial and public sectors
in China, while customers
are demanding faster, easier,
cheaper and simpler to use
services. This combination
of factors had led to network
operators having to change
their business and operation-
al models and strategy.
In particular, this is very
challenging for our OSSs and
BSSs, which have to support
and enable these changes,
and there are always new
problems to address. The
size of the Chinese commu-
nications market is so huge
that new services will only
succeed if it is a win-win situ-
ation for everyone, through
the active participation and
contribution of all parts of the
entire ecosystem.
What are the biggest chal-
lenges that China Mobile will
face over the next five years?
We are facing two main chal-
lenges now and in the near
The first is to establish
‘smart pipes’ to address
challenges on the Internet’s
terms. Within a telecoms
operator’s organization, the
functional and application lay-
ers of the network were (and
to some extent are) closely
related, for example, with the
operator providing voice ser-
vices through the telephone
Now we need to do things
the Internet way, which
means the functional and
application layers are much
more independent and part of
a single transport system.
Now as first step, the op-
erator needs to make full use
of its network and channel
resources to provide excel-
lent carrier services, which
will mean they can offer
smart pipes to the ecosys-
tem’s service enablers.
Only by doing this can the
operator support itself and all
the third parties needed to
provide the various services
and applications the public
The second challenge is
how to improve the custom-
ers’ experience, from end-to-
end. So far there aren’t any
fully-fledged, scientific metrics
for customer experience, nor
any mature industry solutions.
What we have instead is a
big gap between the data we
hold and the real experiences
of customers. This, in turn,
is having a profound effect
on the way we use and
distribute our resources, and
ongoing strategy, and on the
development of services.

What are the biggest issues
China Mobile has and is ad-
dressing directly relating to
China Mobile now has a total
of 31 provincial subsidiar-
ies as well as a Hong Kong
branch, a Pakistani operation
and International subsidiaries.
“The size of
the Chinese
market is so huge
that new services
will only succeed if it
is a win-win situation
for everyone.”
Thoughts from the top
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 19
In the past each company
built its own systems, so
they could meet the de-
mands of local markets, for
example through customiza-
tion and personalization.
Now both the market and
customers’ expectation are
changing greatly, and in re-
sponse to these shifts, China
Mobile is opting for central-
ized management.
Against this background,
our BSS/OSS, customer rela-
tionship management, billing
systems, fault manage-
ment systems and resource
management are all being
upgraded in a modular, stan-
dardized and centralized way.
To achieve this, we have a lot
of work to do.
What is China Mobile looking
for from major suppliers?
China Mobile operates large
numbers of most types of
devices, and we are a major
customer of most of the
world’s biggest equipment
suppliers, at the same time
as providing service to the
biggest customer base and
running the largest network
on the planet.
We are facing fierce
competition and challenges
not only from the operators
in China, but from new rivals
from the Internet, content
providers and those who of-
fer enterprise solutions.
As our most important part-
ners, suppliers play an essen-
tial role in our development.
We are looking to them to
provide solutions that will
enable us to deliver on our
goals fast, support an agile
system structure and low-
cost infrastructure design,
and offer us good quality of
service experience.
How is China Mobile us-
ing TM Forum to address
its challenges now and to
prepare itself for the future
TM Forum brings together
global telecom operators to
engage deeply and exchange
information about key, com-
mon problems so that they
can jointly develop solutions
and best practices for this
whole industry.
TM Forum provides a valu-
able place to exchange ideas
and cooperate with the other
operators around the world.
We are engaging in two
main activities with the
Forum. The first is to learn
from the advanced thinking
of other operators, explor-
ing their successes and
problems. This has given
us a deep understanding
of how we can apply TM
Forum’s standards and best
practices to our particular
circumstances and situation,
which in turn has given us
“We are facing fierce
competition and
challenges not only
from the operators
in China, but from
new rivals from the
Internet, content
providers and those
who offer enterprise
costs, but help our suppliers
to be in a win-win situation
with ourselves and other
customers too.
What does the future hold
for the Chinese telecoms
market – as it matures, will
it become more or less like
other markets?
From my perspective,
China’s telecoms market will
still maintain a fast pace of
growth in the next five to 10
years, but meanwhile, more
and more new challenges will
also emerge.
China’s operators will face
harder and deeper challenges
from Internet companies and
content providers, which
need us to provide them
with much faster, more agile
and convenient services at a
lower cost and price. In this
sense, the Chinese market
has much in common with
many others.
Nevertheless, because of
our political regime, cultural
traditions and customers’ hab-
its, we will also see unique
characteristics continuing in
China’s market in terms of
regulatory policy, the types of
services on offer and custom-
ers’ expectations in China.
Liu Aili
Executive Vice President
& Board Member,
China Mobile Communications
Thoughts from the top
real impetus to complete the
work related to them.
The second activity involves
the promotion of standardiza-
tion: in the past we deployed
lots of customized solutions
to solve many problems, but
this has increased the cost of
procurement, operation and
maintenance. Through TM
Forum we would like to
promote the standardization
work arising from our own
experience and solutions.
By doing this, we could
not only decrease our own
22 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
communications services
is that many of them are
already being commoditized,
and significant technology/
network investments alone,
such as LTE, are not going
to deliver the expected
goods. This is not a pleasant
place for service providers to
be. Have they truly learned
their lesson or will LTE be
déjà vu?
The price of long-term evo-
lution (LTE) services will drop
by 60 percent over the next
five years, according to Tariff
Consultancy. The research
company predicts that LTE
mobile broadband pricing will
decline as more service pro-
viders adopt this technology.
In fact, Tariff Consultancy
suggests that there is already
evidence of price erosion
from some LTE broadband
Service providers
in developed markets are
at the brink of another big
missed opportunity as they
continue to see the network
as their biggest investment
and most important asset,
in a world where technology
acquisition, for the sake of
technology acquisition, re-
mains their main goal. Most
business strategies have one
core thing embedded in their
DNA: network and technolo-
gy-centricity. The realization
that this has to change has
never been so urgent. But
where should they look for
inspiration for some ground-
breaking and outside-the-net-
work thinking? The answer
is emerging markets. Yes,
developed economies should
look into what some emerg-
ing economies are enabling,
which brings me to the
Global perspectives:
The era of flat innovation
in communications and
why you can’t ignore it
By Monica Zlotogorski
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 23
Familiar themes, new twists
concept of ‘flat world innova-
tion’ in communications.
The flat world innovation
Emerging markets have
become a powerful force in
the global communications
industry. In 1995, only 15
percent of the world's mobile
subscribers were in emerg-
ing markets, but by the end
of last year, 79 percent of the
world's subscribers were in
such markets.

As we move deeper
into this decade, emerging
markets will increase their
importance as engines of
growth for the global market,
and growth is, in effect, the
fuel for innovation.
The concept of reverse
or frugal innovation, which
refers to innovations initially
developed and/or implement-
ed in the developing world
that later become prominent
in mature economies, is a
phenomenon that has been
evident since the beginning of
last decade. In my view, it’s
now a well-established global
trend that has the power to
shape the future of our indus-
try in a fundamental manner.
But I go a step further. I
believe we are initiating the
beginning of a new era where
a trickle-up effect is possible
and becoming more and
more accepted. However,
this phenomenon is not just
about simply selling a cheaper
version of an existing innova-
tion developed in a mature
economy. The new wave of
flat world innovation is what
I call personalized innovation.
Service providers will no lon-
ger focus on state-of-the-art
technology as a goal in itself,
because they simply can’t
afford it any longer (that is,
the limiting view that network
and technology-centricity has
brought to their businesses),
as is proven by the earlier
example of falling LTE prices.
The service providers’ ob-
jective will be to understand
customers first and foremost.
Only then can they bring the
necessary technology, pro-
cesses and people on board
to determine and design the
best possible monetization
models, products, content
and experiences to offer to
their customers. Personalized
innovation is neither a trickle-
down or trickle-up effect, but
a ‘flat world’ phenomenon,
that is, ‘flat-world innovation’.
Anyone who understands
where there’s a need can
win the race. As the Internet
continues to expand, even
communication services can
technically be purchased
from anyone, anywhere.
No 'right way' to evolve
As infrastructure becomes
more physically independent,
anyone in any part of the world
can potentially reach more
customers in more places
and deliver more personalized
products and services.
think of cloud as key infrastruc-
ture. The cloud is breaking the
barriers of geographic depen-
dence in business.
So let’s end a myth once
and for all. The presumption
that there’s a ‘right’ or ‘typi-
cal’ way for communications
markets to evolve, which
tends to be based on an
American or European vision
of how things should be, is
approaching its limits. This
has been tied to a ‘telecoms
as a utility’ view that ignores
both the human elements of
the industry and customers'
In the past, many large
group operators believed that
they could create a homog-
enous service and single set
of infrastructure for all their
customers. However, they’ve
since realized that while there
are some universal principles
of a good communications ex-
perience, many characteristics
are shaped by local conditions
and expectations.
This has meant that most
are now adopting and/or look-
ing to adopt a ‘glocalization’
strategy, which preserves the
uniqueness of local systems
and the business value they
There’s a great opportu-
nity to analyze and leverage
innovation across world re-
gions, but to do that service
providers need to be able to
make good business deci-
sions about what is uniquely
local and what would work in
other markets in which they
Most importantly, in
developing markets, commu-
nications is not just about en-
tertainment (videos, games
and social media), but about
economic and social develop-
ment. For instance, take the
example of Africa, where
mobile technology could
add $138 billion to farmers’
income by 2020, according
to a report by Vodafone and
In other words,
communications innovation
has a new meaning. This
theme is explored in the TM
Forum’s Regional Insights
“In developing
markets, telecoms
is not just about
entertainment, but
about economic
and social
24 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
Research report Africa
Insights: Sustainable margins
through innovation, see page
27 for more information.
The new world order
“In the last 15 years the tele-
com industry in Latin America
has gone through two types
of transformations – privatiza-
tion and market liberalization
on one hand, and technologi-
cal progress on the other,”
says Carlos Alberto Lerma
Vázquez, Manager, New
Products Development and
Services Operations, Small
Businesses and Consumer
Unit, with Mexican operator
Alestra. “Both are equally
important and far-reaching
developments in the region,
which have helped to achieve
penetration and growth levels
comparable to developed
“We now need to include
a new ingredient: innovation.
Today, the ability to design
and develop new, innovative
services puts us on equal
footing with developed coun-
tries. For example, in Mexico,
we became third in the world
in the domain of mobile ap-
plications, just below England
and India.
“The important thing for
Mexico and the region is
to have the competitive
capacity that will generate
innovation locally, and now
more than ever it can surge
in the region and then move
to North America or Eu-
rope. This would have been
unthinkable 15 years ago.
However, we must not forget
that the world is increasingly
flat, where creativity and
innovation can be generated
from either side,” concludes
Lerma Vázquez.
One of the most talked
about examples has been
mobile financial services.
The relevant fact about this
example is that it began in an
emerging market and moved
to other emerging markets,
with no trickle-down effect,
and remains an area where
developed economies are
still playing catch-up.
“In this area there were
many developments in de-
in Paraguay, but this move-
ment has just begun. Innova-
tion emerged in South Asia,
crossed the Indian Ocean to
Africa and then across the
Atlantic to South America,”
says Barlaro. Originality in
mobile financial services is
just one of many examples of
‘flat-world innovation’.
The m-Anything opportunity
The emerging mHealth
market is another great
example of how emerging
billion in 2010. These figures
come from McKinsey &
Company and suggest that
mHealth opportunities in
2010 could be worth $20 bil-
lion in the U.S. alone.
To test consumer demand
for mHealth services, McKin-
sey conducted a global market
research survey of 3,000
consumers in six countries
(500 each in Brazil, the U.S.,
Germany, South Africa, India
and China). The findings indi-
cate that a large proportion of
the four billion people using
mobile phones in those coun-
tries struggle to gain access
to good quality and affordable
healthcare, both in emerging
and more developed societies.
According to the research,
almost 70 percent of respon-
dents were extremely or very
interested in at least one
mHealth product, with Indian
and South African consum-
ers having the highest levels
of interest (40 to 60 percent
across all products).
HealthWatch services
might include a SIM embed-
ded biosensor watch that
monitors vital signs, and is
connected to the emergency
services. PhoneDoctor, which
was estimated to be a $10 bil-
lion global market opportunity,
allows customers to speak
with a qualified physician for
remote diagnosis and advice.
However, U.S. consum-
ers expressed high levels of
interest in PhoneDoctor (60
percent) and HealthWatch
(35 percent) services.
Willingness to pay for such
services was also surpris-
ingly high for several products
across geographies, with In-
dian customers willing to pay
“The emerging mHealth market is another
great example of how emerging markets
can drive innovation to the benefit of all.”
veloped countries following
'additive' models, such as
where the phone was added
as an additional channel. In
the Philippines, however,
they generated models that
were truly ‘transformational,’
focused on low-banked
sectors, based on m-wallet:
SmartMoney and GCash
were born between 2003
and 2004 to buy airtime, pay
bills, receive and send money
remittances and so on,” says
Ariel Barlaro, Analyst and VP
Latin America, Dataxis.
“This new model was
quickly adopted in Africa,
in particular to send and
receive money. M-PESA was
launched in Kenya in 2007.
South Asia, Africa and Latin
America are regions of low
level banking penetration.
"So this trend in Africa
migrated to Latin America,
where they began with Oi
Paggo in Brazil and Tigo Cash
markets can drive innova-
tion to the benefit of all. In
and other developing
markets, the mHealth agenda
is about preventative medi-
cine, patient care, treatment
support and even health data
collection, and ultimately
about providing cost-effective
healthcare to remote areas.
Some of the methods
and technologies developed
can be re-used in Western
nations struggling to lower
healthcare costs, providing
cost-effective support to a
booming elderly population.
Likewise, although the poor
may have these services sup-
plied on a charitable basis,
the emerging middle classes
in developing regions have
both the wish and means to
pay for them.
Opportunities in the global
mobile healthcare market
were estimated to be worth
between $50 billion and $60
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 25
Familiar themes, new twists
10 times airtime rates, and
U.S. consumers 20 times air-
time rates to be able to speak
to a doctor via PhoneDoctor.
Brazilian and Chinese
consumers, meanwhile, were
willing to pay the equivalent of
a new mobile phone subscrip-
tion for HealthWatch. These
two sectors – PhoneDoctor
and HealthWatch – were
found to hold the greatest
opportunities, with almost 50
percent of the market oppor-
tunity likely to be captured by
connected biosensor devices,
representing almost $30 billion
incremental revenue opportu-
nity globally.
Cloudy weather
We are also seeing some
interesting examples coming
from emerging markets re-
lated to cloud. For instance,
a sensor has been put into a
product called Wonderbag,
developed in South Africa,
that finishes cooking food
started on a stove without
applied heat. The mobile
sensor captures details on
the amount of energy and
carbon dioxide emissions
saved; the transmitted mo-
bile data is then stored in
the cloud and used for car-
bon trading.
The potential of the cloud
is huge and the Wonderbag,
or the deal struck between
MTS and NEC in Belarus
launching a business apps
store, show what can be
done. Belarus is the first of
the former CIS countries to
launch software as a service
(SaaS) services and MTS
plans to roll this out to other
operators in the group.
The new wave of cloud
computing is easily scal-
able via the use of flexible
services that can be simply
consumed over the Internet
through a low-touch, as-
needed, pay-per-use busi-
ness model.
Beyond the network
How possible is it, then, to
think outside the network?
India’s operator Bharti Airtel
came up with the ground-
breaking idea of completely
handing over the responsibil-
ity for building up and manag-
ing its communications and
IT infrastructure.
“Emerging markets such as
China and India are attrac-
tive since they have large
consumer bases. But they
demand out-of-box thinking
and abandoning some exist-
ing practices. The vendors for
network management were
paid only for the capacity
utilized by Bharti Airtel, not
for the equipment. Bharti's in-
novative business model (see
article on page 36) converted
fixed costs in capital expendi-
ture to a variable cost based
on usage of capacity and
revenue from services.
“Through the outsourcing
arrangements, Bharti dra-
matically lowered its costs
while ensuring high quality
for customers, since vendors
had world-class competen-
cies in their domains,” says
Vijay Govindarajan, Professor
of International Business at
the Tuck School of Business
at Dartmouth, and Atanu
Ghosh, Professor at the Indian
Institute of Management in
Ahmedabad, India.
“By transforming the
telecom infrastructure, Bharti
was able to offer additional
value-added services on
the mobile platform. For
instance, its Music Bharti is
now the largest music com-
pany in India. Though Bharti
Airtel does not produce
music, it has created another
stream of revenues by dis-
tributing music via caller ring-
back tones, mobile radio, and
music on demand,” added
Govindarajan and Ghosh.
"Today, Bharti Airtel is the
world's third-largest, single-
to other industry sectors,
which are looking at adopting
them – low transaction costs,
efficiency improvements and
cross-technology innovation
– perfected by operators to
enable widespread and inclu-
sive growth, human resource
development and speed up
industry reforms.
For example, the energy
sector in India has been a
laggard for many decades
due to, among other things,
inefficiencies and incorrect
“The communications industry in
emerging markets is now lending its best
practices to other industry sectors.”
country mobile operator and
offers mobile service at $.01
to $.05 per minute, perhaps
the lowest cost in the world.
Despite such extremely low
prices, Bharti has shown
compound annual growth in
sales revenues of 120 per-
cent and growth in net profits
of 282 percent per year
between 2003 and 2010.
Business practices
Vertical integration in
emerging markets is show-
ing some very interesting
signs. Furthermore, the
communications industry in
emerging markets is now
lending its best practices
accounting of energy usage.
In 2001, the government
launched the Accelerated
Power Development & Re-
forms Programme (APDRP).
The objective of the initia-
tive was to improve the ef-
ficiency of the Indian power
sector through sustained loss
reduction and establishing
reliable and automated sys-
tems for sustained collection
of accurate base line data
and the adoption of IT
in accounting.
Getting smart
The recent advancement in
smart metering and smart
grid technology had brought
26 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
the operators to the forefront
of this initiative. Global smart
meter shipments reached a
new high in the second quar-
ter of 2011, with shipments
growing 4.1 percent over the
first quarter of this year.
Globally, smart meter
manufacturers shipped 5.6
million smart meters, bring-
ing the total installed base to
just under 90 million. The IDC
Energy Insights’ Worldwide
quarterly smart meter tracker
for a handful of leading ones,
are still in their infancy.
Worldwide, there is a
growing emphasis on in-
creasing the productivity of
water, soil and fertilizers to
reduce the destruction of for-
ests and to reduce the emis-
sion of greenhouse gases.
Non-conventional solutions
now rely on M2M sen-
sors in the field to feed the
moisture, soil and weather
condition into a high-power
Ghana, India and South Africa
in health solutions, money
transfer services and the
agricultural sector.
Nitin Bhandari, AVP New
Products and Partnerships,
Vodafone India Lim-
ited, explains, “We recently
launched a low-cost location
tracking and route manage-
ment service that allows
logistics companies to track
consignments, vehicles and
the field-force.
While similar solutions in
the developed world use the
costlier GPS systems, Voda-
fone was able to keep costs
low by using the network
cell-identity information to
map the cell information to
latitude and longitude on
the map.
“The solution allows the
enterprises to track SIM-
based, low-cost mobile
devices.” He adds, “Cisco
worked with Apollo hospitals,
one of the leading hospital
chains in India, to roll out a
low-cost video-collaboration
product that allows patients
in remote locations to have
face-to-face conversations
and report sharing with spe-
cialist doctors sitting hun-
dreds of miles away and get
timely health advice”.
The story doesn’t end
there. Emerging multination-
als are here to stay. Chinese
companies, such as Huawei
and ZTE, are now making
more patent applications
than the rest of the network
equipment suppliers
Last year, Huawei was
second after Japan’s Pana-
sonic (in patent applications).
Huawei’s “customer-centric
“Chinese companies,
… are now making
more patent
applications than the
rest of the network
equipment suppliers
“The use of smart metering and smart
grid is proving to be beneficial to both
the communications and energy industries.”
forecasts that the global
installed smart meter base
will reach nearly 490 million
meters by 2015.
The use of smart meter-
ing and smart grid is proving
to be beneficial to both the
communications and energy
industries. The energy indus-
try has started to leverage the
communications operators’
best practices, particularly
around low transaction costs
and high efficiency.
It also provides communica-
tions companies with access
to new revenue streams pow-
ered by machine to machine
(M2M) technologies (see
page 78), getting a sustained
base of millions of additional
devices and monetizing M2M
technology solutions, such
as remote asset manage-
ment and smart metering.
In developed markets, M2M
strategies that are being
implemented by most com-
munications operators, except
centralized system which
then lets the farmer know
the fertilizer constituents that
should be used for improving
the quality of crops.
While this helps the rural
sector, it also opens up a
new customer base of 200
million farms in India – an-
other win-win scenario for
communications companies
as well as farming.
Emerging multinationals
To truly understand the full
business impact of emerging
markets in communications,
we’d need to look into how
global companies from devel-
oped markets can no longer
import their innovations into
emerging markets, simply by
offering products with fewer
smart features at lower
prices. They need to also
apply flat-world innovation
models. For example, Voda-
fone is making some innova-
tive moves in places such as
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 27
Familiar themes, new twists
innovation, commitment to
establishing and maintaining
long-term local partnerships,
and localized operations
are the keys to success for
companies looking to thrive
in emerging markets,” says
Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman,
Huawei. “Innovation in
emerging markets means
practicality and adapting to
local requirements, whether
it requires adopting cutting-
edge technology or just
thinking outside of the box,”
he concludes.
An analysis of 25 world-
class emerging multinationals
could help break some com-
monly accepted myths and
reveals a few surprises.
“Only a handful of emerg-
ing multinationals rely on
natural resources or cheap
labor as a major competitive
edge,” explains Antoine W.
van Agtmael, Founder, Chair-
man and Chief Investment
Officer of Emerging Markets
Management (EMM), one of
the world’s leading invest-
ment management firms for
emerging market equities.
“Many have held their own –
or even leapfrogged previous
industry leaders – in highly
capital-intensive or high-tech
According to van Agtmael:
“World-class companies can be
found not just in emerging Asia
(14), but also in Latin America
(10) and South Africa (1).”
In the media industry,
emerging multinationals like
Mexican media conglom-
erate Televisa has found
fashions. Yet, as the anchor
economies of the future
shift, this learning process
will increasingly become a
two-way street.
Telecom operators in the
U.S. are learning from first
movers Korea and Japan
how consumers play games,
watch TV, pay bills, and get
traffic information onto the
small screens of their smart
phones… phone companies
in Asia were among the first
not always find it easy to get
a bank account,” says van
Fundamental impact
Among the world’s top 20
mobile operators we can now
find China Mobile (China),
SingTel (Singapore), América
Móvil (Mexico), Bharti Airtel
(India), VimpelCom (Russia),
China Unicom (China), Axiata
Group Berhad (Malaysia),
Reliance Communications
(India), Saudi Telecom
Company (STC), MTN Group
(South Africa), Etisalat
(United Arab Emirates), and
MTS (Russia).
The world is becoming flat,
and with it, innovation. This
is a trend that can fundamen-
tally impact the communica-
tions industry and, if consid-
ered by service providers in
developed markets, has the
power to affect their bottom
line. This may well become
the trigger to a different
destiny than a dumb pipe
scenario. If I were you, I’d
pay attention, sooner rather
than later.
“The Emerging Markets Century: How a New Breed of World-Class Companies Is Overtaking the World, Antoine W. van Agtmael
“The world is becoming flat, and with
it, innovation. This is a trend that can
fundamentally impact communications.”
a ready audience in non-
Spanish speaking countries,
sometimes challenging the
dominance of Hollywood and
Disney in entertainment and
Western News media like
CNN and BBC.
“The First World rou-
tinely used to be the first in
adopting new technology or
introducing new designs and
to let their customers not just
talk and search the Internet
but also pay parking meters,
vending machines, and gro-
ceries with their handsets…
The ‘prepaid’ phenomenon
has swept emerging markets
but was only later followed
by ‘smart’ prepaid debit
cards issued to Hispanic im-
migrants in the U.S. who do
In 2011, TM Forum launched a series of Regional
Insights Research reports, the first of which is Africa
Insights: Sustainable margins through innovation
(it is available free of charge to our members from
http://www.tmforum.org/AfricaInsights.) Over 600 million
people now have a mobile in Africa (a penetration rate
of over 50 percent, with fewer than 5 percent postpaid.
Africans have proved ingenious at using ‘basic’ services in
highly innovative ways, and a big part of this huge success
is creative marketing, from which service providers
elsewhere could learn a lot.
The second in the series, published in January 2012, is
Asia Insights: Strategies for sustainable growth, which is
wide-ranging and packed with insights and hard facts from
these greatly disparate markets, available from
The next one will focus on Latin America and be
published in March 2012.
TM Forum’s Regional Insights Research reports
Sponsored feature
Communication service providers (CSPs)
have been challenged so hard and
often in the last decade – by the never-
ending emergence of new products
and services, by the avalanche of data
accumulating every second and by the
sophisticated demands of customers
– that only the ones who adopted the
continuous process of transformation
have survived. Those at the forefront of
the race gained an amazing capability
and agility globally and changed their
focus on conquering new markets while
others are struggling not to lose what
they’ve got.
Most of the time the cycle of
transformation is triggered by new
technologies. The challenge is not
finding customers to sell the technology
to, but selling it to them on time. ‘Time
to market’ has become a very important
factor in attracting new customers,
increasing the loyalty of existing ones
and reducing the churn rates.
A secondary driving force for a new
transformation is the lack of support for
convergent products and services. As
competition grows, the variety of these
products and services widens. CSPs
empowered by convergent product
support can exploit the synergy of
bundling different products and adding
new partners to their sales network.
Consequently, they increase their
market share.
Dealing with the enormous amount
of data and capturing all the details,
patterns and trends, as well as the big
picture, is another challenge for CSPs.
Even though IT technologies claim to
resolve this problem, when you look at
the high level IT architecture of many
Challenging the Transform-idable
with Telaura CRM Suite!
businesses, the IT systems themselves
are the cause of a lot of complexity
and difficulty. Some CSPs operate with
hundreds of distributed systems. These
fragmented systems are a burden for IT
and operations departments using them.
Additionally, the more time passes
before transforming these systems, the
more complicated things become, and
so the more courage is needed to start
it because the risks are higher.
This is where TM Forum’s Frameworx
suite of standards comes in. Embracing
the proven methods of TM Forum
Frameworx is the least frustrating way
of undertaking an IT transformation for
both CSPs and vendors. Meeting on
the same platform, software service
companies and CSPs can understand
each other better and work together
faster. The process-driven approach of
Frameworx increases reusability and
assures that systems and processes
can be built on in future, easing the
effort needed to keep up with the fast
evolution of communications today.
Etiya has been in the
telecommunications business for
more than 10 years and has recently
developed a new complete customer
relationship management (CRM)
solution, the Telaura CRM Suite. It has
gained a market presence quickly, with
its first implementation at the biggest
CSP in Turkey.
The main idea behind the
development of Telaura CRM Suite
was to provide simplified, standardized,
end-to-end CRM processes that allow
effective management at macro and
micro levels. Other objectives that
had an effect on the design were
providing very high data visibility,
keeping relational information about the
customers and providing one common
interface for all different customer
interactions flowing from all touch
Each one of Telaura CRM Suite’s
14 modules serves in its domain as
outlined by the Business Process
(eTOM) and Application (TAM)
Frameworks, both part of TM Forum’s
Frameworx suite of standards.
Product Catalog Driven Order
Telaura CRM Suite is a complete end-
to-end CRM solution that can handle
customers, products, product catalogs
and business interactions, satisfying
all the business rules according to the
service provider’s needs.
The bottom-up product catalog
contains the definition of services,
resources, products and offers, and all
the relationships between them.
The order management is driven
by the product catalog and captures,
validates, decomposes and orchestrates
the orders by accessing product
definitions, providing dynamic order
fulfillment for CSPs. Convergent and
multi-play product support of the
systems enables CSPs to deliver
innovative services to their customers
in the shortest time. These rules are
executed by Telaura Order Management
to unify and secure the order entry, and
to provide assistance for customer sales
External Rule Management
Telaura CRM Suite supports defining
complicated business rules in the Rule
Engine. The Rule Engine serves internal
and external systems as a business
rules repository. The external Rule
Engine allows the defining complex
business rules via scripts which these
scripts take effect immediately. Every
step in the order flow is a rule execution
node. The Rule Engine allows binding
complex business rules regarding
customers, accounts or products to
these rule execution nodes. Telaura
Order Management recognizes the
entities involved in the rule scripts and
ensures that the rules are obeyed during
order process.
Smart Churn Support
Telaura CRM Suite’s intelligent churn
module enables the defining of business
rules to resolve complicated situations
with dissatisfied customers. The system
includes three step churn management,
suggesting different approaches
to customer sales representatives,
depending on the customer’s specific
circumstances. It is possible to design
churn catalogs available for customers
who display behaviors indicating that
they may terminate their contracts.
Churn management identifies the
customers at high risk of doing so,
so that CSPs can act to prevent it.
Low Integration Costs
Telaura CRM Suite offers reliable,
simple, process-centric and agile
applications that are integrated with
each other to provide interoperable
services, allowing dynamic business
processes that span organizations and
platforms. Telaura service oriented
architecture (SOA) enables service
discovery, integration and use, allowing
CSPs to overcome many distributed
enterprise computing challenges within
a very short time and at low cost.
Each module in Telaura CRM Suite
has been designed to be a part of the
complete solution as well as to serve
as a stand-alone product. Modules
have been developed to work together
yet they can be replaced or partially
integrated into other systems with
minimum effort.
Telaura Customer and Account
The Telaura Customer and Account
Management system gives an overall
customer-centric approach to all
business driven processes.
U Enriches customer experience
U Manages third party relationships and
common interfaces to give a real 360°
customer view
U Provides consistent experience across
different customer interaction channels
U Enhances call service representative
Telaura Product Catalog Management
The Telaura Product and Catalog
Management System supports multi-
play product portfolio and convergent
product definition.
U Drives fast time to market
U Has bottom-up constructed catalogs
to drive top-down order decomposition
U Eliminates manual product creation in
multiple systems and avoids the
products being duplicated
U Provides data to analyze products’
lifecycle and performance
U Offers a flexible discount structure.
Telaura Campaign Management
The Telaura Campaign Management
System ensures that campaign
definition and execution processes are
easy, measurable and customizable.
U Offers total campaign process
U Supports campaign simulation
U Enables campaign budget planning
U Supports campaign execution
Telaura Sales and Order Management
Telaura Sales and Order Management
provides an easy-to-use interface
for sales representatives, flexible
and powerful configuration options
for back-office users and a detailed
tracking and reporting engine for senior
management. To drive your sales force
order, Telaura Sales Order Management,
with its out-of-the-box functionalities,
offers the following benefits:
U Unifies order entry for convergent
U Helps sales representatives up sell
and cross-sell
U Provides efficient order tracking and
reporting with built-in sales reports
U Defines complex business rules
U Offers Information Framework
(SID)-compatible application program
interfaces for external sales portals.
Telaura CRM Suite received the Most
Impressive Customer Projects Award
in August 2011 from Oracle with its
implementation at TTNET. For more
information about Etiya and Telaura
please visit www.etiya.com.
30 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
M2M, mHealth, international money transfer and smart grid
connectivity are among mobile communications-related services
that many feel could eventually explode in the market. But will they?
Or will the development of more efficient approaches to market-
readiness – such as product lifecycle management – have a more
lasting effect on mobile operators’ bottom lines?
Show me the
By Vaughan O’Grady
to find a new market on the
scale of SMS any time soon,
but the flexibility and ubiquity
of the global mobile infrastruc-
ture lends itself to a number
of possible new areas. Take
mobile health – or mHealth.
The applications being trialed
here are impressive and –
regulatory environments per-
mitting – should be attractive
to customers, whether health
authorities or patients.
Among the most promising
in the long term, says An-
thony Cox, are remote cardiac
patient monitoring and remote
monitoring of chronic dis-
eases such as diabetes. Cox
is Associate Analyst, Juniper
Research and author of the
firm’s study Mobile Healthcare
Opportunities: Smartphone
Apps, Monitoring & mHealth
Strategies 2011-2016. He sug-
that information and forward
it on.”
Can operators benefit?
AT&T has a strategic alliance
with WellDoc, a company de-
veloping technology solutions
to support chronic disease
management, to market
an mHealth service called
DiabetesManager. Vodafone,
too, has launched an mHealth
practice with a focus on
machine-to-machine (M2M)
areas and telematics. “They
are looking at ways they can
offer services beyond pure
connectivity,” explains Cox.
A big issue is the fact that
the potential of mHealth is
in many ways greater for
patients, cash-strapped health
services, technology ven-
dors and data management
companies than for opera-
tors. Partnerships and new
structures may change this
for a few operators but for
many others, health services
will mainly be a small but
welcome boost to throughput
on networks – especially in
developing markets, where
for many rural dwellers, voice
and text are the only ways to
contact health services or get
health advice.
M2M communications in a
more general sense is about
to explode, says Roger Dew-
ey, CEO & Managing Member
of M2M consulting services
company m2mv. He explains,
“Over time, the prices of cel-
lular modules have dropped
massively and mobile network
operators have implemented
programs to help reduce risk
and speed up the certification
processes. This has helped
the business grow rapidly.”
gests cardiac patients could,
“have a device fitted which
links via the mobile network to
doctors and monitoring facili-
ties,” while for diabetes, “you
might have an optometer,
glucometer or blood pressure
cuff linked via Bluetooth to a
smartphone, which then relays
information to a portal, surgery
or whatever.”
Ultrasound and many
other use cases could follow,
thanks not just to the new
breed of healthcare technol-
ogy company like Mobisante,
eCardio or LifeWatch but
also to the popularity of the
Cox continues, “The smart-
phone is becoming a sort of
mini hub onto which data can
be uploaded and this is typi-
cally happening in the health-
care sector. Smartphones can
do some of the processing of
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 31
Familiar themes, new twists
He continues, “Currently,
the strong vertical segments
are telematics, security or
alarm systems, meter reading,
vending and PoS [Point of
Sale].” Thanks to a growing
trend for legislation requiring
new vehicles to be able to
make an automatic crash noti-
fication, telematics in particular
will be a major industry.
Dewey reckons that the
savings’ potential will also
push rollout. “You see all
sorts of industries looking for
increases in efficiency and
productivity due to the current
economic situation where
companies don’t have pricing
power and there is very low
growth across most vertical
3G and LTE availability
could eventually boost more
complex M2M areas like digi-
tal menus, signage, security
and streaming infotainment
into vehicles. “A bit further
out,” Dewey says, “vehicle-
to-vehicle communications
used for crash avoidance, and
speed control tied to the sta-
tus of traffic signals in a cer-
tain range will take advantage
of the higher speeds, reduced
latency and quality of service
aspects inherent in LTE.”
He adds, “Back office func-
tions are now the hot area
of M2M. The industry has
realized that there is a lack of
platforms and options for the
management of machines, in
broad areas of provisioning,
aggregated billing manage-
ment, application manage-
ment and individual device
management… I believe
that this represents a real
opportunity for the members
of TM Forum.”
M2M activity is also
relevant to cellular providers
hoping to develop a market
in the utilities space – specifi-
cally smart grid (see article on
page 75). Market research
and consulting firm Pike
Research estimates that the
increased utility adoption
of public wireless networks
around the world will drive the
cumulative shipment of 73
million cellular M2M com-
munication nodes for use in
tor MTN has operations in 21
countries, most of them in
Africa. MFS Africa, an MTN
partner specializing in mobile
financial services, is working
with the operator to provide
value-enhancing services that
plug in to MTN’s and other
network operators’ mobile
wallet services.
The most unusual of these,
perhaps, is a funeral policy
insurance service recently
“Perhaps the one opportunity for
partnerships that really can pay – in a
literal sense – involves mobile money.”
smart grid applications during
the period from 2011 to 2020.
Financial and regulatory cir-
cumstances will affect cellular
take-up on a country-by-coun-
try basis, not to mention utility
concerns about prioritization
and quality of service when
a network is heavily loaded.
And, of course, there will be
competing communications
technologies. Nevertheless
revenue from the sale of cel-
lular communication nodes to
utilities could reach $1.9 billion
during Pike’s forecast period.
Potential opportunities
Perhaps the one opportunity
for partnerships that really can
pay – in a literal sense – in-
volves mobile money, though
it is in the developing world
that rollout and take-up of ser-
vices seems most promising
(see article on page 72).
Fortunes are not yet being
made but operators do not
want to be left behind. Of
course, the larger your foot-
print the greater the econo-
mies of scale for the services
you offer. Pan-regional opera-
launched in Ghana in partner-
ship with Hollard Insurance,
whose aim is to help family
members who need to cover
the costs of the often expen-
sive funerals in that country.
However, as Filip Nils-
son, Vice President, Money
Transfer, MFS Africa, points
out, there are many other,
powerful opportunities for the
mobile wallet that are also
specific to the developing
world. For example, he says,
“We're trying to find a way to
help companies get rid of the
whole manual cash manage-
ment and administrative
headache that they have each
month to provide short-term
payday loans to many of their
employees, which is common
practice today.”
He adds, “We are not the
provider of credit. We're a
technology enabler; we enable
a financial institution, such as a
bank or microfinance institu-
tion, to extend credit under
their license through our plat-
form on to the mobile wallet
account in a user-initiated and
automated process.”
32 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Another possible opportu-
nity involves mobile wallet-
based international money
Nilsson explains, “You can
register on a portal and pay
with a credit card and send
money to the different MTN
countries – straight onto
the mobile wallet. There is
no physical sending agency
involved for the web transfer
service, and MTN themselves
are the receiving agents.
“This means that overall
commissions can be relatively
low in comparison to usual re-
mittance providers and banks.
It's an MTN-branded service
we enable for them, and MTN
sets its price, allowing for an
interesting competitive land-
scape in the coming years.”
Revenue-creating services
are not necessarily going to
succeed if they do not get to
market quickly and effectively
– and that’s where product
lifecycle management (PLM)
comes in.
“Product lifecycle manage-
ment,” says Mike Huffman,
Senior Marketing Manager,
Comverse BSS Solutions,
“entails the creation, changes
to and ultimately the retire-
ment of saleable services,
and associated rate plans and
promotions.” But why has
it become so critical? And
how does it relate to mobile
operators and their revenue
Not long ago, mobile opera-
tors had relatively static prod-
uct portfolios. Introductions
of new offers and promotions
took months from conception
to launch. “As many mobile
markets approach 100 percent
penetration,” says Huffman,
“network-based voice and
messaging revenues have
begun to stagnate and growth
necessitates a continuous
stream of new advanced data
The old processes with cus-
tom development and sequen-
tial sign-offs no longer make
sense. Growing data revenues
demands a streamlined and
efficient product lifecycle man-
agement process.
Support systems
That means, as Joanna Gray,
Product Manager with relation-
ship management company
Convergys, explains: “Today,
in order to launch a new prod-
uct – or even make a simple
pricing change to a product –
operators have to change the
billing system, the front end
CRM [customer relationship
management] system and the
provisioning system.
“If you introduce PLM and
enterprise product catalog,
you can see in one place, in
a single central system, what
you’re offering across your en-
tire portfolio – and you can also
make changes quickly. Once
you’ve got it all fully integrated
any change is automatically
fed to those other systems.”
She adds, “The whole point
of our product, PCM, is reus-
ability. If you can offer 1,000
plans on 20 devices and the
operator is already using a cat-
alog system, they've already
got all their products defined.
If I want to define a new one
and be the leader to launch
something for the iPhone 5,
say, I can reuse a lot of what
I’ve got there.”
Similarly, Huffman explains,
Comverse ONE Billing and
Active Customer Manage-
ment utilizes a single product
catalog based on a common
unified data model utilizing the
Information Framework (SID),
a key element of TM Forum’s
Frameworx suite of standards.
TM Forum plays two key
roles. Firstly, “[The Information
Framework] needs to be the
foundation of data models to
ensure changes and additions
are understood throughout
BSS and OSS systems,” says
Huffman (see opposite page).
“In almost every request for
a proposal you get and the cli-
ent you see, everyone’s asking
for the Information Frame-
work,“ says Gray. Secondly,
the Forum can encourage the
sharing and certification of
best practice processes in the
product lifecycle management
And that’s why and how
the development of sup-
port systems like PLM can
be every bit as important to
revenue as developing new
services – can, in fact, speed
the payback time of those
new services.
Gray sums it up: “It reduces
costs in terms of the time
it takes but it also reduces
costs because you shouldn’t
need so many people to do it
“The development
of support systems
can be every bit as
important to revenue
as developing new
Familiar themes, new twists
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 33
Familiar themes, new twists
TM Forum’s Frameworx suite of standards provides the
blueprint for effective business operations, enabling you to
assess and improve performance by using a proven, service-
oriented approach (SOA) to operations and integration. It has
been adopted by 90 percent of the world’s largest service
providers – and its take-up is accelerating as service providers
recognize it is core to their businesses. Frameworx helps you:
Q Understand your customer through a common customer
management information model
Q Innovate and reduce time-to-market with streamlined,
end-to-end service management
Q Cut operating costs by enabling highly efficient,
automated, industry standard operations
Q Reduce integration costs and risk through standardized
interfaces and a common information model
Q Lower the risks of transformation by delivering a proven
blueprint for your business
Q Gain independence and confidence in procurement
through conformance certification and procurement guides
Q Gain clarity by providing a common, standard language
Q Build essential partnerships quickly and easily through
common processes, information and terminology.
The suite was developed in the Forum’s unique
Collaboration Community and continues to evolve through
the efforts of the Community to meet changing market
needs. It is driven by service providers and available
exclusively to members, who represent more than
90 percent of the world’s communications subscribers.
Frameworx is made up of four components.
Business Process Framework (eTOM)
The Business Process Framework provides efficient,
clear and effective business processes that are critical to
delivering innovative services quickly, at the least possible
cost. It offers a comprehensive, multi-layered view of these
processes and is aligned with ITIL. It is supported by off-
the-shelf tools to provide a multi-dimensional catalog of the
business processes and includes guidelines and process
flows ensuring your processes are streamlined and effective
across the enterprise and across partners in a value-chain.

Information Framework (SID)
The end-to-end management of service demands the
consistent use of data across an enterprise. The Information
Framework provides a comprehensive, industry-agreed
definition of the information that flows through an enterprise
and between service providers and their business partners.
It is supported by off-the-shelf tools and provides a
common information model, enabling the definition of
standardized integration points.
What is TM Forum Frameworx and how can it help you?
Search and navigate
Frameworx with the
free iPhone/iPad app
The Application Framework (TAM)
Understanding how your business processes are
implemented in your software architecture is essential. This
Framework provides a model for grouping processes and
their associated information into recognizable applications.
It provides a common language and identification between
buyer and supplier for all application areas.
It helps in the design of enterprise architecture through a
better understanding of your systems architecture plotted
against a standardized map.
The Integration Framework
Automation of business processes enables you to reduce
costs and deploy new services rapidly, but relies on
interoperable systems across the enterprise and value-chain.
The Integration Framework defines how the processes and
information behind these systems can be automated by
defining standardized SOA-based interfaces called Business
Services (formerly called NGOSS Contracts).
Integration Framework includes the identification,
naming and classification of services and guidelines for the
development of Business Service; model-driven tooling for
the machine-assisted production of standard interfaces; and
a repository for Business Services.
Latest release – Frameworx 11.5
Frameworx 11.5 expands the standards’ capabilities in
improving customer experience, maximizing revenue, and
transforming cable operations (see page 50).
New Quick Start Packs enable rapid, out-of-the-box adoption
of critical Frameworx business processes in the areas of new
service rollout, trouble-to-resolve, and TV Everywhere.
Frameworx offers new methodologies for implementing
Frameworx and ITIL together, and new business metrics,
including for revenue management and cable operations. It
also offers guidance on how to assess fraud management
maturity and a directory of prevalent types of fraud (see page
54). For more information please go to www.tmforum.org/
Sponsored feature
In simpler times, circa 2004, ‘kilo’ was
the prefix of network traffic. But then,
phones like the RAZR started dazzling
the public, bringing the prefix ‘Mega’
along with them. But shortly after, Apple
did something odd and made a phone,
which proved to be something more than
an iPod that rings, which is what people
were expecting; and the rest as they say
is history, and by the rest, we mean the
sanity for the life of a network operator,
as network traffic is now growing at a
compound annual growth rate of 92%.
All those little screens we carry with us
now are changing how we live our lives
much faster than the arrival of television
or the Internet ever did. A new scale of
connection is emerging to keep people
in the style to which they have grown
accustomed. Welcome to the Gigaworld.
For most operators, LTE is either
in place or on the way, but this is not
enough to keep customers happy. A new
operational model will be needed, with a
new business model along with it, which
combined will enable increased agility &
cost efficiency, enhanced monetization
capability, and improved user experience.
Increased agility & cost efficiency
In the Gigaworld, if operators wish to
keep user loyalties from straying to
trendy newcomers, new & dazzling
services will need to hit the market as
often as Hollywood blockbusters, but
this will require a network infrastructure
far more flexible than the point-to-point
architecture of days past.
SOA is the most promising open
architecture on the market, but it cannot
be leveraged unless operators adopt
compliant infrastructure & software; the
integration of the latter can be simplified
using the Unified Information model,
along with business process templates
and configurations.
Customization of new offerings is
always costly and time consuming. TM
Frameworx certification/compliance is
the industry’s gold standard in this area.
Smart operation in the Gigaworld
Out-of-the-box features and process
templates should be fully utilized to
reduce implementation costs. Huawei’s
BSS/OSS solution is standards-based,
meaning that it is compliant with both
TM Forum and SOA, as well as the 3GPP
diameter standard for real-time rating and
charging, and policy management.
Considering the sheer number of
services that will be created in the
near future, a common reusable
service at the OSS/BSS layer will be
needed for all domains and networks
that accommodate the current multi-
technology environment and is capable
of future extension (provisioning, policy
management, charging, service/QA, and
inventory); Huawei Convergent Ordering
provides a feasible solution. A common
order template for various business
areas (mobile, fixed, internet, data, and
VAS) is being used and stored in a single
catalog, rendering the ordering process
consistent and vendor-agnostic.
Improved monetization & expansion
Mobile operators must ensure support
for all services & processes across all
business lines, and support new business
models for future services such as app
stores, MVNx, and M2M/cloud services.
A converged real-time charging & billing
engine is definitely needed, flexible
enough to accommodate various charging
models for said services. Huawei’s
SMART Charging solution provides the
most comprehensive, out-of-the-box,
versatile, and instantaneous charging
models, including unlimited plans, tiered
pricing, bundling, policy-based charging,
and content-based charging.
Furthermore, a powerful marketing
tool will also be needed that tailors
promotional information for the terminal
end instantaneously, both in terms of
the product being offered and the media
employed (SMS, email, pop-up); Huawei’s
business intelligence (BI) solution can
help. BI helps operators extract and
analyze customer data critical to any
operator’s marketing efforts.
After findings and results are passed
to the charging engine, the SMART
Charging solution will leverage the
available information to proactively upsell
and cross-sell new products/services
on a real-time basis, while Huawei BI
also features tariff optimization, which
forecasts marketing results and profits
for various tariff scenarios and provides
Ernest Lo, BSS&OSS Business Solutions Director, Huawei
Figure 1: Convergent Ordering (BSS+OSS)
recommendations as to which, if any,
would be most optimal.
Integrated customer experience

Service quality & fulfillment assurance
With 1% of users now using 50%
of traffic, there is a growing need for
restrictions on heavy and low-value
users. A robust and comprehensive
PCRF-enabled charging engine will be
required to ensure network resource
utilization in line with an operator’s
QoS policy. Huawei SMART charging
differentiates charging by a wide variety
of criteria, including location, time of day,
traffic level, and function (social media,
video, general surfing).
Customer expectations change
frequently, which makes the continuous
refining of QoS a necessity in order
to keep QoE optimal; operators must
develop a service model that correlates
the two, but this cannot be done ad hoc,
as KPIs must be compliant with industry
QoS standards. Correlated, effective
procedures and tools will be needed to
continuously monitor and report QoE
indicators, which will be compared
against benchmarks. Huawei’s Service
Fulfillment & Quality Assurance solution
does all of the above comprehensively,
keeping operators one step ahead of
the game.
Integrated customer service
Operators must provide ubiquitous
customer service 24/7, in a flexible
manner best suited to the comfort levels
of the various customers (in person, over
the phone, online).
The service center is the primary
customer contact point, making it the most
vital target for user experience integration.
Huawei’s contact center solution enables
operational personnel to view and control
various services through a single software
interface, which saves a lot of the time
and trouble expended now switching
between different software suites.
While this sounds quite wonderful,
it is not the whole story. The more
services an operator launches, the more
assistance customers need, which will
keep the kiosk/call center staff at any
CSR operator busy playing defense
rather than advancing the product.
Customers also will not appreciate the
waiting involved with this situation, and
the problem will be compounded if the
staff is less than familiar with the issue
at hand.
A mobile app would seem the ideal
way to keep these lines from forming;
it would come in the form of a self-help
application that would allow customers
to manage their own account. Users
would be able to subscribe or cancel
services, view monthly statements, and
pay bills via Mobile Money. It would also
function as a mobile marketing platform,
as new services could potentially be
demonstrated for users, which is far more
effective than merely talking about them.
Effective monitoring, ensured
QoS assurance in a complex infrastructure
is always a major concern. To track
network performance and respond to
issues in a timely fashion, operators need
another robust solution that reaches any
corner of the network instantaneously.
Operators would need a series of probes
with dashboard functionality that display
various QoE indices, and indicate any
abnormality and the corresponding
recommendation in any part of the system.
This dashboard would be powered by
a comprehensive OSS/BSS monitoring
platform at the back end, and it would be
crucial to both operational management
and customer expectations. Time is a
critical factor in fault handling. If operators
are informed of any issue in real time,
immediate action is possible. Otherwise,
customer complaints will function as
alarms, and any operator in this position
would fade into irrelevance overnight.
Considering the significant outlays
operators have made into their
infrastructure, they need ROI before you
can say “annual report.” BSS/OSS is
being called upon to increasingly take on
strategic corporate initiatives and make
them happen; their implementation will
enable new services, revenue streams
and pricing structures that could offset
the costs of keeping up with network
demands and customer needs in the
Gigaworld; Huawei offers all the tools to
make this happen.
Figure 2: Support for all services and processes across all business lines
Figure 3: Improve User Experience
36 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org

Managed services can transform service providers’ businesses, but
only if they are managed properly. The way things are at the moment,
that’s a big ‘if’ – success isn’t about the lowest possible price, but
treating your supplier like a partner, encouraging cultural change
in your own organization to adapt to new ways of working and being
prepared to work with your partner to figure out how the two of
you will meet changing business needs.
By Rod Newing
providers are continuing their
dramatic transformation from
government departments
serving a single national
market, firstly into interna-
tional network operators and
now value into added service
providers and enablers of a
digital life. In the process,
they are having to become
agile organizations with more
efficient operations.
This requires a strategic
analysis of what is core to
the business and should be
retained in-house, and what
can be performed better by a
third party managed services
provider. When part of the
operation is considered to be
core, the operator must then
consider offering that service
to others, by itself becoming
a managed service provider.
Some operators will be both
using and providing managed
Making communications
leaner and fitter for
the long haul
Familiar themes, new twists
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 37
services, but the last two
years has seen a major shift.
Some operators have even
gone so far as to have all their
services managed externally
(such as Bharti Airtel), even
their network, leaving them-
selves free to manage their
brand and its associated sales
and marketing activities.
In one form or another, it
seems likely that all the ser-
industries, if they are to suc-
cessfully benefit from the use
of managed services. Where
the relationship has not
been handled correctly, the
work has been brought back
in-house, a costly and very
public sign of failure.
Buying managed ser-
vices tends to be done on a
piecemeal basis, department
by department, rather than
nership, not contracting out
services for the lowest cost.
Indeed, as the Quick Insights
report says, if price dominates
the selection of partner, disap-
pointment is inevitable.
Faizul Ali, Partner, Technol-
ogy Practice, Deloitte, states
that communications service
providers’ procurement
processes have been treat-
ing managed services like
buying a commodity service.
He advises looking at cultural
fit, shared objectives and a
shared roadmap of where
the business is trying to go.
Most of all, the procurement
process must understand
that the contract is a lever
to achieving a business aim,
not a transaction. “It is one
of the core things that people
haven’t realized in our indus-
try yet,” he says.
It is absolutely vital that a
managed services service
level agreement (SLA – see
panel on page 38) is drawn
up in a way that ensures that
both parties benefit, so their
respective business objectives
must be aligned. Ali says that
the managed service provider
must be incentivized with
a profit metric, or they will
under-achieve expectations.
“Beating down a service
provider to the lowest pos-
sible margin to take over
your infrastructure and then
expecting business transfor-
mation or massive staged
cost reductions is quite
unrealistic,” he says “It is
more about shared risk. Even
though you are paying them
“Managed services is a business model
that can make a business tremendously
successful when deployed at the right time.”
Managed services
Managed services have come
a long way since the concept
was first introduced. In the
early days it was a simple
cost-cutting arrangement,
often involving tasks being
transferred, or outsourced, to
a foreign country with lower
labor rates. Often criticized for
exporting jobs, the old model
was soon outdated. Overseas
labor rates rightly increased
and organizations realized
that they could make greater
cost reductions by executing
business processes more
efficiently, with less manual
“It is not about the savings,
it is about exceeding the end
user expectation with fan-
tastic customer service and
experience when they engage
with the brand,” says Eran
Barak, Vice President Strategy
& Marketing, Global Strategic
Sourcing, Amdocs. Examples
include reducing the order-
to-activation cycle, improving
billing accuracy, increasing
service availability and greater
customer responsiveness.
There are various models,
including transferring business
processes, such as IT and
payroll; technical processes,
such as security; applications,
known as the cloud; and busi-
ness transformation, the most
powerful model, which com-
pletely restructures business
The communications indus-
try has established a reputa-
tion for being very conserva-
tive in its use of managed
vice providers will need man-
aged services for a variety
of reasons, including to gain
reach, scalability, skills, prod-
ucts, flexibility, economies,
operational efficiencies, faster
times to market, reduced
risk, strategic positioning
and to deliver better value to
“Managed services is a
business model that can
make a business tremendous-
ly successful when deployed
at the right time, by the right
team with the right supporting
documentation,” says Mary
Whatman, Founding Partner,
Parhelion Global Communica-
tions Advisors. “If it is not
done in the right way, I have
seen it destroy businesses.”
Lessons learned
Due to this big element of
risk, service providers need
to learn from the experience
of others, including other
undertaken as part of an or-
chestrated effort, even within
a company’s operations in
a single territory. In particu-
lar, there is little to suggest
there is any coordination of
managed services across
As discussed in TM Fo-
rum’s Quick Insights report,
Managed services: The road
to operational efficiency?
published in 2011 (which is
free to members to download
from our website), opera-
tors tend to have five or six
teams that look after different
contracts. Each has grown
its expertise and knowledge
base separately and they are
often ignorant of each other’s
role. There is a lot of duplica-
tion when they could help
each other greatly and save
much time and energy.
Best practice starts with
procurement, which should
focus on establishing a part-
Familiar themes, new twists
38 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
for their services, they need
to be incentivized to produce
the business benefits that are
in the business case.”
Barak gives a managed
services provider’s point-of
view, saying that Amdocs is
looking to get ‘more skin in
the game’. “I don’t want to be
a provider,” he says, “I want
to be a partner, by aligning our
business objectives. I want
both parties to share the bur-
den of the risk and also some
of the upside. Throughout the
lifetime of the contract I am
driven to constantly improve
and drive more benefits to the
client, because it is good for
me as well.”
Risk and revenue sharing
deals are well established in
other industries and are just
starting to appear in commu-
nications. Using performance
indicators related to busi-
nesses outcomes are a more
sensible base for evaluating
contracts drawn up that today
rely on often arbitrary metrics
and unrealistic penalties.
Mark Hillary, Chief Execu-
tive, IT Decisions, a research
firm, is author of the book
Global Services. He says that
many people within the sup-
plier management function
overcomplicate the design
of key performance indica-
tors (KPIs) in the contract. He
recommends thinking of the
contract like a car.
“There are a lot of com-
plex processes going on
beneath the bonnet that the
driver doesn’t need to know
about in order to drive the
vehicle,” he says. “Moni-
toring basic measures like
engine temperature and oil
levels is enough and, if they
show something wrong, a
mechanic can investigate.”
For instance, 99 percent
network uptime sounds
good to the uninitiated, but in
reality means that a network
ship throughout the lifetime
of the contract. Towards the
end of the contract I want the
customer not only to want to
renew it, but to expand it to
more parts of their business
as well. I want to find ways to
grow their business, not just
save them cost.”
As the rewards and risks of
managed services are both
so high, it is essential that the
relationship is overseen by
skilled staff. Endless anec-
dotal evidence that says too
often the people making deci-
sions about managed services
don’t know enough to make
well-informed choices.
Operators need to buy in
the talent to move to man-
aged services from people
who understand it well.
A very small team can be
highly effective. The team
should comprise old hands
from within the company who
understand how it functions
and new blood that under-
stands managed services.
The combination of the two is
the key.
“They say that evolution
doesn’t favor the strongest
or the fastest, but the most
adaptable,” says Barak, “and
it is the same with business.
Leveraging managed services
allows operators to benefit
from the lessons learned by
others, rather than starting
their own learning curve. They
will be faster and more agile
than the competition in adapt-
ing to changing markets and
competition, innovating and
delivering true value to their
Use and provision of man-
aged services is fast becoming
a fundamental part of opera-
tors’ strategy. However, they
must be careful to learn and
apply best practice from other
industries to avoid the types of
failure that continue to gener-
ate bad publicity. Used and
managed correctly, managed
services can transform busi-
ness models and bring long-
term sustainable competitive
advantage in a fast-changing
The TM Forum Service Level Agreement Handbook (3.0)
is available for members to download free of charge from
our website www.tmforum.org/GB917SLAManagement.
You will find best practice and guidance to help you draw
up your contracts successfully. There is also an SLA
Management Group within the Forum’s online Collaboration
Community working on new developments. If you would
like more information about our activities or would like
to join the Group, please contact Tina O’Sullivan, Senior
Program Manager, TM Forum Collaboration Program via
Help with drawing up
service level agreements
“As the rewards
and risks of managed
services are both
so high, it is essential
that the relationship
is overseen by
skilled staff.”
could be completely down for
four days a year. As people
get deeper into guaranteeing
availability with KPIs, the cost
can become prohibitive.
“It is that availability to the
applications that is mission-
critical,” he says. “Think long
and hard about worst case
scenarios and what you can
realistically handle. When plan-
ning KPIs, ensure that there is
a distinction between applica-
tion and network availability.”
Closely related to business
objectives is the need for flex-
ibility. The communications
industry is changing so fast
that a typical seven-year con-
tract will be out of date within
a year. If it is not to act as a
straightjacket, it must provide
a governance mechanism
that encourages the parties to
work together to adapt their
partnership to the constantly
changing conditions.
“Who knows what is going
to happen five years from
now?” comments Barak. “It
must be a win-win relation-
Familiar themes, new twists
Sponsored feature
Based on the BMC Remedy Action Request
System, the suite of products provides
comprehensive out-of-the-box workflow based
functionality for Network Operations Event and
Change Management, Problem Management,
Service Level Management, Inventory
Management and Customer Care. Within the
product there is also enhanced support for Site
and Vendor Management.
The product’s underlying TM Forum
Information Framework (SID) based information
model provides the foundation to support a
geographically dispersed communications
network infrastructure with multiple associated
relationships. These include associated Products
and Services, Internal and External Service Teams,
Vendors and Customers. The information model
provides the basis to support key OS3 capability
such as Impact Analysis, Correlation, Notification,
Approval Management and Work Assignment.
It also provides a powerful information structure
from which to perform analytics and reporting.
Interoperability between OS3 and other B/OSS
tools is facilitated through conformance to the
TM Forum Integration Framework. This currently
includes JSR 91 Trouble Ticketing and JSR 142
Inventory Management.
While OS3 benefits tremendously from
adherence to industry standards, its capability is
grounded in over 14 years of telecoms industry
experience and feedback. The product suite has
evolved with the understanding that Service
Provider Operations have very specific process
and information requirements that are different
to IT Operations and therefore require a specialist
OS3 is available as either traditional On-Premise
or ‘Software as a Service’.
The Operations Service and Support Suite (OS3) has been designed to
meet the specific service management requirements of Communication
Service Providers and Enterprise Telecoms departments.
Nokia Siemens Networks Managed Services in South Africa selected OS3 SaaS to fast track operational efficiency and
effectiveness. The SaaS option also offered a much lower total cost of ownership compared to other vendor or internal solutions.
By Reiner Heuft, Head of Managed Service Network Operations at Nokia Siemens Networks South Africa
Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN)
Managed Services functionality
requirements included Trouble Ticketing,
Work Orders, Change Management,
Network Capacity Reporting, 3rd party
and vendor deliverables, SLA/KPI
reporting to name but a few. At the
inception of NSN Managed Services
Network Operations, the first of its kind
in Africa, our incumbent tool lacked any
RCA capability, had little understanding
of NSN Managed Services business
requirements and was unreliable.
After careful evaluation, we
recognized that OS3 had been designed
from the ground up as a purpose built
telecoms industry solution that could
be quickly deployed with no software
customizations. Extensive performance
testing also found that OS3 had been
optimized for the SaaS platform.
Uniquely, the product also embraced
industry standards and best practices
of both the TM Forum and ITIL and we
therefore considered it a ‘safe choice’.
Benefits of the OS3 SaaS model included:
Q OS3 was deployed and 'live' within
4 weeks of green light.
Q Upgrades happen quickly and
seamlessly without the traditional
deployment and installation hassles.
Q 99.95% availability over a 30 months
period to date.
Q Any issues were dealt with promptly
by SMI Telecoms 24 hour x 365 days
Q Opex spend instead of Capex spend
enabled us to predict and align monthly
costs to monthly income.
There was no reduction in our
headcount through the deployment
of OS3 although it has enabled us to
improve the general staff performance
by introducing training in other areas of
Managed Services that needed attention.
It quickly became clear that OS3 was
assisting a great deal, to enable us to
manage our operational processes.
Operational Efficiency Gains
Q OS3 decreased the need and cost for
Process Consultancy for day-to-day
Q Dashboard and automatically
generated weekly/monthly reports has
greatly reduced workload.
Q Built-in SLA reminders have
significantly reduced the number of
“open tickets”.
On our recommendation the OS3
SaaS solution soon expanded to other
operations in sub Saharan Africa to
Namibia & Uganda. With OS3 as tool of
choice, we have certainly moved in the
right direction for our business and of
course, our customers.
New York
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Bangalore 560 001
+91 80 2676 7091
OS3 Suite uses TM Forum's Frameworx Standards
to deliver Customer Operational Efficiencies
For 30 years, Amdocs has ensured service providers’ success and embraced their
biggest challenges. To win in the connected world, service providers rely on Amdocs
to simplify the customer experience, harness the data explosion, stay ahead with new
services and improve operational efficiency. The global company uniquely combines
a market-leading BSS, OSS and network control product portfolio with value-driven
professional services and managed services operations. With revenue of $3.2 billion in fiscal
2011, Amdocs and its over 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 60 countries.
Amdocs: Embrace Challenge, Experience Success. For more information, visit Amdocs at
“ I’d like to congratulate Amdocs on this
important milestone and to thank them
for their continuing strong support of
the TM Forum over the past decade.”
Martin Creaner, President & CEO, TM Forum
© Amdocs 2012. All Rights Reserved.
bang” or gradual) under a managed servic-
es engagement – leveraging its expertise,
best practices and methodologies – and
can provide a smooth transition between
implementation and operation.
One tier-1 wireless provider in Asia
used a multi-year managed services
partnership to better handle exponential
subscriber growth and speed time to
market for new services. The partner-
ship, which featured a unique commercial
revenue share model that involved true
partnership between the sides, lowered
costs by 25 percent through hardware and
software cost reductions. Time to launch
new services was reduced to just weeks.
The provider was able to quickly provide
sophisticated offers to high-value custom-
ers following the transformation.
So which model is best? Many service
providers are still choosing the Transitional
and Operational Enhancements models,
but Transformation is becoming increas-
ingly popular. In a recent Amdocs survey,
69 percent of surveyed service provid-
ers said they felt an accelerated need to
transform and one-third view transforma-
tion as “vitally important.”
Service providers should carefully
choose the model that is best for them,
depending on whether their primary goal
is to reduce costs, improve business out-
comes, a combination of the two, or total
Sponsored feature
Service providers face fierce competition,
which means they must innovate and im-
prove their service. Their IT organizations
therefore focus on business agility, bet-
ter scale flexibility, OPEX cost reduction
and predictability. One business strategy
that is being embraced to support these
challenges is outsourcing the B/OSS and
service delivery application, infrastructure
and business process management func-
tions to a trusted third party with specific
domain expertise and experience. This
allows the service provider to focus on
key activities, such as customer acquisi-
tion and business growth.
Service providers have traditionally
viewed outsourcing as a way to cut IT costs
and gain greater cost predictability. But now
more than ever, service providers are
leveraging different outsourcing mod-
els to enable greater levels of customer
value, and to quickly adapt to customer
needs and a rapidly-changing industry.
There are four main value-based models
for managed services. Two of them are
focused on cost reduction, while the other
two are closely connected to business
outcomes (on top of cost reduction). Dif-
ferent models are right for different opera-
tors, so service providers should consider
each model carefully.

The Four Managed Services Models
1) Staff Augmentation – is for service
providers who need a low-cost pool of
resources to support short-term IT needs
and gaps. This time-and-materials based
model provides low-cost workers to com-
panies who need heads. It is both simple
and cheap.
2) Transitional – ideal for service provid-
ers that wish to transition operations
responsibility to their partners “as is” and
leverage labor arbitrage. This SLA-based
model enables greater focus on the core
business and the creation of cost efficien-
cies. It works for operators who want to
Choosing the Right
Managed Services Model
continue doing what they are already doing
(business as usual), but at a lower cost.
3) Operational Enhancements – is a
business outcome-focused model for
service providers who wish to use pro-
cess automation, optimization and best
practices to improve operational capabili-
ties and service levels. This is tailor-made
for service providers who actually look to
improve their IT and business operation
and by achieving operational excellence
from a managed services partner.
For example, a tier-1 North American
service provider is using this model in its
wireline business for its legacy Ordering,
Billing and Customer Care systems, and
the results have been impressive. Order
flow-through was improved from 50 per-
cent to over 80 percent, the number and
frequency of problematic applications was
greatly reduced and dozens of applica-
tions and jobs were retired – streamlining
the operational process. Several million
dollars of annual savings were realized
through reduced operating costs.
4) Transformational – the boldest model
also promises the biggest rewards to
service providers who are looking for
business-process transformation and
IT and business alignment, along with
a systems’ modernization roadmap. In
this model, the managed service partner
will execute transformation project (“big
By Jonathan Kaftzan, Amdocs Global Strategic Sourcing, Marketing and Strategy
Cost Focused
Business Focused
Outsourcing Approach
42 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Institute estimates that
enterprises globally stored
more than seven exabytes
of new data on disk drives
in 2010. One Exabyte is the
equivalent of 4,000 times the
information stored in the U.S.
Library of Congress, the big-
gest library in the world with
over 1.5 billion items.
In its report
, Big Data: The
next frontier for innovation,
competition, and productiv-
ity, published May 2011, the
Institute argues that we are
on the cusp of a tremendous
wave of innovation, produc-
tivity and growth, as well
as new waves of competi-
tion and value capture – as
consumers, companies and
economic sectors exploit Big
Data’s potential.
Big Data
The report describes Big Data
as being beyond the scope
of typical database software
tools to capture, store, man-
age and analyze data. As
technology advances it will
produce larger and larger data
volumes and the size of data
sets that qualify as Big Data
will increase proportionally.
Big Data arises from the
enormous volume of opera-
tional data being generated
beyond transactions, in part
due to more and more parties
being involved, new services
being launched and the bun-
dling of services and prod-
ucts. In addition, sensors are
being added to machinery,
utility networks and hand-
sets to monitor usage and
performance in real-time.
Email and social networking
are creating huge amounts
of unstructured text and the
use of video is exploding,
particularly over mobile.
According to the Cisco
Visual Networking Index:
Global Mobile Data Traffic
Forecast Update, 2010–2015,
published in 2011, global mo-
bile data traffic will increase
26-fold between 2010 and
The era of
Big Data
brings big opportunities
By Rod Newing
2015, reaching 6.3 Exabytes
per month by 2015 – and
two-thirds of it will be video
by 2015, by far the fastest
growing sector covered by
the Index.
As storage costs come
down, operators are stor-
ing more and more data
about network performance
and customer usage. The
communications industry
pioneered the use of data
warehouses to integrate,
analyze and store highly
structured customer data, but
these newer operational data-
bases are often unstructured
and too large for ordinary
As we move into an era of unprecedented amounts of data, we look
at how policy-based management can liberate innovative new services
from what threatens to be unmanageably large amounts of data.
Familiar themes, new twists
*The Big Data report was written by James Manyika, Michael Chui, Brad Brown,
Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Charles Roxburgh, Angela Hung Byers.
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 43
Familiar themes, new twists
software management tools
to analyze them, either from
a technical or economic point
of view.
“Business data is growing
at a tremendous rate, it is
flowing into the enterprise
faster than ever, and it is
coming in a wide variety of
new formats,” says Nathan-
iel Rowe, Senior Research
Associate, Aberdeen Group.
“When handled correctly,
however, large amounts of
data provide an incredible
opportunity for greater insight
and intelligence on business
Challenges ahead
Big datasets provide enor-
mous opportunities for
operators to monitor network
performance, to segment
customers, to personalize
service offerings, conduct
deeper analysis and improve
decisions. However, Rowe
says that the main problems
are volume, for storing and
accessing data; the speed
with which data must be cap-
tured, processed, analyzed
quickly,” says Julie Lock-
ner, Senior Analyst and Vice
President, Data Management
Solutions, Enterprise Strategy
Group. “Using a grid-based
or cluster-based compute
environment is much cheaper
from a capital expenditure
One tool that many organiza-
tions are using to grapple with
big data is Apache Hadoop.
This open-source software
was developed specifically to
process massive volumes of
data, with varying structures,
or no structure at all, on stan-
dard computer clusters.
A program running on
Hadoop processes the data
where it is located, rather than
moving it to a server or data
warehouse, which avoids data
migration-related issues. “A
common characteristic of orga-
nizations which adopt Hadoop
is that they have hundreds of
databases and hundreds of
Terabytes or more of database
data,” says Lockyer.
Policy-based management
One solution to the problem
of getting value from large
data sets is to use policy-
based management to deal
with situations that are likely
to occur (see panel, page 44).
Policies are operating rules
that reflect principles about
how the operator wants to
run its businesses and man-
age its resources. A rules en-
gine reads and filters the data
in the production environment
and executes automated re-
sponses when it encounters a
pre-defined situation.
Policies can be used to
manage a wide variety of
applications, such as net-
work management, quality
of service, personalization,
discounts, charging/bill-
ing, fair usage and security.
For network management,
policies can allocate priority
to different types of traffic,
decide which has guaranteed
delivery, allocate bandwidth
and delay low priority traffic
to ease congestion.
The TM Forum Insights
Research report, Customer
policy-driven rules on Big
Data to address customer
experience issues concerning
pre-paid data users. Contract
data users understand their
usage and pricing and know
what bill to expect. How-
ever, prepaid data users are
inclined to use up their allow-
ance and move to an alterna-
tive provider, without allow-
ing the usual churn predictors
to take preventative action.
A rules engine can monitor
“One solution to the problem of
getting value from large data sets
is to use policy-based management.”
experience in a connected
, published in Septem-
ber 2011, found that service
providers are increasingly
recognizing policy man-
agement’s potential as a
strategic enabler of service
differentiation, but they
are concerned about cost,
integration, scalability and
The report says that 45
percent of respondents to a
survey of 20 of the world’s
biggest network operators
(mobile, cable and fixed) car-
ried out by TM Forum have
already deployed some sort
of rules-based policy solu-
tion. Their main priorities
are fair usage for congestion
and general traffic manage-
ment; personalization/offer
management; tiered service
pricing; and new services
introduction, mostly related
to pricing alternatives.
A good example is using
their activity to establish their
likely level of satisfaction.
“You have to drill into all the
big data that is spewing out of
dynamic usage to get a clear
visualization of the end user’s
experience, so you can real-
istically assess satisfaction,”
Steve Cotton, Head of Rev-
enue Management, TM Forum
says, “because otherwise
they will churn away from you.
You have to be proactive and
present them with a range of
personalized options.”
Innovating new services
David Sharpley, VP Products
and Business, Data Experi-
ence Business Unit, Amdocs,
says that service providers
are moving from managing
the network to monetizing
service offerings. “All the
bits are going through the
network, but very few of
them are generating any
revenue,” he says, “because
“Operators are storing
more and more
data about network
performance and
customer usage.”
and delivered; complexity in
both the levels of sophistica-
tion and detail; and the vari-
ety of different data formats.
“If you just add processing
power to solve the problem,
it can get expensive very
44 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
they are part of existing ser-
vice packages.”
The focus is on switching
to using policies to innovate
new services, delivering
them rapidly and monetiz-
ing them. Examples include
allowing a person to use
a service across multiple
devices; a family to share a
plan or a wallet; a business to
share a fixed monthly volume
of data over a large number
of users; offloading onto
Wi-Fi for a better customer
experience and to save con-
gestion; making special of-
fers to increase traffic when
capacity is under-utilized;
offering an unlimited roaming
overseas data pass for a day;
or increasing data usage in an
underused cell.
“Subscribers are not really
buying a data plan, they are
buying the end-to-end data
experience,” says Sharpley.
“All the applications depend
on the data traffic going
through the network and
require policies to manage
additional offers.”
No one doubts the value
of consistent experience and
clear, volume-based pricing
to customers.
Business intelligence
Standard business intelligence
(BI) tools are used in a data
warehouse to determine high-
level policies to meet strate-
gic objectives. These are set
up in the rules engine, which
can run them as a simulation
in a live environment, to test
their effectiveness.
“Policy management tools
filter the event data coming
off the networks, extracting
critical or interesting events,”
says Tommy Eunice, Execu-
tive Architect, Telecommuni-
cations, IBM.
“They can be aggregated
or made into a time series,
which can be automatically
sent to a BI tool for analy-
sis. The person in charge
may tweak the policy to
see how effective it would
be if the rule was changed.
The biggest problem is not
managing a policy, it is using
BI techniques to identify the
best policies to implement at
a particular time.”
Customer experience in a
connected world found that
service providers must be able
to measure the performance
and impact of these poli-
cies, as they implement new
services and offers in order to
understand their successes,
shortfalls and changes in cus-
tomer behavior.
The TM Forum Quick Insights
report Policy-based man-
agement: Effective pricing
strategies for mobile service
says that “the list
(of possibilities) is limited
only by imagination and an
understanding of our custom-
ers’ needs.
The service providers can
now offer unprecedented
choice, transparency and con-
trol to customers, increasing
their satisfaction and loy-
alty while giving the service
providers more incremental
revenue. This is a win-win
situation for savvy service
providers and customers.”
TM Forum’s policy management
and interface activities
TM Forum’s Government and Defense Market Support
Center has long recognized the importance of policy-based
network management, to enable more flexible, efficient,
secure and resilient networks. The Forum started collabo-
rating on this core technical area in 2010, when the U.S.
Department of Defense’s Defense Information Systems
Agency (DISA) contributed its Policy Exchange Information
UML Model to the Forum.
The first Policy Information Exchange (PIE) project
factored the DISA contributed model into the Forum’s
Information Framework (SID), part of the Frameworx suite
of standards (see page 33). This work was completed in
October 2010 and made available to members through
Frameworx 11.0, released in May 2011.
The second PIE project, formally launched in August
2011, will produce one or more standards-based interfaces
for exchanging policy information. It's being developed in
a generic way, so that various flavors of policies can be ex-
changed (pricing and security policies are two examples).
This project is work-in-progress, and the plan is to incorpo-
rate it into Frameworx 12.0, which is due for release at
TM Forum Management World 2012 in Dublin, in May.
For more information please go to www.tmforum.org/
PolicyInfoExchange or contact Christy Coffey, Head of
TM Forum’s Government and Defense Market Support
Center via ccoffey@tmforum.org
“Service providers can now offer
unprecedented choice, transparency
and control to customers.”
ments on the fly. That is precisely what
T-Mobile USA has done using the SAP
HANA platform, the offer optimization
time has been shortened by 80%.
The SAP HANA platform leverages the
power of in-memory computing to provide
real-time analytics for complex queries
including the execution of simulation
algorithms and processing streaming data.
SAP HANA can analyze massive amounts
of data up to 3,600 times faster for instant
business insights. The platform lever-
ages flexible, powerful analytic models to
create tailored views that expose analytic
information at the speed of thought.
The speed and agility are leading to the
realization of new Telco 2.0 like business
models for the service provider.
SAP offers a full range of operational
and analytical solutions for the telecom
indus try, including the ability to effectively
man age petabytes of data, ensure the qual-
ity of that data and analyze it in real-time
to reap the rewards of analyzing big data.
For more information visit the following
links and contact your SAP sales rep.

Take the SAP Telco 2.0 challenge at:
Contact the authors:
Rani Goel at rani.goel@sap.com
David Wiseman at dwiseman@sybase.com
Sponsored feature
Beyond its sheer volume, data is also
increasing in variety and the velocity of
its generation. This nexus of volume,
variety and velocity requires new ap-
proaches for managing big data. While
critical, successful management of the
data is not sufficient for generating
value. Value is driven by applying ever
more sophisticated analysis techniques
to the data and the complexity of the
questions being asked also require new
analytical approaches that are real-time
or near real-time, and even predictive.
The bottom line benefit for your orga-
nization is derived from the speed and
agility of analysis that allows you to make
informed decisions and run better.
Companies are capturing and digitizing
more information than ever before. The
first step is to capture and organize the
vast amounts of data in a scalable solu-
tion that provides reasonable processing
times. The solution should enable effec-
tive storage and analysis of large volumes
of structured, unstructured and semi-
structured data that may exist as web
logs, emails, text, images, documents etc.
It is also important to be able to integrate
the existing databases the company has
within this infrastructure. SAP offers
a portfolio of solutions to manage and
analyze large amounts of data. Two
customer use cases are given below.
A major EMEA carrier uses SAP's
Sybase IQ to manage their big data.
Sixty data streams pour information
into the data center from the carrier’s
network infrastructure, representing at
least 10 billion rows of data every day.
They retain six months of data, meaning
about a petabyte of raw data, indexes
and aggregates on average. Yet, with
Sybase IQ’s columnar approach, the
physical storage capacity required is just
over 100 TB, delivering immediate and
dramatic savings. Every day over 400
How can you benefit from it?
users do complex analysis such as bill-
ing reconciliation, with network activity
saving the company millions per year.
As business decisions are based on
the data, quality and trust are critical.
It is important to also use tools such as
SAP's Information Steward that enable
a business user to visualize the quality
of the data, pinpoint where the data has
gone bad, identify processes that may
have caused data corruption and be able
to fix the data so users can make busi-
ness decisions with confidence.
Analyzing Big Data in Real Time:
To generate value one must turn the raw
data into knowledge that can drive effec-
tive decisions in real time. As companies
look to differentiate themselves with the
use of information and insight, it is no
longer sufficient to be acting on data that
is a day old or even hours old, but be
able to leverage data as it changes.
For a telecom service provider, many
applications come to mind. One such
example is the ability to tailor marketing
campaigns to an audience of “one” and
create precise offer bundles based on an
individual customer’s preferences. They
should be able to “act in the moment”
and know within hours of launching a
campaign how the offers are faring in
the market and be able to make adjust-
We can see the words “Big Data” staring at us from every publication, whether digital or analog, these
days… but what does it mean and how can you take advantage of it are the questions we need to ponder.
Sponsored feature
Driving the financial performance
of IP services
When next generation IP services first
debuted years ago they unleashed
tremendous excitement – right up to
the point where cable service providers
and other service providers had to
figure out how to bill for them. At the
time, because legacy systems weren’t
built to handle connectionless services,
providers were forced to bill for IP
services at flat rates.
Today, following the development
of the Internet Protocol Detail Record
(IPDR) standard and its incorporation
into DOCSIS, the door has opened to
usage-based billing for next generation
services. In large part, the rapid advance
toward IP profits has been led by the
evolution of mediation systems with
the capability to leverage the IPDR
standard and retrieve data from large
IP environments. In this new world,
mediation is the strategic enabler for
data integration between the network
and OSS/BSS systems – and the tap
that can open the floodgates on IP
service profitability.
However, not all mediation systems
are the same. Many in the industry
believe that mediation does not always
live up to the expectations set by
the framers of IPDR. Too often, for
example, the job of mediation for IPDR
is parsed between different software
solutions. Other times, a cable service
provider may find itself managing
multiple mediation solutions for IP and
traditional services. Both scenarios
lead to needless complexity, greater
inefficiency, higher operating costs
A unified approach
to IP profits
and lost profit opportunities.
Cable service providers need a
standard means of gathering data
tied to consumer and commercial
bandwidth consumption to support new
Internet billing models and to eventually
monetize their networks based on type
and amount of traffic carried. They
should demand a better approach to
IPDR mediation that optimizes their
investment in next generation networks
and services. The hallmarks of such
a solution:
– Scalability to handle a greater volume
of records as data grows exponentially.
– Flexibility to support billing and all
other BSS functions, and to integrate
with other vital disciplines such
as business intelligence/predictive
analytics, operations management
and marketing.
– Real-time actionable intelligence
providing the ability to see into
the network, optimize bandwidth
management, and monetize every
opportunity to drive new revenue
streams from convergent IP services.
How Convergys and DigitalRoute are
helping cable service providers to
manage and monetize bandwidth.
Cable service providers need a more
advanced approach to BSS that
improves bandwidth management and
monetization. Together with partners
DigitalRoute, Convergys is intensely
focused on helping cable service
providers leverage advanced BSS to
meet these core business objectives
and pursue new revenue opportunities.
Jan Karlsson, CEO at DigitalRoute,
comments on the rapidly expanding
uses for mediation:
“In addition to its familiar role
of integrating data across multiple
platforms to ensure timely, accurate
billing, mediation plays an important
part in ensuring efficient bandwidth
management. Convergys Active
Mediation powered by DigitalRoute, for
example, keeps track of bandwidth and
how it is used in a specific time period,
essentially connecting bandwidth with
a specific product and determining the
financial value contributed.”
If the solution finds that bandwidth is
not being used during a specific time of
day, it identifies this “blank spot” and
uses the information to help the cable
service provider develop special offers
and discounts that can increase usage.
By providing real-time connectivity
between all back office systems,
Convergys Active Mediation Manager
can positively impact capex and revenue
management, ensuring that the cable
service provider invests in solutions
that best control network utilization and
reduce or eliminate revenue leakage.
IPDR mediation made simple
As part of the Convergys Smart Suite,
Active Mediation Manager is the industry’s
first complete unified mediation solution
designed to simultaneously handle both
IP and traditional services. Unique in the
industry, the solution is the only mediation
offer that serves as a single platform for
the collection, guidance, aggregation,
enrichment and storage of IPDR data.
The ability to support multiple
services in one convergent mediation
environment, which is modular
and adaptable in design, provides a
significantly faster ROI model than
legacy mediation solutions that are
constrained by conventional “line of
service” specifications.
Highly configurable without
customization and with unparalleled
flexibility, unlike other mediation
solutions, it can process traditional
telephony usage records in batch mode
while simultaneously processing real-
time IPDR records to mediate video or
high-speed Internet usage.
Part of the job of protecting that
investment is vigilance on network usage.
In this capacity, Convergys Active Mediation
Manager lets cable service providers
identify third party traffic generated
by over-the-top players, to inform and
improve their competitive strategy.
Securing cable’s future
After investing hundreds of billions
on advanced infrastructures, cable
service providers have every incentive
to maximize their value. The tools are
at hand to better manage and monetize
bandwidth. Cable service providers
recognize the need to take action.
Those that adopt advanced “Smart
BSS” solutions will be tomorrow’s
leaders, able to quickly capitalize on
whatever new market opportunity the
future may hold.
Carl Davies is Convergys’ Director of
Global Marketing for Cable, Broadband
and Satellite. To learn more, visit
www.convergys.com/cable or email
Carl Davies at cable@convergys.com.
48 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
of multi-service operator (MSO)
Com Hem to private equity a
turning point for the post-down-
turn cable industry? In truth
the operator – the largest MSO
in Sweden – is by no means
representative of the state of
the market as a whole.
Most of its customers have
yet to transition to digital TV
or use telephony or Internet
access from the company.
In other words, it is a stable,
well-run company but one
with a lot of potential for
growth. Not all markets – even
in Europe where cable is less
well established than in North
America – are that promising.
On the other hand, many
other MSOs, both in Europe
and the U.S., do offer invest-
ment opportunities. Of course,
that was also the case before
the downturn. However, as
Mohammed Hamza, Analyst,
Europe, SNL Kagan’s Media
& Communications division,
points out, both buyers and
sellers have changed. “You
The June 2011 sale of Swedish multi-service operator Com Hem
to a private equity group prompted a great deal of comment. It wasn’t
the first time this had happened to Com Hem; the company attracted
private equity attention in 2003 and 2006. However, in the post-downturn
era, it raises some interesting questions about whether – and if so
how – cable companies have bucked the economic trend.
Is the cable boom over
or just beginning?
By Vaughan O’Grady
were looking at deals that were
over 50 percent leveraged,”
he says. “That doesn’t happen
any more. You even get several
banks financing a specific deal.
That’s quite telling in terms of
how the market’s moved over
the last few years.”
Clearly over-valuation of
underperforming cable com-
panies is no longer the order
of the day, and so MSOs have
worked harder to attract inves-
tors by streamlining opera-
tions and encouraging greater
efficiency. They have also
made greater efforts to meet
customer needs, offering, for
example, packages designed
for subscribers unable to af-
ford 50-euro-a-month bundles.
Cheaper entry points are also
becoming more noticeable in
North America.
One factor that is common to
most MSOs in North America
and Europe is DOCSIS – the
transport mechanism that gives
MSOs high-speed IP access.
In fact DOCSIS 3.0 doesn't
just enable them to compete
with broadband; it often allows
them to offer the top residen-
tial speeds available and opens
up numerous options in terms
of IP-based video delivery. And
high-speed IP access has, as
Hamza points out, “allowed
them to bundle broadband and
telephony with their existing
TV packages.”
Such offers don't automati-
cally mean subscriber growth.
However, they can mean a
high percentage of bundled,
and thereby higher-paying,
subscribers; Hamza estimates
80 percent in the case of
Virgin in the U.K.
Bundling is key
Bundling is now a key weapon
in the MSO armory. As Sean
McDevitt, VP of CSMG, part of
management consulting com-
pany TMNG Global, points out,
“In some markets – Germany
for example – pay-TV ARPUs
are low, and so bundling has
been a focal point to grow AR-
PUs and remain competitive.”
Video and Internet bundling
will continue to have positive
results, he feels, both as a
necessary defensive strategy
to marginalize [hard-disc-based
recording system] TIVO and
others through on-the-go
offerings, and also to help
develop more robust off-net-
work strategies to combat the
threat from over-the-top (OTT)
companies that offer television
programming over broadband.
Some argue that a mobility
offer can strengthen the pack-
age further. However, McDe-
vitt says, “While some MSOs
have had moderate success
with the addition of mobility,
the record is mixed.”
Reference to on-the-go of-
ferings inevitably brings us to
TV Everywhere (TVE), the idea
that a cable subscription can
be authorized – and some of
its content seen – on almost
any web-enabled device. TVE
is regarded by many as, for the
moment, an anti-churn tactic
for MSOs. However, Hamza
thinks TVE has revenue-
earning potential now. “Even
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 49
Familiar themes, new twists
though VoD [video on demand]
growth in terms of the amount
of money they’ve been mak-
ing has been relatively small,”
he says of MSOs, “it has
grown incrementally over the
last three to four years and it
continues to grow.”
Expanding TVE to tablets,
PCs, games consoles and
smartphones, will further spur
that growth – especially with a
strategy that makes appropri-
ate use of each TVE-accessing
device. The tablet is becom-
ing an enabler of catch-up TV
viewing for a young demo-
graphic used to non-traditional
forms of viewing. A mobile
device, by contrast, may be-
come a useful tool to access
the electronic program guide
(EPG). MSOs are, says Hamza,
“thinking quite carefully about
what each device actually
does in terms of the function
or functionality that it serves.”
But there’s more to TVE
than just TV, as McDevitt
points out. “As the MSOs
offer tablet, mobile-device
and laptop/PC-based applica-
tions and service offerings,
consumers are increasingly
able to provide self-care and
provisioning,” he says, adding,
“Advertising, particularly smart
advertising, is another nascent
area of MSO potential.”
Beyond TV, Michael Dargue,
Principal, CSMG, says, “An
additional focus area for MSOs
has been wholesale band-
width – backhaul, wireless
broadband offloads. There is
ample evidence to indicate
that the MSOs can play an
important and successful role
in this market.
For example, in the U.K., Vir-
gin Media recently won a £100
million [$156 million] contract
for the backhaul for Everything
Everywhere – which was
previously a BT contract – and
is also launching cloud partner-
ships with [managed hosting
and colocation provider] Savvis
to offer virtual private data
centers using VM enterprise
What is also a winning
formula, or so MSOs hope,
is targeting business SMEs
with broadband and video.
SMEs are a logical target,
not least because bigger,
longer-established commu-
nications operators already
have a strong foothold in major
corporations, and in any case,
as Dargue says, “In the U.S.
most MSOs have ‘footprint
constraints’ that impact their
ability to service the breadth of
larger enterprises.”
“What is new now,” he
continues, “is that the MSOs
are increasing their focus
on targeting specific verti-
cals – such as hospitality and
healthcare – where they have
reason to believe they can
offer targeted services and of-
ferings that will enable them
to move upmarket: TV, video,
broadband, Wi-Fi and addi-
tional applications – of which
voice may be just one.”
Targeting SMEs
While targeting SMEs is often
seen as a North American
phenomenon, it is likely to
become more common in
Europe. As Hamza says,
“There’s a big opportunity for
cable to target SMEs. It’s not
just traditional business in an
office. It’s things like hotels
and housing associations that
have their own systems, bars
and restaurants.”
Hamza agrees that Euro-
pean MSOs are more flexible.
He suggests they may have
to be. “As the markets are
very much saturated in terms
of broadband and in terms of
telephony – especially mobile
– you have to look at the sub-
scriber base and derive more
value from that.”
That could even mean – as
is happening in housing asso-
ciations in the Nordics – home
energy consumption advice on
your television. “We've talked
about the connected home for
years but we’re finally begin-
ning to see things happen,”
he says.
TM Forum is helping enable
a number of such business
models – through next genera-
tion IPDR and Frameworx (see
page 33), clearly, but also in
more unexpected ways, such
The TM Forum’s Next Gen IPDR Working Group has
identified what are referred to as “a set of next-gen
requirements that will extend the current value of IPDR.”
What does this mean in practice for MSOs?
Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) as a standard can
be used by almost anyone looking to develop a better data
collection and inter-party settlement method on IP networks.
However, the cable industry has adopted IPDR as a key
specification within DOCSIS, not least, as Kevin Alcox, VP,
Services & Operations, OpenVault and TM Forum IPDR Lead
points out, because “The [cable] system was designed to
distribute information downstream, not to return information
upstream. IPDR was brought in as an efficient mechanism to
transport back again that usage information, fault information
and performance information from the edge of the network.”
The volume of information coming from the edge network
and network endpoints will grow as IPv6 enables more
endpoints, including, possibly, a move by cable companies
into enabling more M2M services. However, Alcox says,
“IPDR at its basic level – collection of information from these
endpoints – is fairly stable, but underutilized.”
Despite this, he adds, “As we look at a converged network
industry between wireless and traditional telco and cable
operators, IPDR can start to expand into some other use
cases beyond faults, performance and just plain usage, with
a primary opportunity in support of cloud ecospheres.” It can,
for instance, start supporting content distribution tracking and,
eventually, a settlement concept for inter-partner settlement.
Alcox continues, “That’s one of the exciting areas we’ve
been looking at within our working group and in the Forum
– and even discussion taken over into CableLabs: how to
enable that smooth flow of tracking of content between
the content owners and the cable companies and then
among the cable companies themselves – and ultimately
expanding across industries into wireless, satellite and
Internet Protocol Detail Record: beyond usage information
50 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
as making a virtue of the OTT
challenge (see panels).
As for investors, it depends
on the cable company in
question. However, many
companies have long since
spent capital expenditure
[CapEx] on DOCSIS and TVE
plans are under way. Thus, “If
you’re looking to buy a cable
company, it's probably a pretty
good time,” says Hamza.
McDevitt adds: “In many
markets MSOs/cablecos have
an opportunity to take share
from incumbents in the period
before telcos have FTTH [fibre
to the home] capability. They
can offer 50 to 100Mbps at
competitive prices to maintain
or attract share in the residen-
tial and enterprise market for
broadband. That potential ad-
vantage, coupled with targeted
and well-thought out plans in
key growth areas for select
verticals, with cloud services
and wholesale services…
suggests optimism for the pru-
dently aggressive investor.”
Network evolution will
also be a factor, says Dargue.
“While fiber will be rolled out
deeper into all-IP networks and
DOCSIS 3.0 will be installed
broadly, these are funda-
mentally ongoing CapEx and
network investments. As they
move to all-IP environments
this should continue to reap
benefits of workplace and
network efficiencies.”
So, while the Com Hem
case is perhaps more to do
with the potential of a specific
MSO in an underserved mar-
ket, it could still be an indicator
of MSO longevity. A combi-
nation of economic realism,
greater efficiencies, tech-
nological development and
willingness to diversify makes
MSOs, at this stage, business
models with a future.
The goal of Frameworx 11.5 for Cable was, as Craig Bachmann, Head of the Cable Market
Support Center, TM Forum, puts it, “to produce assets [or] essentially reusable templates
that could be used by and for the cable industry as they work through their transformation of
services front and back office.”
Of course the cable industry uses slightly different terminology from, say, cellular – and
has a different network transport protocol with DOCSIS. Therefore, says Bachmann, “The
cable members wanted to generate reusable assets that are essentially in the terminology
and in the use cases that the cable industry is facing in its transformation.”
For the 2011 Team Action Week in Baltimore the MSOs brought in their use cases. The
most urgent of these was the TV Everywhere piece. The response was a set of charters that
drove these deliverables in record time. Frameworx 11.5 for Cable was released with these
assets at TM Forum Management World Americas the following November.
“The value of the Frameworx piece,” Bachmann explains, “is that it provides core aspects
of any business process, especially any business that is running a networked operation: you
have to set up something for customer care, you have to set up something for managing
the network and so on. What the Quick Start Pack then does is overlay and identify which of
those parts are relevant to TV Everywhere.”
Work doesn’t end there, of course. “We expect that over time there will be other things
added to the Quick Start Pack,” says Bachmann. “But it does provide a good out-of-the-box
generic view of how to essentially de-risk your TV Everywhere rollout.”
Adapting Frameworx to the needs of TV Everywhere
While the TM Forum can offer standards to boost the efficiency of TV Everywhere (TVE) and
many existing MSO services, it is also finding ways to show MSOs that revenue potential can
exist in some unexpected places. For example, while competition from over-the-top (OTT)
TV and video services can be combated via TVE offerings, OTT can also be made part of the
MSO’s revenue stream, albeit in an indirect manner.
A Catalyst project (see panel on page 97) at TM Forum Management World Americas in
November 2011 showed how MSOs can use TM Forum Frameworx toolsets to leverage
their advanced delivery capabilities to deliver third-party content with a guaranteed quality of
service (QoS). Why does this matter? Net neutrality means that a cable or cellular company
in the U.S. has little control over the quality of the content delivered by third parties on its
broadband or 3G network. Quality service delivery is often overlooked by OTT companies
in particular, meaning, at its most obvious, frustratingly low picture quality. However, MSO
partnerships with content providers could change the game for both parties, as Andrew
Thomson, SVP, Infonova Solutions, explains.
“[OTT] content providers don't have any concept of customers,” he says. “This innovative
Catalyst project design would enable the MSO to offer them a complete customer
management and billing system as well and [enable them to] define their content services
and actually price them as premium services to the customer.”
How this could happen involves what is called multi-party monetization of digital services, a
way to combine Frameworx and the capabilities of companies like OpenVault, Tektronix and
Infonova, to monitor and support QoS guarantees.
It can apply to pretty much any digital service carrying third party content, but the point for
MSOs is, says Thomson, that “delivered QoS of content is no longer just OTT best efforts.”
The result? The user will – potentially – be aware that they can pay for a better picture. The
content provider has a monetization incentive that didn’t exist before. And the carrier can
plow back any earnings into boosting the capacity of its network.”
Over-the-top meets quality of service
Today’s generation have grown
up with the Internet, have different
demands and a new mindset. Never
owning post-paid services, preferring to
demand information and, consume and
pay for services in real-time. These de-
mands call for innovative solutions with
loyalty-driving features:
– Real-time convergent charging
– Predictive analytics and business
– Policy management
– Social decisioning
Loyalty is extremely important, espe-
cially in today’s competitive TV market.
Get the back-office solution right and
retention will grow, with loyal customers
recommending the company, making
frequent purchases, forgiving a bad ex-
perience, and providing input for product
Carl Davies is Convergys’ Director of
Global Marketing for Cable, Broadband
and Satellite. To learn more, visit
www.convergys.com/cable or email
Carl Davies at cable@convergys.com.
Sponsored feature
The shift in how today’s cable market
leaders treat customers is marked by
a combination of personalization and
service – a familiar goal much like the
intimacy gained in a door-to-door sales-
person’s face-to-face meeting with a
customer. But there all similarity ends.
Now the “handshake” that seals the
success of customer interactions is
largely technology-based. Instead of ‘on
the world’s doorsteps’, today’s competi-
tive gateway is the intelligent back-office,
a sophisticated IT infrastructure that
masterminds the real-time integration of
billing data, business intelligence, predic-
tive analytics and CRM to create an
in-the-moment portrait of the customer:
a concise view of his or her buying pow-
er, history, usage, personal preferences
and likelihood to move up the value chain
with future purchases.
This infrastructure, commonly called
“Smart BSS,” empowers cable compa-
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Research reveals important insights
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– Service is Declining. Nearly 8 out of 10
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their cable company has either stayed
the same or is worse.
– Bad Experiences Lead to Churn.
Nearly 4 out of 10 customers who
had a bad experience left their cable
– Social Media Takes Bad Experiences
Viral. Nearly 6 out of 10 people who
have heard about somebody else’s bad
experience either stopped doing busi-
ness or avoided a company.
– Loyalty Up For Grabs. Only 5 out of 10
cable customers say they are loyal to
the company.
In all industries, some 80% of custom-
ers who said they are loyal were satisfied
with their most recent interaction.
In today’s race to win customers, cable companies are trapped in a contest where conventional
approaches to resolving churn only put them farther behind the pack. What if it were possible to pull
ahead of the competition and stay ahead, building an insurmountable lead in customer loyalty that
leaves competitors in the dust?
52 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
communications and payments
is huge and getting bigger
(see panel). Fraud prevention
is now inextricably linked with
so many other systems and
processes that it already forms
one element of enterprise risk
management within a service
provider. That doesn’t mean
Fraud is a fact of life for service providers. The situation will only get more
demanding as new services proliferate, providing more opportunities for the
dishonest in areas such as machine-to-machine to near field communications,
and as more content-based services travel across networks. These factors,
combined with a number of high-profile attacks on companies in 2011,
have led to fraud being viewed as a pervasive element of enterprise risk
management – something of a new departure for service providers.
By George Malim
Familiar themes, new twists
fraud is fully integrated into
enterprise risk management
approaches yet, rather it is
typically dealt with in silos.
Threats from new services
Tal Eisner, Senior Director,
Product Strategy, cVidya Net-
works, says of mobile money,
“Everything in this area is
raising more and more con-
cern. Every once in a while
a product turns up that truly
changes everything. It doesn’t
matter if it is NFC [near field
communications] or remit-
tance, it will definitely change
the picture of how service
providers look for fraud or rev-
enue leakages. They are now
looking at financial transac-
tions just like banks, whereas
in the past, everything was
related to traffic and data.”
Simon Collins, General
Manager, Praesidium, the
consulting division of WeDo
Technologies, says, “One key
area that hasn’t come to light
is that the access method and
New frauds join old
as operators embrace
enterprise risk management
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 53
Familiar themes, new twists
the service have always been
together and now they are
splitting. Access channels are
separate from the service run-
ning on the top and we now
have multiple identities and
the end-point has a different
device identity.”
Eisner agrees, saying,
“Service providers will have
to secure what’s going on in
the financial transactions of
their customers. That requires
a change of view, a change of
momentum and a change of
their entire perspective.”
Operators’ reputations as
trusted billers are at stake.
“Even if the financial losses
were not big, a customer feel-
ing they are a victim of fraud
related to financial transac-
tions has a bigger impact
than subscription fraud,” says
Eisner. “It feels like someone
put their hand in the custom-
er’s wallet.”
a much larger risk because
the operator is no longer in
charge of the device. The
operator doesn’t know what
I download.”
Old threats remain
New types of fraud might be
grabbing the headlines, but
long-standing frauds, includ-
ing those committed within
operators, continue to present
a massive source of revenue
Dale Youngs, Director,
Product Management, Subex,
says, “What scares me more
is a lot of our customers are
still mostly reliant on the
old services. The focus has
moved away from them but
a risk manager looking at this
industry would probably say
never mind the new services,
why are there still problems
with PBX fraud?”
“The synergy between fraud
and revenue assurance has
become greater and greater
and the volume of operations
shows us there is more and
more concern,” adds Eisner.
“Politics and personnel factors
will take their toll and probably
prevent the two becoming one
but in daily work, those dis-
ciplines are becoming closer
and closer. If in the past, fraud
people worked from intelli-
gence, gut instinct and whistle
blowers, they are now working
in more and more organized
and analytical ways. They are
going about it in a much more
methodical way.”
Collins adds, “Risk depart-
ments are becoming smaller
as operators focus on the
larger risks because they
don’t have the size or depth
of personnel required. We’re
now finding a shift from in-
cremental fraud management
to managing risk across the
whole business.”
The approach is highly tar-
geted and involves resource
being devoted to areas in
which it can generate the
greatest return. TM Forum
has constructed models to
examine different items and
sources of fraud to associate
a risk value to items so opera-
tors can prioritize threats (see
panel on page 54).
Collins continues, “You
have to focus on the service.
If basic voice minutes are
worth nothing, it’s not worth
chasing fraud. However,
operators are still interested
in protecting international
roaming revenues because
their value is greater.”
Youngs agrees: “Internation-
al direct dial fraud, for exam-
ple, has declined over the past
five years or so. Rates have
come down so much that it
has become irrelevant from a
fraud point of view. I still worry
that we’re very immature and
not rigorous enough in how
we approach fraud. “
TM Forum has been
working to address how
operators can put method-
ologies in place to refine
their approaches to fraud.
Within the Forum’s Revenue
Management initiative fraud
and revenue assurance are
addressed within an enter-
prise risk management series
The Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA),
which is run on behalf of operators around the world to
help them grapple with this issue, published the latest in its
series of global studies on fraud in October 2011.
It estimates that fraud losses in 2010-11 were
$40.1 billion, down from 33 percent in the CFCA’s
2008 survey, and equivalent to its 2003 estimate. As
a percentage of global telecom revenues, fraud losses
are approximately 1.88 percent of revenues, which is a
1.66 percent decrease from 2008. The main reason for
the relative decrease is growth in global revenues has
outpaced that in fraud losses, along with improved anti-
fraud programs and an increase in collaboration of anti-fraud
professionals within the industry.
Some 34 respondents reported a total of $2.0 billion in
confirmed fraud losses at their companies. The top five
fraud loss categories reported by operators were:
Q $4.96 billion through compromised PBX/voicemail
Q $4.32 billion through subscription and identity theft
Q $3.84 billion through international revenue share fraud
Q $2.88 billion through by-pass fraud
Q $2.40 billion through credit card fraud
For more information please visit:
Facts about communications fraud
“TM Forum has been
working to address
how operators can
put methodologies
in place to refine
their approaches
to fraud.”
Steve Cotton, Head of
Revenue Management, TM
Forum, sees this as a critical
issue too: “That trusted rela-
tionship is part of their assets.
Goodwill is on the books.”
Collins says, “The end-point
is becoming the critical point.
Risks are moving from the
core to the periphery, bringing
new problems like Trojans
and viruses. The end-point is
54 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Familiar themes, new twists
of projects. “I’ve got groups
looking at overall enterprise
risk management and groups
focusing on specific operator
sub-groups,” says Cotton.
“We’re looking from the C-
suite inwards and from opera-
tions outwards. The approach
the Forum is taking is more
systematic with schemes and
methodologies that ensure re-
sults. Organizational structure
is almost irrelevant – we’re
much more focused on creat-
ing process-centered models
than organizational models.
Organizational structure is a
necessary burden of having
humans populating the enter-
prise, but it is not the way to
be efficient.”
Youngs sees great value
emerging: “The attitude in
TM Forum is more grounded
and looks at the fundamen-
tals with greater rigor,” he
says. “One thing close to
my heart that the Forum is
piloting is the concept of
classification and how we
characterize fraud [see panel
above]. There’s no consisten-
cy about how to characterize
fraud as an organization, let
alone as an industry. Without
actionable intelligence you
really have no idea about the
extent of the problem and
where it is.”
With all these change
dynamics and the coming shift
in wireless bearer technol-
ogy to LTE and ongoing all-IP
transformation in the fixed and
wireless markets, the fraud
arena is radically changing and
Cotton expects approaches to
fraud to alter similarly. “Every
once in a while in communi-
cations you’ll see something
come to the fore,” he says.
“Something big is percolating
here surrounding enterprise
risk management and encom-
passing fraud within it. From
every side, everyone is talking
about it and asking about it and
trying to figure out solutions.”
That ‘something big’ will
see fraud move from be-
ing an isolated function to
forming a constituent part
of operators’ approach to
enterprise risk management.
Backed by methodologies,
standardized processes and
fraud classifications, the
fundamentals that Youngs
wants to see in the industry
are being addressed and the
efficiency in fraud prevention
that Cotton describes will
come about as a corollary to
getting the basics right.
The Fraud Management Group is run under the umbrella of TM Forum’s Revenue Management initiative and has a
Collaboration Community that our members are most welcome to join to contribute to helping the industry tackle fraud –
please see www.tmforum.org/FraudManagement for more information.
If you would like to get involved in the Forum’s work on fraud (or any other aspect of revenue management or enterprise
risk management) please contact Steve Cotton, Head of Revenue Management via scotton@tmforum.org
The first edition of the TM Forum’s Fraud Classification Guide has identified more than 80 types of fraud to provide
consistency across the industry in how we characterize the threats – it is free for our members to download from here
The TM Forum Fraud Operation Management Guidebook Release 1.0 was published in May 2011 and is available free to
members from www.tmforum.org/GB947FraudOperations. It outlines best practices drawn from the communications and
other industries.
TM Forum’s fraud management activities
The profile of risk management has risen considerably in
the last decade. Following some high-profile corporate
failures, more and more of the business world is turning
to the discipline of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
to help them manage uncertainty, avoid ‘shocks’ to the
system and instill confidence in investors.
Risk awareness needs to be embedded within the
communications provider’s organization. By forming a
bridge between the TM Forum’s Frameworx suite of
standards (see page 33) and the generic global ERM
standards, such as ISO 31000 and the COSO ERM
Framework, TM Forum’s ERM team aims to support the
lean execution of ERM within communications providers.
Leveraging the TM Forum’s Business Benchmarking
Program (see page 105) will give communications providers
a unique opportunity to compare how they manage risk
with their peers, and hence to use those benchmark results
as a basis for setting and managing the expectations of
external stakeholders.
If you would like to know more and/or take part in
the ERM initiative, please go to www.tmforum.org/
enterpriseriskmanagement or contact Steve Cotton,
Head of Revenue Management, TM Forum via
TM Forum’s Enterprise Risk
Management Group
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Increasingly fraud management is not just
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Increased Opportunities for Fraudsters
Next generation and IP network
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opportunities for fraudsters continues to
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U Identity spoofing / subscription fraud
Agile Fraud Management
- Keeping Pace with Fraudsters
U High risk destination fraud
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Agility – A Requirement for
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Just as fraudsters are continuing to
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56 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
can take many forms, and
range from nuisance inter-
ruptions to the functioning of
terminals and systems to the
shut-down of critical national
infrastructures. Experts antici-
pate that, as the new decade
unfolds, the incidence of this
type of activity will increase,
and the consequences of
breached or compromised
cyber security will become
ever more serious.
“There’s no question that
attackers are using more
insidious, sophisticated and
silent methods to steal data
and wreak havoc,” reasons
Sean Doherty, Vice President
and Chief Technology Officer
of Enterprise Security at
security firm Symantec Corp.
“Organizations today have
more to lose than ever before
and need to keep adopting the
security innovations and best
practices that the industry is
delivering to stay protected.”
From just the commercial
perspective, the scale of the
cost of cyber crime is already
staggering. In 2011, the
Second Annual Cost of Cyber
Crime Study, an ArcSight/
HP analysis conducted by the
Ponemon Institute, revealed
that the median annualized
cost of cyber crime incurred
by a benchmark sample of
organizations was $5.9 million
per year, with a range of $1.5
million to $36.5 million each
year per organization.
The same year, the overall
annual cost to the U.K. econ-
omy from cyber crime was
estimated at £27 billion by the
Office of Cyber Security &
Information Assurance in the
Cabinet Office, working with
information intelligence ex-
perts Detica. Globally the total
cost of cyber crime has been
put at anywhere between $1
trillion and $3 trillion annually.
In principle, all this indi-
cates an urgent need for the
development and deployment
of improved cyber threat
awareness, warning, detec-
tion, prevention and recovery
mechanisms and technolo-
gies. Certainly there is much
activity at the government and
government agency level, both
nationally and internationally.
Governments gear up for
growth in cyber threats
The U.K., for example, has
drawn up a new National
Security Strategy, which ranks
cyber attack and cyber crime
in its top five highest priority
risks. It has committed £650
From hacktivists to state-sponsored cyber terrorism, cyber security
issues are becoming more and more serious, with concerns about
criminals and terrorists being able to shut down national infrastructure
or wipe billions off the share price of companies. Research shows that
the majority of corporate breaches could easily be prevented and, all too
often, security is not given priority until something happens.
How are national governments and government agencies looking to
tackle these threats and what steps can be taken in the boardroom to
improve security?
Cyber attacks propel
security concerns up the
corporate agenda
By John Williamson
Familiar themes, new twists
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 57
million ($1,030 million) of new
funding for a national cyber
security program, established
a new Ministerial Group on cy-
ber security, and set up a new
Defence Cyber Operations
Group, incorporating cyber
security into the mainstream
of national defense planning
and operation.
Cameron, U.K. Prime Minister.
"Cyber security is a top priority
for government and we will
continue to work closely with
the police, security services,
international partners and the
private sector to ensure that
the U.K. remains one of the
most secure places in the
world to do business.”
Parliament, the Council, the
European Economic and
Social Committee and the
Committee of the Regions on
Critical Information Infra-
structure Protection (CIIP):
Achievements and next steps:
towards global cyber-security.
This was followed up in
November with the stag-
ing of the first joint cyber
security exercise between
the European Union and the
U.S., and a call by Neelie
Kroes, Vice-President of the
EC responsible for the Digital
Agenda, for a beefed up Euro-
pean Network and Information
Security Agency (ENISA).
A growing gap
News from the enterprise
sector itself is more mixed. In
the rush to utilize new tech-
nologies and move into the
increasingly borderless world
of cloud computing, mobile
devices and social media, a
growing gap is developing
between global organiza-
tions' business needs and
their ability to tackle new and
complex security threats. So
concludes Ernst & Young's
14th annual Global Informa-
tion Security Survey released
in November 2011.
Furthermore, although 72
percent of respondents to the
survey see increasing levels
of risk due to external threats,
and more companies are likely
to adopt mobile tablet usage,
security implementation is still
low. The survey also reports
that only about a third of re-
spondents have updated their
information security strategies
in the past 12 months.
“Information security is
one of the most important
issues companies face
today, and strategies need
to be refined to adjust to an
ever-changing environment
and resulting security risks,”
says Bernie Wedge, Ameri-
cas Information Technology
Risk and Assurance leader at
Ernst & Young LLP.
"Mobility and networking are
here to stay. The best-protect-
ed companies are those that
are proactive, detecting and
managing minor issues before
they become major incidents,
and for many companies, this
means the current mind-set
needs to change from a focus
on short-term fixes to a holis-
tic, strategic approach."
Front line management
Over time the range of de-
fenses against cyber attacks
has been steadily expanded,
and now includes firewalls,
intrusion prevention systems,
signature-based malware and
anti-virus solutions. The prob-
lem is, though, that current
approaches to threat discov-
ery, protection and repair are
highly fragmented.
By and large, these and
other solutions are optimized
for discrete applications – for
example, computer network
defense, information assur-
ance, intrusion detection,
intrusion protection, or insider
threat security. What’s actu-
ally required, now and in the
future, are integrated, coordi-
nated full-spectrum defenses
and responses. Here the
management aspect is critical
and, accordingly, the work of
TM Forum is pivotal.
TM Forum brings a wealth
of expertise and experience
to the security management
arena. Included are the as-
sociation’s Single Sign-On
“Strategies need to be refined to
adjust to an ever-changing environment
and resulting security risks.”
In November 2011 the U.K.
Government published its
new Cyber Security Strategy,
setting out how the U.K.
would support economic
prosperity, protect national
security and safeguard the
public’s way of life by building
a more trusted and resilient
digital environment.
A statement noted that
around 6 percent of the U.K.’s
GDP is generated by the
Internet and is set to grow –
making it a larger sector than
either utilities or agriculture
– with the Internet boom pre-
dicted to create 365,000 jobs
over the next five years.
Protection strategy
“While the Internet is un-
doubtedly a force for social
and political good, as well as
crucial to the growth of our
economy, we need to protect
against the threats to our
security. This strategy not only
deals with the threat from ter-
rorists to our national security,
but also with the criminals
who threaten our prosperity
as well as blight the lives of
many ordinary people through
cyber crime,” says David
The U.S. has been equally
busy, with numerous
defense- and enterprise-relat-
ed initiatives aimed at raising
awareness of the problem and
facilitating appropriate detec-
tion and prevention measures.
In July 2011 the Department
of Defense (DoD) released the
DoD Strategy for Operating in
Cyberspace (DSOC) docu-
ment. This described the first
DoD unified strategy for cy-
berspace and encapsulated a
new way forward for the orga-
nization’s military, intelligence
and business operations.
“Strong partnerships with
other U.S. government de-
partments and agencies, the
private sector and foreign na-
tions are crucial,” says William
J. Lynn III, U.S. Deputy Secre-
tary of Defense. “Our success
in cyberspace depends on a
robust public/private partner-
ship. The defense of the
military will matter little unless
our civilian critical infrastruc-
ture is also able to withstand
On the international front,
in March 2011 the European
Commission adopted a Com-
munication to the European
Familiar themes, new twists
58 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
solution that provides an open
interface towards a central
management system, work
on policy-driven security (see
page 44) across federated net-
works and identity manage-
ment, and projects addressing
security requirements for
cloud computing.
In addition, the Forum is in
receipt of important relevant
intellectual property (IP), com-
prising a Net-Defense (NetD)
data model, Implementation
Guide, and accompanying data
dictionary, contributed by the
U.S. National Security Agency
(NSA). The Net-D model itself
encompasses several other
relevant standards, such as
the National Institute of Stan-
dards and Technology (NIST)
Security Content Automa-
tion Protocol (SCAP) suite
of standards. A subsequent
IP contribution, made by the
office of the CIO of the U.S.
Defense Information Sys-
tems Agency, was a series of
NetOps schemas.
One of TM Forum’s most
successful achievements to
date is the development of the
Frameworx suite of standards
that provide the blueprint for
effective business operations
for next generation communi-
cation service providers (see
page 33) and is constantly
TM Forum’s Security
states encompassing preven-
tion, configuration, monitoring,
analysis, detection, warning,
incident management, and re-
sponse and recovery. Although
many contributions are being
provided for this effort by gov-
ernment and defense entities,
the benefits are available to all
800-plus TM Forum members
enabling standards-based
distributed policy manage-
ment – translating business
requirements, including
security needs, into network
“We have developed an
abstract security model for TM
Forum to adopt and promul-
gate through its component
specifications, and that work is
in progress now,” states Bob
Natale, Principal Engineer, GIG
NetOps at MITRE Corp, the
not-for-profit organization that
manages several U.S. Feder-
ally Funded Research and
Development Centers.
Natale, who also heads up
TM Forum’s Security Manage-
ment Initiative, adds that the
model itself – the TM Forum
Security Model – is consid-
ered well-developed, incorpo-
rating as it does a number of
large-scale existing but harmo-
nized industry security models
developed by organizations
such as the NIST and the
U.S. Department of Homeland
In a world where business, government and social
interactions are increasingly conducted online, privacy and
the safekeeping of personal data are growing concerns. But
considerations of privacy may actually impede defensive
measures against certain types of cyber attack.
One type is the so-called botnet attack. In this, thousands
of computers are remotely commandeered to mount
distributed denial of service attacks and perform other
malicious actions against enterprise and government
websites and network resources. By many accounts, botnet
attacks are on the increase, with one security firm, Lookout
Mobile Security, now predicting that smartphones and tablet
computers could be the next in line to be hijacked on a large
scale by botnet attackers.
General discovery and defensive measures against
botnets include packet inspection, analysis of network traffic
volumes, origins and destinations, the use of intentionally
vulnerable ‘decoy’ sites and black listing. However, as
noted by Botnets: Detection, Measurement, Disinfection
& Defence, an analysis published by ENISA: “The remote
identification of infected machines, or the recovery of
credentials from a malicious server, may violate privacy laws
and can complicate data collection.” This is a consequence of
the assertion by some security specialists that an IP address
has the same status as personal data. In another analysis,
Botnets: 10 Tough Questions, the European agency states:
“IP addresses are the most important identifier, used by
security researchers and ISPs alike, for computer systems
connected to networks. To apply countermeasures more
effectively against botnets, a practically-oriented strategy
should be found for balancing privacy and data protection
laws, with the ability to investigate cybercrime.”
Privacy cuts both ways
“TM Forum brings a wealth of
expertise and experience to the
security management arena.”
Management Initiative has
contributed to the evolution
of Frameworx, and is adding
full-spectrum security man-
agement guidance (see page
108) concerning architecture,
processes, information and
data models, applications,
interfaces, and testing to the
Frameworx standards suite
and certification processes.
The goal is to produce a
‘soup-to-nuts’ set of spectrum
management processes and
spread across 195 countries.
Significant progress is
reported. By May 2011,
Frameworx Release 11 added
major security management
features to the Information
Framework (SID), enabling
service providers to detect,
analyze and act on security
vulnerabilities, threats, events
and incidents using resource
data elements.
It also featured the Policy
Information Exchange Model,
Familiar themes, new twists
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 59
Let the Games begin,
but will technology’s benefits
end quickly?
The London 2012 Olympic Games is seeing massive technological
investment in a deprived area of one of the world’s greatest cities.
We assess the potential technological and social legacy of the Games.
By George Malim
to secure London hosting the
Olympic Games in 2012 was
the regeneration and long-
term legacy that the event
will bring to the Stratford area
of the city. That fits with the
International Olympic Com-
mittee’s (IOC) agenda to have
the games hosted in cities
where lasting benefits will
be brought to the population.
Stratford certainly fits that cri-
terion. A poor, semi-industrial
area in the east of the city,
life expectation decreases
“Core networking technologies, both
in the fixed and wireless sectors,
will be brought to the site.”
Familiar themes, new twists
Familiar themes, new twists
60 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
2012 Delivery Program. “As
a snapshot, this operation
covers: 80,000 connections
across 94 locations, 16,500
telephone lines, 14,000
SIM cards, 10,000 cable TV
outlets, 4,500km of internal
cabling and 1,800 wireless
access points.”
There’s a big network being
built. “Up to 60 Gigabits of
information will be transmitted
across the BT London 2012
communications network each
second,” adds Boden. “That's
the equivalent to 3,000 photo-
graphs per second.”
Video is obviously going
to be the greatest challenge
U.K. mobile network provid-
ers, O2, BT is providing an
enhanced mobile network ser-
vice within most of the ven-
ues that delivers enhanced
coverage throughout those
venues for the Olympic family
and rate card mobile users,”
says Boden. “For those users
it will provide sufficient capac-
ity to allow for high-density
‘busy-hour’ usage.”
New technologies don’t win
The hype surrounding new
technologies is unlikely to be
in strong evidence within the
Olympic Village. The stakes
are too high to use it as a test
tant that we implement tried
and tested technologies to
make sure that the commu-
nications services we provide
are as robust and reliable as
possible – it’s not appropriate
to road test new technologies
at the Games. However, we
are deploying super-fast fiber
broadband infrastructure and
cloud-based voice services,
which are two good examples
of new, innovative technolo-
gies which are already being
used by a variety of BT’s
Away from the Olympic
Park, wider usage of new
technologies will be in
evidence. Mobile payments
company Verifone is rolling
out a new payment service
to London’s licensed taxi
trade. Mark Roberts, VP, Taxi
Systems, Verifone, expects
to have deployed the system
in more than 6,000 black cabs
by the time the Games begin.
That will see Verifone over-
take McDonald's as the U.K.’s
widest installed base of con-
tactless payment terminals.
The system is currently
credit card-based and in-
stalled in more than 2,000
taxis, but within a year will
move to NFC so users can
tap and go. Roberts has
funding in place to install the
system in all of London’s
22,000 licensed taxis.
The proposition isn’t just
about payments, as Roberts
explains: “We’re working
with Wireless Logic for the
communications technology
and have put in significant in-
frastructure,” he says. “Each
cab has 1Gbps of data com-
munications capacity. We
don’t need it for the payment
process, which only takes
every mile traveled east from
Westminster, the U.K.’s seat
of government, towards Strat-
ford. That distance is seven
miles so life expectancy is
seven years lower in Stratford
than in Westminster.
The Olympic Games provide
a real opportunity to create
new buildings and centers of
sporting excellence and the
supporting accommodation for
athletes will become housing
after the games have finished.
However, it’s not just bricks
and mortar and sporting facili-
ties that will form the Olympic
Aside from the hype sur-
rounding new technologies
such as machine to machine
(M2M) or near field communi-
cations (NFC), core network-
ing technologies, both in the
fixed and wireless sectors,
will be brought to the site.
Most importantly, some
of the capacity will be left in
place to support the construc-
tion of technology clusters,
educational establishments
and a regenerated local busi-
ness environment.
BT is working closely with
LOCOG, The London Organis-
ing Committee of the Olympic
and Paralympic Games, along
with Atos and Cisco Systems.
It will be responsible for deliv-
ering every official photograph
from the games, every TV
picture and every visit to the
Games website, along with
millions of calls, emails and
“We are delivering commu-
nications services for mobile
and fixed telephony, wide and
local area networks, cable TV
feeds and transmission,” says
Tim Boden, Business Technol-
ogy Director of BT’s London
“The number of smartphones
users will bring to the site will
present significant challenges.”
both in terms of enabling the
world's media to distribute
content from the Games
but also in terms of the user
generated content likely to
be created and sent. The
number of smartphones that
users will bring to the site
will present significant
“User-generated content is
outside BT’s direct remit for
the Games,” explains Boden.
“Many users will utilize the
public cellular networks
which are being provided by
the mobile network operators
inside the venues and the
Olympic Park.”
That will still leave local cel-
lular operators carrying much
of the strain, although BT will
be working on site to improve
capacity in venues. “Via a
contract with one of the major
bed for unproven technolo-
gies and services.
“The real thing LOCOG
wants is scalability, security
and resilience,” explains Neil
Crockett, Managing Direc-
tor of Cisco London 2012 at
Cisco Systems. “There are
no medals for showboating,
they want total reliability. The
hardware specification was
locked down 240 days before
the Games begin. As Jean-
Benoît Gauthier, Technology
Director of the IOC, says:
“You can postpone the launch
of a rocket but you can never
postpone the launch of the
Games for IT.”
Boden agrees: “BT is not
using NFC or M2M technolo-
gies in any of its services to
the Games, as they are not
required to deliver our ser-
vices,” he says. “It’s impor-
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 61
about 10Mb, we need it for
the media content, which will
be displayed on a customer-
facing screen.”
That will display advertising
content that will be location
aware. For example, the sys-
tem will know that the taxi
journey started at London’s
Heathrow Airport so, as the
journey progresses into the
city it will make relevant sug-
gestions and offer deals to
the customer.
“We have the back-end
in place to do this,” adds
Roberts. “When the cab
approaches Harrods in
Knightsbridge, for example,
a special offer can be sent
and the user may accept it
using their mobile phone to
redeem a voucher. So many
things can be done with
infrastructure, from topping
up mobile phones to paying
for cab fares.”
Although not all of the
capacity will be left in place,
the vendors and service pro-
viders involved are conscious
of the benefits of leaving
technology on site after the
Games and are at varying
stages of confirming what
their legacy donations will be.
“Openreach is deliver-
ing fiber and copper cable
networks – using existing
infrastructure where that
exists and adding new infra-
structure between the main
Olympic venues and serving
exchanges,” adds Boden. “In
terms of new venues, such
as the Athletes’ Village, Press
Centre and Main Stadium,
we are engaging with legacy
stakeholders, including the
OPLC [Olympic Park Legacy
Company], to maximise the
re-use of the infrastructure
and support the legacy strat-
egy of the key venues.
“BT is leaving its next
generation fiber network in
place at the Olympic Village
and Sailing Venue in Wey-
mouth for the benefit of local
communities and businesses
after the Games. In terms
of existing venues, we have
been approached by a num-
ber of venues to consider
a legacy donation. We will
consider these on a case-by-
case basis.”
“We are also working with
the ODA [Olympic Develop-
ment Authority] and OPLC to
negotiate legacy use of our
mobile and Wi-Fi networks
after the Games, both at the
Olympic Park and at other
venues,” adds Boden.
Long-term strategy
Crockett is pursuing a long-
term strategy when it comes
to the legacy of Cisco Sys-
tems’ Olympic involvement.
“The first obvious thing we
will do is leave 20 percent of
the network infrastructure
behind in east London after
the Games,” he says. “We
don’t see the Olympics as be-
ing the end, we see it as the
end of the beginning. We’re
not doing this to get on to the
next Olympics as a sponsor;
we have a long-term plan
that has two parts. The first
is to address the skills gap in
the U.K. and the second is
to inspire children to take up
careers in technology.”
Cisco has a worldwide
Network Academy program,
which 28,000 U.K. students
went through last year.
Around 93 percent of the pro-
gram’s graduates end up with
a new job or go on to higher
education. The company has
announced new academies in
the London Borough of Tower
Hamlets. “We’d estimate that
4,000 to 5,000 children will go
through the academies in five
years,” says Crockett, who
adds that looking at the global
averages of program gradu-
ates, “a thousand kids will
have new jobs” as a result.
Cisco will also run an
innovation incubator in the
Shoreditch area of the city,
which will see it put part-
ners in a technology city and
work with them. “We’re also
looking at putting a second
incubator in the Olympic
Park,” he adds. “We’re trying
to find a way in there.”
The legacy of the London
2012 Olympics, at least in the
Olympic Village, is confined
to solid networking rather
than hyped technologies.
That should put in place the
core infrastructure to support
the services of the future and
address the currently under-
served residents of Stratford.
Initiatives such as Crock-
ett’s hint at longer-term
technology-led renaissance
of the east of London, but it
will be down to the consum-
ers and commercial service
providers to bring a raft of
new technologies to the
visitors to the Games.
“The legacy of the London 2012 Olympics,
… is confined to solid networking
rather than hyped technologies.”
Familiar themes, new twists
Sponsored feature
As an industry, Telecom continues
to display a remarkable capacity for
continuous reinvention and innovation.
Despite some admittedly painful
episodes in the relatively recent past,
the personal and commercial potential
of ever-greater connectedness still
continues to engage creative and
entrepreneurial spirits alike.
However, those of us with a
particular responsibility in BSS and
OSS sometimes find ourselves
caught between the need to react to
major trends, and the need for some
discontinuous innovation; to challenge
the conventional wisdom; to set aside
the rulebook. Where we are now,
digitisation (of everything) and the arrival
of broadband (access to everything)
represent just such irresistible drivers
for radical thinking.
There are signs that telcos are
beginning to make the sort of structural
changes that will enable new issues to
be properly addressed, and breaking
apart the established norms of
operations. At least two major mobile
operators are forming entirely new
“digital” entities, to operate across
national boundaries, and provide
applications, content and supporting
solutions that will execute across group
operating companies. (Telefonica O2
announced their strategic restructuring
in September 2011).
But success won’t come only by
applying rigorous change management.
It is not the challenge of managing
change that is the key issue, important
though that is. The key is the sort of
cross-functional, multi-discipline teams
that contribute all of the insights needed
to achieve a common goal. And a focus
on the convergence or integration of
the processes and systems that support
So – how much of what’s considered
BSS and OSS today will continue to be
a priority? What key trends will be most
important in driving innovation and the
next wave of BSS and OSS?
First, the application, in real time, of
increasingly sophisticated analytics will
simultaneously unlock new revenue
opportunities, improve the customer
experience and thereby mitigate against
underlying causes of churn. If telcos
can finally take smart advantage of the
vast amount of information they have
about their customers and their usage
patterns, they will find ways to compete
with traditional and non-traditional rivals.
When was the last time a provider
called you and began by saying, “We
would recommend you to...”? Contrast
that with our experience on pretty much
any online shopping site, where past
purchases and aggregated information
are combined to form well-targeted
propositions, with seasonal offers
adding to the compulsion factor.
It is precisely the ability to turn
data-driven insights into an actionable
offer, appropriate to the context, and
at multiple touch points, that will truly
impress customers. And let’s not
limit our aspirations to a BSS frame of
reference – nor to our own assets. The
ability to optimize service experience
by reconfiguring network parameters in
real time, again according to the devices
connected, services in use, credit or
The new rules of opportunity
Pamela Mallette, VP OSS Marketing, Telcordia
payment status, could not only make
use of spare network capacity but also
provide something proactively to loyal
customers. Throw in the ability to do
that across a supply chain involving
multiple partners (applications, content,
games...) and you’re getting somewhere
really interesting!
The opportunity presented billions
of customers, selecting to pre-pay for
services due to their preferential choice
or other reasons, has helped drive
innovation in BSS already, but the ability
to work in real time across both BSS
and OSS will open up brand new market
Second, understanding and embracing
the variety of who “the customer”
is. The fact that we typically pair that
word with another (think “customer
relationship”, “customer experience”),
disguises the increasing complexity
with which individuals interact with
a provider. In a broadband-enabled,
digital world, “the customer” can be
a bill payer, a subscriber, a visitor in
our network, a consumer of media or
content, a company, an employee,
in any permutation. Each role has
its own behavior characteristics and
parameters, its own ways of assessing
“experience”, and (critically) its own
relationships with other “customers”.
It has already been identified that peer
group preference is a factor in churn,
but beyond “friends and family” type
discounting, how many innovations
have telcos yet applied to improving the
experience of my calling circle – and to
keeping me (and my family/colleagues/
friends) “loyal”?
massively shift emphasis in OSS and
BSS towards greatly enhanced tracking,
monitoring and granularity of analysis.
One consideration remains
fundamental in B/OSS technical
strategies: scalability. Even given the
need for innovation, service providers
must continue to prioritize being able to
use a common platform to support tens
or hundreds of millions of customers.
It’s an integral requirement to preventing
supporting platforms becoming siloed
not because of lack of capability, but by
lack of scalability. It is only devices that
are getting smaller. Everything else is
getting bigger: storage, data, bandwidth
(demanded and available!), variety,
diversity. Scalability must remain a critical
What is becoming clear is that,
“transformation” or not, the range and
nature of forces on traditional telecom
providers make it inevitable that they
pursue holistic strategies of change.
While there may be some benefit
in departmental, unilateral change
programs, the required shift in business
performance can only come when we
address the organizational structures
together with the business processes
and the underlying systems and
technology – as one – the true definition
of “holistic”.
The point being that we’re not “done”
when we’ve checked every box in
a BSS or OSS functional map. In an
environment that is as challenging and
changeable as telecom, we’ve got to
keep adjusting, keep experimenting,
keep innovating in order to seize, and
capitalize on, the opportunities ahead.
As a point of reference, my own use
of telecom – like everyone else’s – is
now split across: my broadband provider
(BT), my mobile service provider (O2),
Skype, a couple of other clever local-
number/internet-routing calling apps,
entertainment apps (BBC iPlayer, of
course). Oh, and my business phone.
Of course, none of these “knows”
anything about the others, which means
anyone offering to provide a “360
degree customer view” of my usage
or experience has got to be relying on
smoke and mirrors. Yet the prospect
of combining data in this fragmented
supply chain, to create offers that are
informed and relevant, and transparently
data-driven, offers opportunities to
multiple players in the value chain.
Third, the undeniable reality of the
multi-device experience.
It’s not so long ago that we talked
about convergent devices – that a
single device might be your phone,
your wallet or purse, your diary all
rolled into one. In practice it turned out
differently, new devices evolved and
people prefer to use different devices
in different situations for the most
convenient experience. But in any case
that discussion has been overtaken
by a much more interesting idea,
which is almost exactly the reverse
use case: that instead you might
actually want the same service (diary,
wallet, entertainment) to be accessible
seamlessly across multiple devices.
After all, wasn’t that the mantra of the
late '90s? Communication in any form
on any device, anywhere? The reality
of the multi-device experience will
”What is becoming clear
is that, 'transformation’ or
not, the range and nature of
forces on traditional telecom
providers make it inevitable
that they pursue holistic
strategies of change.”
64 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Activation and automation
are key to successful
fiber deployments
In this second decade of the 21st century, there is often a presumption
that broadband is ubiquitous, apart from in exotic, remote locations.
This is not the case. In developed economies, lots of people in rural
areas have no or low-speed connectivity, while in developing countries,
the situation can be bleaker, as for many of those markets, the cost
of deploying broadband is just too high. The good news is that the
emerging Gigabit Passive Optical Network standard will help reduce the
cost and amount of infrastructure required for mass market deployment.
By Anita Karvé
It’s a sobering thought that
out of all the world’s coun-
tries (estimates vary from
between around 185 to 196,
depending on your definition
and politics), there are only
about 40 countries, “where
Familiar themes, new twists
broadband is available in
terms of deployment and also
being affordable,” says Oliver
Johnson, CEO of U.K.-based
analyst firm Point Topic.
“A large percentage of
the population in places like
China, the U.S. and the U.K.
have what most of us regard
as satisfactory conditions for
broadband; however the rest
of the world still has some
work to do.” He adds, “The
economics are simply that
broadband is out of the reach
of many average citizens.”
Johnson adds that recent
research he conducted shows
that if the global average price
of a broadband subscription
were to drop by just 1
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 65
Familiar themes, new twists
percent, 5 million more
households around the world
could afford it.
To achieve wider availabil-
ity Johnson reckons, “There
has to be the right combina-
tion of conditions: competi-
tion between providers, suffi-
cient infrastructure within the
country, enough people who
can afford it and economic
conditions that allow opera-
tors to make a profit.”
According to Point Topic’s
research, the next five years
will be critical for broadband
with some 814 million lines
being added by 2016 (see
Figure 1).
There are other factors too,
as Johnson observes; “Some
areas don’t regard having
their population being able to
access information as good
for them, so we see some
heel dragging going on in the
more authoritarian regimes of
the world.”
In other places, it’s more
about economics, with many
countries blocking access to
voice over IP because it cuts
international call revenues for
incumbent telcos. For many
countries, interconnect rates
are a valuable source of
hard currency.
According to Robin Mersh,
CEO, Broadband Forum,
many regions and countries –
African nations and the BRIC
countries of Brazil, Russia,
India and China – have plenty
of growth ahead of them.
“China is the fastest growing
with almost 40 percent of all
new broadband subscribers
added in the 12 months to
June 2011,” he says.
“In terms of rate of growth,
Brazil and Russia also out-
paced the top 10 countries,
each with increases of over
20 percent for the same 12
Mersh adds that even
though these countries are
starting from a lower in-
stalled base, with double-dig-
it growth rates some of them
are making strong progress
in deploying broadband on a
larger scale.
The greater good
Politics and economics aside,
getting infrastructure provid-
ers and content providers
together to deliver broadband
access and services has also
proven challenging.
“Standards are extremely
important,” Mersh says.
“They provide the foundation
on which vendors and service
providers can build their road-
maps for developing products
and services. Standards lead
to interoperability, and this
drives down the costs of
deployment and drives in-
novation and the introduction
of new services.”
An emerging standard for
helping to reduce the cost
and amount of infrastructure
required for mass market
broadband deployment is
GPON, or Gigabit Passive
Optical Network, a point-to-
multipoint technology for
bringing fiber to the prem-
ises that’s showing a lot of
“It’s still relatively early
days for GPON, but the
reason it’s gaining ground is
because it opens the gate to
halfway between fiber to the
home and fiber to the cabinet
or node,” Johnson says.
What that means is an
infrastructure provider can
deploy fiber to a central of-
fice, and after that point high
speeds can be rolled out to
numerous end-points, no
matter what the underlying
infrastructure might be.
Also, there is a lot of cop-
per wire in the ground in
some parts of the world, and
not having to dig it up will
provide big cost savings for
network operators.
“The advantage of GPON
is that, unlike all of the other
Figure 1: Prediction of the world’s top 10 countries by
broadband lines in 2016
“The economics
are simply that
broadband is out
of the reach of many
average citizens.”
Source: Point Topic: www.point-topic.com
Q2 2011
Q2 2016
66 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
technology that rides across
the fiber infrastructure,
GPON is inherently whole-
sale ready, and Tier 1 opera-
tors that have multi-source
environments involving differ-
ent vendors need standards
for the technology and op-
erations in order to drive the
cost for procuring equipment
down,” says August-Wilhelm
Jagau, Principal Solution Con-
sultant with Telcordia.
“I could procure IPTV from
service provider A, voice
from service provider B and
Internet access from service
provider C – and all I ever
need is a single port on my
infrastructure provider’s
This is not an unrealis-
tic, futuristic scenario, as
demonstrated at TM Forum's
Management World 2011 in
Dublin. There Jagau headed
up the team that demon-
strated the Automated GPON
Activation Catalyst project
(see panel above) – the first
practical application of an
extended MTOSI standard
for the activation of GPON
networks (see panel, right).
This extremely popular
Catalyst was championed
by Oi of Brazil and Deutsche
Telekom along with Hua-
wei, Progress Software and
Standardizing the standard
Part one dealt with imple-
mentation and how circuits
could be auto-provisioned.
The other showed how the
standard can be integrated
easily into environments
and operations.
The Metro Ethernet Forum
(MEF) is also looking to
GPON as the means of
providing next-generation
access to consumers.
“The rollout of next-gen
access and GPON under an
open access model requires
an open, standardized inter-
face between the access
equipment and aggregation
network,” says Phil Tilley,
Global Marketing Co-chair
for the MEF and Marketing
Director, Alcatel-Lucent.
“It’s very important that we
define that open interface to
Ethernet to support Carrier
Ethernet delivery over any
access mechanism.”
Tilley adds that standardiza-
tion is also key after circuits
have been provisioned.
“The big challenge is, once
Carrier Ethernet is used on
a large scale for aggregating
millions of mobile and fixed-
line subscribers, it’s critical to
maintain or reduce the cost of
service delivery and be able to
operate service level agree-
ments; therefore not only do
we do need to automatically
provision a service, but we
have to be able to monitor it
automatically and measure
that service during its lifetime
– cost effectively.”
The MEF has collaborated
with TM Forum to harmonize
standards and Tilley envisions
continuing that work with
GPON (for more informa-
tion about how TM Forum
works with other standards
bodies, see our annual Quick
Insights Standards Develop-
ment report, which is free to
members to download from
our website).
“We’re trying to take the
cost out of this in today’s mar-
ket where there’s absolutely
no room for any overhead,”
he says. “So it’s important
to work within the industry
to ensure Carrier Ethernet is
provisioned in an effective
and efficient manner, and to
do that, standardization of
interfaces is critical.”
The Broadband Forum’s
Mersh adds that standards
are only the beginning of a
process that includes valida-
tion through certification.
“It’s the starting point for
the detailed specifications
and solution sets, robust test
plans and universally recog-
nized certification programs
that our members work so
hard to achieve.”
He says the Broadband
Forum’s GPON certification
program – launched in the
second half of 2011 – is prov-
ing to be effective as well
as widely welcomed by the
industry. Mersh comments,
“It’s the certification that
gives operators and service
providers worldwide total
confidence in the quality, and
therefore the competitive-
ness, of their vendor equip-
ment selection.”
While it’s still early days for
GPON, it could well be the
standard that allows network
operators and service provid-
ers to come together, lower
their build-out costs and
offer next-gen connectivity to
people around the world.
The Catalyst program is TM Forum’s rapid prototyping
environment where suppliers and systems integrators
work together for between three and six months to
create solutions for critical industry operational and
systems challenges.
A key aspect of these projects is that they accelerate
development and validate TM Forum best practices
and standards, including Frameworx. The solutions are
demonstrated live at TM Forum Management World events.
For more information or to take part please contact
Sunil Vaswani, Catalyst Program Manager via
What is TM Forum’s Catalyst program?
MTOSI is part of the Integration Framework, which itself
belongs to TM Forum’s Frameworx suite of standards (see
page 33). The Integration Framework provides a standard
set of interfaces that enable rapid, repeatable and flexible
integration between systems. MTOSI is an XML-based
set of interfaces designed to enable simple integration of
disparate operations systems used for the network and IT
resource management.
MTOSI covers both service and resource level interfaces.
What is MTOSI?
Familiar themes, new twists
68 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Over the past decade or so, the communications, computing and consumer device
industries have been developing the enabling technologies of the connected
digital world. While we have seen glimmers of how powerful the digital world
can be, we will see phenomenal change and impact as the digital economy rolls
out to everyone and almost everything on the planet. This next few years will be
a time of fabulous, almost limitless, opportunity, but established businesses will
be threatened if they don't move quickly enough. Here we analyze some of those
opportunities and threats and what we could do to address them.
By Keith Willetts
The new Oklahoma
Land Race
New horizons
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 69
New horizons
beings’ ability to share knowl-
edge and ideas, there have
been three major innovations:
the invention of writing in
Sumer around 3200BC; the
invention of the printing press
by Johannes Gutenberg in
around 1440 and the multiple
innovators and innovations
that have come together to
create the digital world.
The freeing of the commu-
nications industry from the
shackles of government mo-
nopoly a few short decades
ago has seen it explode
from a few hundred million
privileged people having a
phone to nearly 6 billion of
us (out of the planet’s 7 bil-
lion people) owning one. As
that transformation evolves
into a third great enabling
innovation – the connected
digital world – a vast range of
information, maybe the sum
of all human knowledge, can
be in everyone’s pocket.
It will bring about changes
in society, governments
and business in the most
profound ways, beyond our
imagination today. The digital
world goes far beyond serv-
ing people, in addition billions
of connected devices will
also come into play, bringing
with them new capabilities,
opportunities and threats to
the old ways of doing things.
We’ve already had a fore-
taste of its power to make
change: today farmers in re-
mote parts of Africa can get
better prices for their crops
because they can see what
the world market is doing;
people forced to live under
appalling regimes are able to
coordinate their frustration
and topple dictators; whole
industries such as the music,
publishing and travel sectors
have already felt the chilly
winds of change, creating
new winners and old losers.
The reason the digital
world is so impactful is down
to economics – being able to
serve larger markets more
cheaply than ever before will
mean that everything that
can be digital, will be.
There is no doubt that all
incumbent businesses will be
seriously affected, even those
that supply the technologies
that are enabling the digital
world. Change is not only
happening, but accelerating
– desktop computers are all
but obsolete, laptop comput-
ers are becoming an endan-
gered species; application
software is rapidly migrating
to the cloud; SMS volumes
and revenues are in decline
because of services like Twit-
ter, WhatsApp and iMessage,
while Skype has become
the world’s largest carrier of
international phone calls.
The digital world is not one
big thing – it’s a whole series
of cloud-based services op-
erating in an ecosystem and
that can be mashed together
to form useful capabilities.
There isn't a single name
for these, so I refer to all of
them as ‘digital services’.
Success in exploiting this
market structure will be very
Figure 1: Different roles that enable the digital world – where do you want to play?
Digital service
retailers (information,
brokers and aggregators)
Device providers
(information, brokers
and aggregators)
Cloud computing
and storage service
Network service
providers (access,
national, international)
Digital service enablers
(underpinning service creation,
management, authentication
billing etc.)
Physical infra providers
(duct, towers, data
center infrastructure)
Digital service providers
(content, communications,
search, social, consumer and
business applications etc.)
Technology providers
Network and computing
“Being able to serve larger markets more
cheaply than ever before will mean that
everything that can be digital, will be.”
dependent on picking the
right segment that matches
your ambitions, core com-
petencies and expertise. It's
entirely possible that players
as we know them today will
restructure into different
component companies, each
focusing on a different aspect
of the market.
For example, the provi-
sion of infrastructure-based
services will be an attractive
proposition to some, not just
the provision of fixed and
mobile broadband, but also
70 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
the underpinning computing
and storage functions and
services like authentication,
security, charging, settle-
ments and customer care.
These can be provided on a
‘white label', wholesale basis
that another company retails
under its own brand.
Since economies of scale
and geographic coverage are
important success factors in
this type of business, we can
expect companies to engage
in working with more part-
ners, infrastructure sharing,
mergers and acquisitions, and
perhaps federated approaches
similar to the code-sharing
agreements between airlines.
We can expect the number
of digital service providers
using those infrastructure ser-
vices to explode: over-the-top
(OTT) services are booming;
Android Market and Apple’s
App Store have brought hun-
dreds of thousands of new
developers into the market
because the barriers to entry
are very low and the core
competency is innovation, not
Finally, there is service
retailing through brokerage,
aggregation and digital stores
(sometimes called infomediar-
ies) who take these services
to market. Many players want
to play this role because it is
seen as being so powerful in
the market: Apple and Google
are already there, Amazon
and Microsoft would like to
be, while communications
companies are trying through
the Wholesale Applications
Where to play or stay away?
Communications companies
are huge service retailers with
billions of customers but that
dominance won’t necessarily
translate to the digital world
because their service portfolio
is very narrow: airtime, voice
and simple messaging.
In contrast, the digital
retailers have market power,
growing brand loyalty and a
huge portfolio of services and
offer an attractive, one-stop,
Just as we are seeing
Amazon bundle the device,
the content and the network
connectivity into one Kindle
package it’s likely that this
business model will become
much more prevalent, putting
the communication compa-
nies on the back foot with
Are infrastructure-based ser-
vices are the only way forward
for communications compa-
nies? Not necessarily. There
is everything to play for in the
consumer market and a huge,
untapped market for provid-
ing a much broader range of
digital services to enterprises.
A small plumbing firm might
get its broadband from one pro-
vider, buy mobile service from
another, its PCs from a local
store and payroll, stock control,
sales management and human
resources applications from a
variety of suppliers.
All of that could be pro-
vided as an integrated bundle
of cloud-based services.
This would be great for the
plumbing company because
it can buy everything from a
one-stop-shop with lots of in-
tegrated features, but it would
also be great for the supplier
as it’s a ‘sticky’ kind of service
that is not easy to unplug and
perhaps most importantly, it
brings new revenues.
Scale that idea up to pro-
vide sector-specific services
to large enterprises and there
is endless potential. For ex-
ample, we could have a whole
slew of managed services for
sectors such as smart energy,
home automation, automo-
tive or healthcare. We’ve
been talking about this for a
long time, now we need to
do it, learn from our mistakes
and develop the competency
within service providers.
Building up a customer
base and solid relationships
with partners isn’t something
to do at an indeterminate time
in the future: these markets
are forming now.
Harming tomorrow's strategy
Deciding on where to play
is important and so is the
timing. Short-term tactical
decisions can harm tomor-
row’s strategy. For instance,
companies that aspire to
being large-scale infrastruc-
ture service providers need to
question short-term tactical
decisions to reduce costs by
outsourcing their network
and IT skills because retaining
those skills might be vital to
future success.
Already about 20 percent of
all networks are operated on a
managed services basis by a
handful of specialist provid-
ers – that’s fine if operations
New horizons
“Building up a
customer base and
solid relationships
with partners isn’t
something to do at
an indeterminate
time in the future:
these markets are
forming now.”
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 71
is not your long-term business
plan but disastrous if it is.
Innovation forever
Innovation is the lifeblood of
the digital world but is often
in short supply. Right back to
Alexander Graham Bell, inven-
tor of the phone, communica-
tions has always been a highly
innovative, technology-based
industry, but we’re much less
innovative when it comes to
creating new services.
Messaging has been around
since the 1840s (telegrams)
while phone calls and line
rental began in the 1880s. Ar-
guably SMS was a technologi-
cal accident and pre-pay was
an accounting accident, so
nearly all of the innovative ser-
vices we see today have been
created by people outside the
communications sector.
Big organizations tend to
reward success and punish
failure, encouraging people
to play it safe, not take risks
or challenge conventional
wisdom. Where would the
human race be if we punished
babies for falling over when
learning to walk or for getting
the words wrong when trying
to speak? Our natural way to
learn is by experimentation –
trying things out and seeing
what works and what doesn’t.
If you punish people when
things don’t work out, you kill
off innovation.
Innovation and related skills,
such as a highly tuned sense
of the customer, are notice-
able differences between
new market entrants to the
digital world and more estab-
lished incumbents. Chang-
ing that isn’t easy because
you can’t buy innovation; it’s
embedded in the corporate
culture of how risk-taking,
learning, coaching and re-
wards are managed.
Everyone’s heard of
Google’s encouragement
of its people to spend time
working on new stuff in the
firm’s time, but that’s only
a small part of its approach
to innovation. Amazon and
Facebook are highly innova-
tive and successful in a world
where speed of action is cru-
cial. Their plan was to attract
consumers first and create
profits later.
Size is part of the problem
and it will be interesting to
see just how valuable many
of these traits are after a few
years of corporate middle-
aged spread! The bigger
you are the harder it is for
individuals to be heard: for
example, how does a lowly
call center agent (who prob-
ably knows more about what
your customers do and don’t
like than the experts running
your data analytics) traverse
the layers of management
between them and someone
who might act on their idea?
Even if they could, too
many ideas get dismissed
by large organizations for
being too small-scale to be
significant, but small ideas
can have very big, unforeseen
results: Facebook and Twitter
are great examples but they
would never have made it
inside a big corporation.
It is possible to recreate the
start-up’s ability to develop
innovations without the dead
hand of the organizational
culture squeezing the life out
of them. You can create spin-
offs or spin-outs, that is accel-
erators or incubators where
people with bright ideas, (who
are frequently regarded as a
nuisance), can work on them
outside the main body of the
corporation. It does work – for
example, that’s what Orange
has done with Orange Vallée
and BT did with Brightstar.
Inspirational leaders needed
Communications has seen
massive growth over the past
decade but that has largely
been based on improving
how we do the same things.
Steering companies through
big changes needs excellent
When markets are stable,
companies tend to be run by
sales people who are brilliant
at expanding the top line or
accountants who specialize
in improving the bottom line.
The problem comes when a
new direction is needed –
there’s nobody there to plot
a new course. That’s exactly
what happened to Apple un-
der John Sculley and there
isn’t a better example of the
power of a leader (as opposed
to a manager) than the return
of Steve Jobs.
There won’t be another
Steve Jobs along any time
soon, but remember that his
most successful period arose
from when Apple was in big
trouble: tough times do not
automatically mean fewer
options. It has long been rec-
ognized that necessity is the
mother of invention.
The highly successful entre-
preneur Sir Richard Branson
always says one of the secrets
of success is to love what you
do, not simply set out to earn
money, as you will almost
certainly fail if that is your over-
riding aim. Economist John
Kay provides many arguments
and examples to support this
in his book, published in 2010,
Obliquity: Why our goals are
best achieved indirectly.
Ideas can come from any-
where, so be receptive to all
sources. It doesn’t matter if
you don’t know exactly what
you’re looking for, so long as
you have the wits to spot a
potentially good idea when
you see it and the courage to
do something about it.
You lucky people…
Creating the digital world;
being there when it first was
happening is a privilege that
few people have. It’s the
greatest version of the Okla-
homa Land Race that has ever
been, so get on your wagon,
gee up the horses and go out
and grab a plot – the terrain
is so fertile it almost doesn’t
matter which you take. You
don’t need a plow or a shovel
but you do need energy,
creativity, innovation, inspired
leadership and a bit of luck.
This article draws on a few of
the ideas about routes to suc-
cess in the digital world from
Keith Willetts’ new book, 2020
Vision, published in May 2012.
New horizons
72 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
By Annie Turner
New horizons
Ten things you need to know to understand the value chains involved
in mobile money services and what’s going on, with whom, where.
mobile money
1. Should mobile payments
be regulated as part of
Opinion is deeply divided on
this issue. Mobile payments
are treated as an inherent
function of banking in the U.S.,
Australia, Canada, Japan and
India, for example, but not in
Kenya and the European Union
(EU). Obtaining a license so
you can offer mobile payment
services (as Rogers Commu-
nications is doing in Canada) is
an onerous undertaking. In the
U.S. it would involve applying
for 50 state licenses.
Canada and Australia are
reviewing their regulatory
options, and looking at the EU
model where organizations
haven’t needed to be a bank
to offer payments services
since the introduction of
the Directive on Payments
Services in November 2009.
The idea is to provide more
competition in payments in
the 30 countries of the EU
and European Economic Area,
plus Switzerland.
Those wishing to provide a
payments service can apply for
either Payments Institution (PI)
and Electronic Money Institu-
tion (EMI) status – Orange
has already applied for a
license and Telefónica is in the
process of doing so. Once a
license has been obtained in
one country, it can be ‘pass-
ported’ to other countries so
license holders can offer pay-
ments services there.
2. Could operators use their
charging and billing sys-
tems for physical goods?
It’s hard to see how this
would work in most places.
Charging a ringtone company
30 percent for delivering its
products to consumers is
one thing – the consumer
isn’t even aware of how the
money is divided. Charging
a merchant or consumer 30
percent extra for the privilege
of accepting payment for a
consumer buying a candy bar
by mobile is a different matter.
Put another way, in the
U.S. if you buy something
for $5 by mobile, the bank
gets between 2.75 and 2.8
percent of that in merchant
service charges, which is
fixed by the Durbin Amend-
ment [the controversial addi-
tion to the Dodd-Frank Wall
Street Reform and Consumer
Protection Act of 2010]. There
simply isn’t enough margin to
go round. As we have seen
above, the U.S. model isn’t
universal, but dividing a tiny
margin for low-value goods is
unworkable in many places.
3. Will closed loop systems
prosper in the long term?
M-PESA is a classic example of
a closed loop payments service
in which the service provider
controls every stage of the
process, only using the banks
as depositories, in effect. In
most other countries, though,
as operators are finding, it’s
only possible to make money
from payments if you are an es-
tablished part of the payments
ecosystem already (see ques-
tion 2), which means involving
partners, such as banks and
the credit card schemes.
4. Who will own the mobile
It’s probably fair to say that
where open loop systems
(involving partnerships with
banks and card payments net-
works, among others) predom-
inate, which will probably be
most places, communications
service providers have mostly
accepted that they will not
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 73
New horizons
Google Wallet makes an im-
pact and Apple joins the near
field communications (NFC)
fray next year (see question 9),
as is widely expected.
5. Can mobile payments
influence the pricing of
physical goods?
Yes. A good example is that
people in Hong Kong can now
pay for items at the news stall
and coffee stand, in conve-
nience stores and leisure
centers with their contactless
travel card, Octopus.
Since this innovation, all
newspapers sold at vending
machines in Hong Kong cost
the same in the interests of
providing a fast, simple trans-
action for the consumer (for
how important this is, see the
next question).
Vending machine operators
only need cheap, basic, low
maintenance payment stations
without the complexity of
presenting a list of titles and
having to update the price of
individual publications. A win-
win situation, and one that is
likely to occur elsewhere, for
newspapers and other kinds of
Consult Hyperion* investigat-
ed this and found that mobile
proximity payments in Japan
apparently fell in 2010 (with
about 10 percent of all mobile
subscribers, or about 9.8 mil-
lion users, making a mobile
proximity payment during De-
cember 2010). It seems that
consumers found they involve
pressing too many buttons
on their phone and having to
wait for software to load – a
poor customer experience.
This appears to explain why
e-payments are dominated by
proximity prepaid cards – ex-
cept that this type of payment
appears to be falling too.
It turns out that prepaid
cards are generally only used
for public transport and con-
venience stores. All the other
shops also accept payments
from the credit facility embed-
ded in the card’s integrated
circuit. Most of these stores
be in control of the payment
mechanisms – the established
payments ecosystem already
has the scale and expertise.
However, this does not
mean that service providers
have given up on owning the
mobile wallet (see question
10). The next two years will
be telling. Google Wallet
was launched in the U.S. in
September 2011 with Sprint,
Citibank and MasterCard – the
name tells you who owns
what. Next year Isis will be
rolled out in the U.S., which
is the joint venture initiated
by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
USA and Verizon Wireless,
with partners MasterCard,
Visa, Discover and American
ABI Research reckons
mobile operators will own 75
percent of electronic wallets
next year, but predicts this will
fall to 63 per cent by 2016, if
low value products as mobile
payments gather pace.
6. Why do e-payments,
including via mobile, seem
to be falling in Japan?
“People in Hong Kong
can now pay for items
at the news stall
and coffee stand, in
convenience stores
and leisure centers
with their contactless
travel card, Octopus.”
74 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
offer more reward points for
paying by credit than prepaid
transactions, and usually don’t
request a PIN, making them
fast and easy.
Although payments are
an essential step in transac-
tions, it’s apparent that the
other benefits that can be built
around proximity payments
are the real attraction. For in-
stance, one out of every eight
Japanese are members of the
McDonald’s Club, drawn by
weekly vouchers for free items
when they place an order.
So good customer experi-
ence is key, and rewards, loy-
alty programs and promotions
are of great benefit to custom-
ers and businesses alike. In
addition, banks make far more
money from providing credit
than through prepaid. Valuable
lessons the world over.
7. Can banks benefit from
closed loop systems?
Despite initial attempts to
stop M-PESA in Kenya, the
banks realized they could
benefit from it. In the first
instance, the money passing
through the person-to-person
service had to be deposited
somewhere, and originally,
Safaricom had, in effect, one
big aggregated account with
the Commonwealth Bank of
Kenya, from which it makes
money. Since then, regulation
introduced in 2010 paved the
way for banks to start using
M-PESA outlets as a channel.
For example, M-KESHO,
provided by the Equity Bank,
allows customers to deposit
small amounts and access them
at will. Previously, it would have
been impossible for the banks
to make money out of such
retail accounts, but in aggre-
gate, a very attractive whole-
sale business is emerging.
8. Which is the world’s most
cashless country and why?
In Iceland, 94 percent of retail
transactions don’t involve
cash changing hands, accord-
ing to David Birch, Director,
Consult Hyperion, and the
outstanding 6 percent is
mostly accounted for by tour-
ists. Iceland’s population is
only around 250,000 and com-
pared with most countries,
there aren’t many shops, so it
was relatively quick and cheap
to equip them with point of
sale (PoS) terminals that could
accept cashless payments.
This compares with about
60 percent of all U.K. transac-
tions being paid for in cash,
which rises to 75 to 80 per-
cent in the U.S. and an even
higher proportion in Japan, de-
spite its leadership in mobile
Hence a key factor in the
success of cashless transac-
tions, including mobile, is
the density of appropriately
equipped PoS terminals in a
market, not just the number
of payment cards or phones in
circulation with NFC or other
proximity technologies.
9. Where is NFC deployed
In June 2011, Juniper Re-
search forecast that global
NFC mobile contactless pay-
ment transactions will reach
nearly $50 billion worldwide
by 2014. Following on from
the Orange Mobile Payments
service launch in the U.K., the
research house expects 2011
and 2012 will be landmark
years for NFC rollouts, after
many years of pilots and trials
all over the world.
Juniper concluded NFC’s
prospects have improved
markedly in the first half of
2011 and that by the end of
2012, commercial NFC ser-
vices will have been launched
in up to 20 countries. It fore-
casts that by the end of 2014,
the value of NFC transactions
in North America and Western
Europe combined will exceed
that in the Far East region.
However, it warned that de-
spite a number of announce-
ments by handset makers, we
need more NFC-enabled mod-
els on the market as quickly as
possible. Another potentially
serious inhibitor to the take-up
of the technology is poor user
experience (see question 6).
Commercial NFC services
are already deployed in coun-
tries including Austria, Poland,
South Korea, Tanzania, Turkey,
the U.K. and the U.S. Australia
has said it will launch commer-
cial NFC services in 2012, and
so will the Buyster consortium
of mobile phone operators
in France, along with the
Telefónica group in Europe. Ja-
pan’s NTT DoCoMo will begin
its transition from using its do-
mestic proximity technology to
NFC towards the end of 2012,
with New Zealand introducing
full NFC services in 2013.
For a regularly updated list
of NFC activity worldwide,
please go to
10. Will the rise of NFC
mean the end for transac-
tions via SMS?
Not anytime soon. SMS traffic
in general is showing no signs
of slowing down; findings
published by Portio Research
in May 2011 showed the
worldwide market was worth
$179.2 billion in 2010 and
should reach $334.7 billion by
the end of 2015. Some 6.9 tril-
lion messages were sent
in 2010.
Payments via SMS and
USSD (Unstructured Supple-
mentary Service Data,
a protocol used by GSM mo-
bile phones to communicate
with the service provider's
computers) have millions of
users all over the world, but
perhaps most notably in
Turkey, the Philippines, Kenya
and other parts of Africa.
There are also many over the
top SMS-based payments
They are all facing competi-
tion from app- and online-
based payments via mobile
and NFC, but will be with
us for a long time to come,
and not just where they are
established already.
For example, in M-Pay-
ments in M-BRIC, How best
to leverage the upcoming
opportunity, published at the
end of 2010, Arthur D. Little
recommended that China
should use SMS-based pay-
ments systems in rural areas
because it “could be quickly
and cheaply deployed”.
New horizons
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 75
New horizons
The communications industry is ready for smart grids: tried and
tested approaches to fixed and wireless infrastructure and delivery,
along with established, standards-led billing and rating systems,
could be a direct fit for the brave new world of intelligent power
generation and distribution. Utilities may have other ideas.
By Vaughan O’Grady
How smart is the
grid business
time for power utilities to be
bringing the communications
capabilities of the smart grid
into their power supply plans.
Improved communications
between homes, neighbor-
hoods, substations,
distribution networks – every
link in the power supply
chain – could mean better and
quicker meter reading, billing,
data analysis and power
supply planning. In the longer
term it could offer effective
integration of renewables and
home management of power
consumption based on
76 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Wireless in general – and
cellular in particular – has
a lot to offer. A new report
from Pike Research, a com-
pany with expertise in global
clean technology markets,
indicates that public cellular
networks are likely to play
a major part in the rollout of
the machine-to-machine com-
munications infrastructure of
smart grid systems over the
rest of the decade.
As Bob Gohn, Vice Presi-
dent, Research, Pike Research,
notes, “A utility has to deploy
the time, expense and people
to actually build, operate and
maintain their own network. I
can simply outsource that to
the cellular provider.”
There have been concerns
in some regions about what
Gohn calls “reliability of
communications and being
able to have access during
critical periods” but technolo-
gies like LTE could overcome
these fears. “They will be
able to start offering some
of the things utilities need in
terms of guaranteed quality
of service and guaranteed
bandwidth,” says Gohn.
However, cellular won’t
have things all its own way.
As Miguel Torrão Mendes,
Director Utilities Market of
business assurance specialist
WeDo Technologies, says,
“There will be a mix of com-
munications between the
different devices – not one-
In addition, most utilities
have shown limited enthusi-
asm so far for partnering with
outsiders; indeed, says Gohn,
some regulatory environ-
ments reward utilities for
capital expenditure on their
own networks.
Many vendors will have a
greater advantage than opera-
tors. As Mendes says, “There
are some areas that utilities
should address – and they
should prepare for the change
right now to prevent more
leakages in the future. There
will be a huge amount of data,
they will have to prevent inter-
nal and external fraud, they
will have to improve customer
satisfaction and they will have
to reduce costs.”
Unlocking a global market
Which is good news for some
telecom vendors. Gohn says,
“The existing billing and rating
systems are just not going
to cut it, especially as you’re
going to try to have some dy-
namic rates – [such as] charg-
ing more for peak usage and
giving a discount for off-peak
usage. These are things that
the telecom software ratings
and billings providers have
been doing for decades.”
Tony Kalcina, Member Chair
of the TM Forum Energy
Smart Grid Community and
Founder of 18-year-old Clarity,
an Operational Management
Systems company serving
both communications and
power industry customers
globally, points out that utili-
ties that attempt to go it alone
with smart meters, backhaul
and billing will face high costs.
By contrast, he says, “If you
can unlock a global market for
that, then costs will be dra-
matically reduced.” And that
is where TM Forum comes
in. As he says, “If you can
tap into existing best practice
solutions already established
in similar industries then costs
will be dramatically reduced.”
Kalcina explains, “Technol-
ogy constantly changes. The
four customer-centric
near-instantaneous usage
information. This has an
obvious appeal to utilities as
demand grows and shortages,
leakages, environmental
regulation or general
inefficiencies threaten to
effective (and profitable)
power supply.
Certainly, there are a
number of high-profile proj-
ects already under way. For
example, the ADWEA (Abu
Dhabi Water and Electric-
ity Authority) Smart Meter-
ing Project is using a Wi-Fi
mesh and bringing together
Technology Partners, Tropos
Networks, Cisco Systems and
many other major players for
what is the biggest metering
infrastructure moderniza-
tion project of its kind in the
Middle East.
A new industry
In Australia, meanwhile,
Western Power, which
operates and maintains the
vast electricity grid called the
South West Interconnected
System (SWIS) is looking at
bringing IP mesh together
with a 3G backbone network
as it starts planning for its
own smart grid with business
operations supported by the
TM Forum’s Frameworx suite
of standards.
Clearly, if sensors, control-
lers, smart meters, data analyt-
ics, transmission management
systems and much more are
being used to understand and
manage electricity flow, utili-
ties need the telecommunica-
tions industry. And all parts
of the now very mature fixed
and wireless business would
love to be part of a new and
possibly multi-trillion-dollar
smart grid industry.
“All parts of the now
very mature fixed and
wireless business
would love to be part
of a new and possibly
smart grid industry.”
New horizons
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 77
“The opportunity
is there for the
industry to converge
its experience
with the power
industry during this
time of change.”
operational management
pillars: the build, the sell, the
fulfill, the assure – and the
processes, systems and data
we apply to operate them –
are largely technology and
box-independent. It makes
more sense to try to solve
the problem of the industry in
a shared, commoditized ca-
pability that’s cheaper, more
effective and more likely to
succeed. Operational manage-
ment is a cross-industry play.”
But do utilities see things
that way? “Initially none of
the power companies we've
reached out to had heard of the
Forum or the Frameworx stan-
dard,” says Kalcina. “But they
are trying to manage the same,
ever-expanding complex tele-
com problem. When we talk
to them about how they need
a way to manage this smart
dynamic infrastructure, which
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
evolved from the top down to define the IT service
management lifecycle within the enterprise, according
Clive Deakin, Director Frameworx Product Management,
TM Forum. He adds ITIL provides the management,
delivery, support and planning of IT services. In contrast
the Business Process Framework (eTOM), part of the TM
Forum Frameworx suite of standards (see page 33) provides
a bottom up, business-focused standard addressing the
needs of the enterprise architecture.
There is a strong synergy between the two. That’s why
TM Forum and the ITIL standards body, the IT Service
Management Forum (itSMF), have been working together
on alignment for number of years and continue to do so.
“What we do is a mapping between ITIL standards and
the Business Process Framework standard,” says Deakin.
Clarifying terminology is a good example of this. [For more
information about the Forum’s work with other standards
bodies, see our annual Quick Insights report, Standards
Development.]“ For example, ITIL uses the terms ‘incident
report’. In the Business Process Framework, we use the
term ‘trouble ticket’”.
“Now we're continuing the decomposition work,
expanding the Business Process Framework, and, where
applicable, making the relationship between the two
clear through mapping ITIL terminology and Business
Process Framework language.” Frameworx 11.5 shows
this in practice, using ITIL flows in the Business Process
Will this undertaking benefit smart grids? “There’s a lot
of work going on that marries the old IT world and the old
service provider world, and that’s really to the benefit of the
smart grid people,” says Deakin. “They’re going to leverage
the coming together of these two because you need an
understanding of the communications service providers’
world if you’re delivering smart grid functionality machine-
He adds, “It will benefit anybody who's trying to deliver
new over the top services. As an organization you will be
able to translate terminology you're using internally to real-
world delivery, using communications service providers’
systems to supply those services. It’s a win-win situation.”
TM Forum’s members can also tune into one of our
most popular ever webinars, ITIL and Business Process
Framework Working Together, from January 2012 by going
to www.tmforum.org/ITILandBPF.
Frameworx, ITIL and smart grids
is different to power, different
to the dumb elements you
manage with classical SCADA,
they all engage – like Western
Power, for example.”
For now, of course, much
of this engagement involves
their internal communica-
tions network and the smart
meter, which is, as Kalcina
puts it, “the beginning of the
Beyond that will be the other
smart power infrastructure that
will be deployed in power gen-
eration, transmission and distri-
bution, all requiring automated
operational management. It will
be a long journey; not all utili-
ties will be early adopters like
Western Power.
Many are part of a still
conservative power indus-
try, unused to risk-taking,
with often radically different
regulatory environments on
a country-by-country basis,
differing histories and many
managers unused to industry
change. This is something the
communications industry itself
took many years to overcome,
which is why, for many utili-
ties, says Kalcina, an efficient
international, standards-driven
smart grid operational man-
agement capability will be “a
multi-decade journey that will
require generational change in
these organizations.”
The opportunity is there for
the communications industry
to converge its experience
with the power industry during
this unprecedented time of
change and transformation.
This experience, in automating
the operational management
of the supply chain of smart
devices in a customer-centric
manner, can create a mutually
attractive economic model.
New horizons
78 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
M2M: the age of
the machine
New horizons
Machine-to-machine (M2M) is an exciting, diverse and fast growing
market opportunity. In many ways it isn’t a single market, in the
traditional sense, but rather a collection of numerous niches – each with
its own set of requirements as well as its own characteristics in terms
of price, cost and margin. In many respects, M2M has arguably been
around for some time but is only now entering the mainstream.
By Jim Warner
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 79
Source: Deutsche Telekom
What is M2M?
Connecting computers, devices and equipment to share information, collect
data and monitor statuses.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions connect devices and equipment to the
external world to allow them to communicate with people, and with each other.
Connected machines not only provide information to their owners or other
third parties, they can also be controlled remotely, opening up a broad range of
opportunities for companies and their customers.
M2M solutions provide access to assets located anywhere:
U Monitor - Know what's going on.
U Localize - Know where assets are located.
U Control - Take control regardless of location.
U Maintain - Keep things running smoothly. Remotely.
M2M device
Machine or device
incl. connectivity
incl. application
Communications network
Mobile network
Fixed-line network
Secured connection
User's IT
User interface
PC / Web GUI
Smartphone App
Interface & M2M application
to communicate with other
devices with the same func-
tionality and in some cases, a
monitoring and data collec-
tion system.
The classical example of an
M2M system consists of a
device (such as a sensor or
meter) to capture an event
(such as temperature or
inventory level) which is
relayed through a network
(wireless, wired or hybrid)
to an application that trans-
lates the captured event into
meaningful information (for
example, items need to be
restocked) without human in-
tervention. For these reasons
it has become known as the
‘Internet of Things’.
However, the likes of
smartphone apps, iPads and
a host of services such as
iCloud, mHealth monitor-
ing and GPS guided devices
could also be considered
M2M, which makes for an
even larger, more dynamic
appraisal of the market. The
GSMA pegs the market for
M2M at $1.2 trillion by 2020.
Even if the organization is
only half right, it’s still huge.
When it comes to the finer
points of M2M communica-
tion, every deployment is
unique. However, there are
four basic stages that are
common to just about every
M2M application. Those
components are:
Q collection of data;
Q transmission of selected
data through a communica-
tion network;
Q assessment of the data;
Q response to the information
M2M communication has
expanded beyond a one-to-
one connection and changed
into a system of networks
that transmit data to and from
personal appliances. The ex-
pansion of wireless networks
has made it far easier for
M2M communication to take
there is a massive installed
base of wired sensors and
machines in factories, utilities
and so on that are connected
via wired telephony. These
represent a huge opportunity
for conversion.
Wireless connectivity is by
far the preferred method of
tions (NFC) technologies such
as Bluetooth, Z-Wave and
Zigbee/802.15.4; mid-range
primarily using Wi-Fi and wide
area using the full range of
mobile and satellite offerings.
In summary, M2M com-
prises a number of separate
technologies that need to be
mixed and matched in the
appropriate manner to enable
a broad market deployment
in the most cost-effective
manner. The choices are
numerous and represent an
integral part of the entire
M2M business dynamic.
The ecosystem
As a macro-trend, numerous
companies in almost every
industry are looking at M2M
as a means to enhance data
capture and data mining
across the enterprise. A
high-level look at a typical
value-chain would include the
following roles:
Q Device manufacturer,
which is probably a com-
pany already serving a
specific industry with an
established channel to mar-
ket that can either produce
the hardware/software
sensor or embed it into an
existing device.
Q Service provider is a firm
that markets a service
aimed at a given industry
sector with any unique fea-
tures bundled in. This could
include things such as data
aggregation and analysis,
back-up and restore, instal-
lation and maintenance,
management and monitor-
ing of the systems, and
more. It could also include
the necessary sensors of-
fered in a turnkey fashion.
“Like many emerging markets,
quantifying the size and growth rate
of the M2M market can be challenging.”
place and has lessened the
amount of power and time
necessary for information to
be communicated between
machines. Nevertheless,
connectivity, largely because
of developments in wireless
devices and the flexibility it
offers. Leading the way are a
host of near field communica-
New horizons
Sponsored feature
The thought of delivering machine-
to-machine (M2M) communications
services to businesses and consumers
worldwide makes operators absolutely
giddy with the revenue possibilities.
However, delivering M2M is not
as easy as it looks. The challenge
for operators is that M2M means
connectivity is only a part of the
product, but not the entire product.
That fundamental change translates
into both business opportunities and
operational nightmares. The qualities
built into the network – scalability,
reliability, availability, performance and
quality – must also be built into the IT
infrastructure, applications, customer
portals, care centers, retail outlets, and
devices that are the foundation for an
M2M deployment.
In short, M2M needs well-defined
use cases and a simple, fully automated
lifecycle. A lifecycle requiring few changes
and minimal rules that can be rapidly
executed thousands of times each day.
Differentiation is in the Details
On the surface, applying processes
associated with fulfillment, assurance,
and billing to M2M offerings would
not seem to be much different than
what operators do today for any other
communication service. Although
today’s services are becoming
customized to each user and every
order is unique, the deployment of
devices to support an M2M application
requires a single, customized lifecycle
that can then be executed hundreds,
thousands, or millions of times without
error or change. When a tag is scanned
or a device is powered on, the order
automatically executes and updates a
few key data points such as device ID,
location, and assignment to a customer
or account. The remainder of the
lifecycle runs in the background but
those background tasks must be fully
automated and the systems must be
carefully orchestrated.
The lifespan of an M2M device can be
short or infinite, but the need to capture,
correlate, and deliver data to individual
applications and users at the right time
in the right form is the fundamental
reason for deploying M2M.
To make that experience automated
and profitable requires a lot of work on
the part of both provider and customer.
M2M must fit snugly into the IT
architecture that will host and maintain
it for the long haul, which means
seamless compatibility with both the
network operator and the business.
Time is Money
The revenue promise of M2M relies
on the ability of service providers
to automate everything. Ordering,
activation, support, and billing cannot
require any manual tasks. In fact,
because many M2M devices are
powered on or off on-demand, a self-
care portal that enables customers
to order, activate, and monitor their
own devices is essential. First-use
activation places the burden on the
device. When a device is powered on,
Giving M2M a Lifecycle
it finds the right network and activation
is completed behind-the-scenes. M2M
customers require visibility into their
connectivity and notification of any
faults that might affect their service.
Given the volume of devices and the
tight revenue margins that providers are
committing to, anything but complete
end-to-end automation jeopardizes
profit. The sustainability of today’s
business is just as dependent on
software and infrastructure as it is on
people and product. To that end, M2M
lifecycle strategies must be inclusive of
their design requirements for security,
scalability, reliability, availability,
interoperability and cost from the start.



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customers, products, and orders, for any product,
on any network, in any market, using any channel.
ConceptWave is headquartered in Toronto with
presence in Americas, Europe and Asia.
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 81
Q Communications provider
could be the wired, wire-
less or satellite company
that provides the connec-
tivity and transport of data
as well as any manage-
ment or monitoring of the
Q Application provider could
bundle the application in
with the sensors or the
service provided or it may
be a separate enterprise
application for monitoring,
management, control and
data analysis.
Q Data retrieval, collection
and storage, which like ap-
plications could be bundled
and provided by others in
the ecosystem or it may be
Q End users come in lots
of roles, from patient to
consumer of electricity or
car driver, among other

In practical terms however,
it’s unlikely a user would end
up doing business with six or
more companies to get the
job done, so service compa-
nies or system integrators will
likely bundle solutions and
deliver an end-to-end service.
Strategic issues
M2M presents service
providers with two sets of
issues. One is operational in
nature while the other is the
business opportunity (and
accompanying challenges)
service providers face in be-
coming a value-added player
in this space.
Every M2M scenario or
application requires a com-
munications mechanism that
in most cases is a wired or
(increasingly) a wireless con-
nection. Service providers are
the most obvious choice to
provide this, but they need
to understand the operational
impact M2M traffic will have
on their networks.
M2M traffic is much like
SMS – an extremely large
number of sessions with
player (that is monetize things
other than raw transport). To
succeed they will need to
understand specific market
requirements to determine
the type of services they are
best able to offer. The key is-
sue is that M2M applications
are very diverse and varied,
some requiring specialist skills
that can only be addressed
by investment and consider-
able resource allocation. The
business issues need to be
assessed very carefully.
One area receiving a lot
of scrutiny is leveraging the
cloud for M2M. Considering
the diversity of requirements,
applications, geography and
other aspects, offering M2M
as a cloud service seems a
natural way for service pro-
viders to attach this market.
Users would be able
to choose from a suite of
services and applications,
control and monitor things for
themselves, add or modify
services and parameters and
have service level agree-
ments, security and privacy
all guaranteed (and hosted)
by a trusted partner.
To succeed, service provid-
ers have to be in a posi-
tion to not only handle the
anticipated increases in data
traffic but also devise and sell
a series of new data plans
that accommodate an M2M
solution’s business require-
ments, as well as provide
some form of second or third
tier support.
These are but two ex-
amples of demands being
placed on service providers
whose core expertise is pro-
viding mass-market generic
voice and data services to
Market dynamics
Like many emerging mar-
kets, quantifying the size and
growth rate of the M2M mar-
ket can be challenging. Add
in the breadth and diversity
of M2M and the numbers
cover a wide variance.
Today there are around 6
billion mobile phones in use,
with the actual number grow-
ing too fast to track accurate-
ly. While most of these are
not regularly engaged in M2M
today, as they become even
more multi-functional they
will increasingly be utilized as
M2M engines. Even some-
thing as simple as backing
up data to an iCloud type of
setup is an M2M application.
In addition, development of
newer, purpose built objects
for your home, automobile
and business will drive de-
ployments to around 50 billion
connected devices by 2020
(source: mPower Partners).
Given the diversity and
broad range of applications,
the list of M2M applications is
far too extensive to list here,
but the following highlight the
scope of the M2M market
and associated opportunities:
Q Smart grid and smart
meters – monitoring and
controlling everything from
power plant utilization to
home appliance control
(see article on page 75).
Q eHealth/telemedicine –
everything from devices
that check and report vital
signs to prescription bottles
that monitor medicine us-
age and even refill prescrip-
tions automatically (also see
article on page 30).
Q Telematics/connected auto
mobiles – monitoring not
“It is obvious the
primary means of
for M2M will be
supplied by the
short and bursty data pat-
terns. Depending on the
market strategy they elect,
operators need to gauge if the
impact of M2M will necessi-
tate any network changes (3G
networks in particular can be
greatly impacted by the high
number of sessions as well as
the level of signaling traffic).
In the absence of a clear
monetization strategy, this
traffic will flow over-the-top
(OTT) with little or no added
revenue. This is exactly
what’s happening in many
cases today. At a minimum,
service providers need to cre-
ate tiered pricing plans based
on the bandwidth used.
As many M2M devices are
transmitting time-critical data
or information where latency
causes problems, some form
of premium pricing plan that
prioritizes important M2M
traffic, backed by service level
guarantees, is an obvious so-
lution and revenue enhancer.
Service providers may
want to be a value-added
New horizons
82 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
TM Forum’s substantial Insights Research report, M2M
strategies for communications service providers, was
published in January 2012. Written by Dr. Phil Marshall, it
takes a detailed look at commercially available platforms and
six major market sectors:
Q smart grid (also see article on page 75);
Q eHealth (see pages 24 and 30);
Q vehicle telematics;
Q digital signage, including integrated point of sale functions;
Q remote video surveillance and residential security; and
Q how M2M solutions enable service providers to penetrate
digital lifestyles.

It concludes with pragmatic recommendations, including:
Q Understand the characteristics of specific M2M markets.
Q Recognize the importance of partnerships.
Q Capitalize on technical synergies among M2M.
Q Encourage and embrace other industries.
Q Recognize the unique requirements of M2M offerings.
Q Anticipate the evolving characteristics of M2M.
Q Recognize the long-term role of M2M solutions in the
digital lifestyle.
Q Understand the implications of regulation.
Q Deploy standards wherever possible in the interests of
innovation, keeping costs down and interoperability.

The report is free to members and can be downloaded from
M2M strategies for communications
service providers
only the mechanical compo-
nents but also the vehicle
location, driving habits and
even sobriety of drivers.
Q Electronic payments – via
handheld wireless devices,
NFC, toll gates, and so on.
Q Remote site automation
– manage energy use for
remote building including
factories, offices, ware-
houses or other facilities
– monitor and control any-
thing from irrigation pumps
to oil wells, pipelines, and
heavy equipment.
Q Fleet management –
monitor location informa-
tion, status of contents,
onboard refrigeration
systems, driver rest stops,
and so on.
Q Digital signage – allowing
advertisers, governments
or others to display differ-
ent ads or warning mes-
sages based on time of
day or day-of-week or local
Q Others – including fitness
monitoring, weather moni-
toring and reporting, home
management systems,
location based-shopping,
shipping container monitor-
ing, alarm systems, traffic
control, agri-business, inven-
tory tracking and electronic
vehicle charging systems.
The major markets for
M2M are in the U.S. and Eu-
ropean Union countries with
Brazil and China also seeing
rapid growth rates.
Insights on eHealth
While all of these areas are
vibrant and hold huge poten-
tial, one that is receiving sig-
nificant attention is eHealth
which holds the promise of
enabling healthcare providers
to be more efficient – deliv-
ering better care to a wider
population of patients while
cutting down on administra-
tive time and costs.
In particular, mHealth (using
mobile devices to monitor
patient’s conditions) holds a
lot of opportunity for com-
munications service providers
because of the need for secu-
rity, privacy, quality and other
service level parameters.
The major challenges are
the complexity and size of
the ecosystem – involving
the global healthcare and
insurance industries as well
as governments – each with
their own operational model.
Regulation is significant
in most regions and while
similarities exist from market
to market, the specifics can
vary widely (especially in the
area of billing and charging
processes). Clearly any type
of standardization will need
to be flexible and adaptable
to local scenarios.
TM Forum’s potential role
It is obvious the primary
means of communication for
M2M will be supplied by the
communications industry and,
more specifically, TM Forum
members. It is likely that ev-
ery one of our 800+ members
is looking at addressing some
part of the M2M market
somehow and they will cer-
tainly be looking for guidance
and shared experience.
It’s also highly likely that
communications service
providers will attempt to of-
fer M2M services above and
beyond network connectivity,
and guidance in this area will
be even more critical.
As such, several existing
TM Forum assets including
those from the Frameworx
and Revenue Management
Initiatives are likely to be use-
ful, but we will need to be
clear exactly how these as-
sets are useful and relevant.
Another avenue where
TM Forum can add value is
in helping coordinate exist-
ing M2M work taking place
in numerous silos such as
the Telecommunications
Industry Association, Inter-
national Telecom Union and
others. Indeed TM Forum
already works closely and
successfully with many other
industry bodies – for more
details please see our Stan-
dards Development Quick
Insights report, free for our
members to download from
our website.
M2M is a global trend and
one where service providers
are already playing a vital role
that is only going to increase
in size as well as importance
to their business. They are
not always certain of which
path to take or how the high-
volume, low transactional
value of M2M can be made a
profitable business.
New horizons
Mark Your Calendar for
TM Forum is known for hosting events and conferences that foster greater industry collaboration among experts in the communications
sphere. From its flagship Management World conferences to the popular TM Forum Summits to the intensive TM Forum Action Weeks, there
are plenty of opportunities to join the global discussion of the industry’s hottest topics.
Management World Conferences
Management World is the meeting place of the communications industry. Explore the issues that matter most to service providers through
unique case-studies, interactive debates, unrivaled networking opportunities, diverse Expo showcases, TM Forum Training and Certification,
and more. These are must-attend events for anyone in the communications value chain. Get involved today!
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TM Forum’s Summits delve deep into the pressing business issues facing a specific region. From exploring how
service providers are tackling those challenges to examining how TM Forum is helping to simplify the
complexity of running their business, TM Forum’s Summits give you the inspiration, tools and practical
advice you need to succeed.
For more information about attending or sponsoring upcoming events, please visit www.tmforum.org/events
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What is the fundamental difference
between a customer and fan? Both have
a vested interest in the success of the or-
ganisation they support, be it a sports team
or a CSP that is providing what is often
a mission critical service. The difference
between the two is the stickability and
loyalty that exists. A customer may leave
an organisation for a host of reasons but a
fan does not. Once an organisation under-
stands what customers truly want and then
knows how to satisfy those needs, does
the customer begin to develop a deeper
attachment to that Service Provider. That
customer becomes a fan. Fans do not swap
allegiances on a whim. Fans forgive more.
Fans stay customers for longer. Fans gen-
erate more lifetime revenue and profits.
So how can Billing drive this process?
There is currently a need for a departure
from traditional billing due to the introduc-
tion of and need for smart phones and billing
transparency. Charging fundamentals require
flexibility, which is configuration driven, and
predictability – involving performance and up
time. The problem is that these are two con-
flicting statements. The ideal system would
allow the real time elements pre-paid with
the flexibility of post-paid. The challenge for
CSP’s is how to utilise the evolution in Real
Time Converged Charging (RTCC) optimally
and cost effectively to satisfy what are often
system divergent requirements.
Leaders in CSP billing will be those who
build a flexible and agile Billing System
infrastructure, those who are fast to
implement innovative new services and,
crucially, those who understand how to
integrate the RTCC engines into the wider
CSP architecture, in particular the CRM and
Business Intelligence and Analytics tools
that drive understanding of the customer.
Allowing spending control is also crucial to
today’s customers, who want to know what
they are paying for. Using context-aware
information and offers will not only bring the
customer closer to the CSP but also allows
them to proactively manage call limit lock-
ing, provides usage alerts in real time and
provides billing transparency, eradicating
Bill Shock. Ultimately the customer is put at
the forefront of the billing paradigm.
Other than a more empowered and loyal
customer, this approach offers other
The Evolution of Billing:
Turning Customers into Fans
Don’t merely survive in the billing jungle but rather learn to thrive on the new opportunities presented.
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benefits to the CSP. RTCC allows for linking
the Pricing Catalogue, Usage Policy Man-
agement and Billing Functionality. In this
way high usage, high revenue customers
can be better managed therefore be provid-
ed with better service levels as throughput
is managed using all 3 elements. Immedi-
ate usage is visible across multiple touch
points such as web, devices, etc. With the
introduction of 4G LTE voice becomes just
another data service. It‘s much easier to
manage a single service type which has
fundamental cost management advantages.
In a recent study Price Waterhouse Coo-
pers concluded that, "Customer retention
obviously has profound implications for all
businesses: Finding a new customer costs
from three to seven times more than
keeping an existing one and up to 95% of
profits come from long-term customers." Al-
tech ISIS has observed how RTCC solutions,
properly integrated to all of the adjunct CSP
network elements and business functions,
has meant that these market leading CSP’s
have more agility, OPEX efficiency and have
seized market opportunities earlier than their
rivals. Finding and working with a partner
who understands how to link a RTCC sys-
tem to your current BSS and OSS is crucial
to providing the causal link between turning
a theory of real time billing and revenue op-
timisation into reality. Understanding more
than just the systems, but also how those
systems can positively impact your custom-
ers, will ultimately turn those customers
into fans. And long term profits.
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 85
New horizons
mobile market has been
anticipating the need for
real-time billing and charg-
ing. These capabilities have
been developed to allow the
The communications industry has been talking about the imminent
need for real-time billing and charging for a long time. Here we
re-examine the business case, and how the continuing expansion
of mobile broadband will create the need for them, hand-in-hand
with policy-based management of new services and more data.
Mobile broadband
demand drives real-time
charging and billing
By Phil Marshall, PhD
convergence of prepaid and
postpaid billing regimes and
enable enhanced service
offers through the integra-
tion of real-time business
suite of standards (see page
33), have emerged to ease
challenges in implementing
scalable, real-time charging
and billing solutions. They are
complemented by policy-
A variety of standards such
as Online Charging System
(OCS) and extensions to TM
Forum’s Business Process
Framework (eTOM), part
of TM Forum's Frameworx
86 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
New horizons
oriented standards such as
Policy and Charging Rules
Function (PCRF) and Policy
and Charging Enforcement
Function (PCEF). While com-
pelling, so far these stan-
dards have yet to be widely
embraced, but the point is
coming when their adoption
will be important.
As the mobile broadband
market matures, service pro-
viders are facing the situation
of value becoming distrib-
uted among a wider variety
of players, whether device
manufacturers, over-the-top
(OTT) application providers or
As this occurs, service
providers fear that they
will be disenfranchised and
relegated to ‘dumb-pipes’ by
emerging players in the value
chain. These fears are well
founded, as are the variety of
transformation strategies that
service providers are pursu-
ing to address the changing
industry structure.
A recent catalyst for
change among service pro-
viders has been the need for
service models to accom-
modate the rapid expansion
in mobile broadband data
However, even in the face
of this big change, most ser-
vice providers have conserva-
tive market strategies and are
reacting to competition and
demand, rather than energiz-
ing market opportunities. In
Q Mobile broadband pricing
models are typically based
on basic monthly band-
width usage limits and lack
the sophistication con-
templated by many of the
advanced real-time billing
and charging solutions. The
pricing models align with
established prepaid and
postpaid offers and there-
fore are easily operational-
ized by service providers.
Q Policy solutions being
deployed by service provid-
ers (see article on page
42) are primarily used to
deal with bandwidth usage
and traffic management.
These solutions have been
deployed in response to
unprecedented data traffic
growth, and to align with
the bandwidth-centric
pricing models that service
providers are typically
Q In some cases, service
providers have established
offers that bundle
unlimited access to specific
applications, such as
Facebook, and their data-
based interchanges with
that site are zero rated and
service delivery is
optimized for the Facebook
“Most service
providers have
market strategies
and are reacting to
competition and
demand, rather than
energizing market
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competitive advantages in their industry:
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88 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
The Charging and Billing Group is an active part of TM
Forum’s Revenue Management Initiative. As a key group
housed in TM Forum’s online Collaboration Community,
60,000 strong, its focus is tackling the latest issues service
providers are facing related to charging and billing’s
processes, information and applications in today’s ever
changing market.
Teams collaborate to not only develop solutions to these
issues, but ensure they are fed back into TM Forum’s
Frameworx suite of standards for use by our members. To
join this growing Community and help shape charging and
billing best practices and standards, visit
How can TM Forum help?
Q Policy-driven triggers are
commonly used to send
information about band-
width usage to subscribers
as part of the drive to avoid
‘bill shock’ and have been
mandated by European
Union regulators specifically
for data roaming services.
These conservative ap-
proaches create a mismatch
between many of the busi-
ness operations capabilities
that are being developed
and promoted by technology
vendors, and those that are
being deployed. Although
bandwidth-oriented pricing
and packaging will prevail for
the foreseeable future, the
industry is seeing growing
demand for real-time charging
and billing solutions that use
more advanced subscriber
and service policies.
Several key drivers for this
accelerated demand include:
Q Increased market
competition among
service providers will
drive customer-centric
innovations to personal-
ize services and posi-
tion them based on their
intrinsic value rather than
the network traffic that
they generate. As ser-
vice providers develop
customer-centric solutions,
they will rely heavily on the
innovations of OTT players.
This will require standards-
based business operational
systems and application in-
terfaces (API) for real-time
charging, billing and policy
functionality to be exposed
for third-party developers.
Q Enterprise applications are
increasingly becoming
mobile as the trend gath-
ers momentum through
the proliferation of mobile
broadband combined with
cloud-based services, local
area networking and low
cost device storage. This
in turn will drive demand
for real-time policies
and charging and billing
solutions that optimize the
overall delivery of mobile
applications. For example,
enterprises are aiming to
minimize bandwidth costs
by scheduling the update
of a field service or sales
catalogs using local area
network capabilities. For
other mission critical ap-
plications, companies are
looking for solutions that
provide tiered Quality-of-
Service (QoS). In this case,
they are willing to pay
extra for premium network
access to support critical
services and applications.
Q Machine-to-machine
(M2M) applications are
gaining market momen-
tum in a variety of vertical
markets (see article on
page 78). Possible appli-
cation categories include
healthcare, energy, adver-
tising and merchandizing,
and telemetry. These appli-
cations will make demands
on the business operational
systems, including policy-
driven functionality and
real-time charging and
billing capabilities. The poli-
cies will have to deal with
zero rated, non-chargeable
network activity and in
some cases tier pricing and
network resources depend-
ing on the type of service.
For example, a healthcare
application might use flat-
rate billing for routine moni-
toring services with shared
network resources, but
introduce premium pricing
when dedicated network
resources are required in
the case of emergencies.
We believe that service
providers are uniquely
positioned to enhance and
personalize services with
real-time BSS capabilities.
Since many of these capabili-
ties are disruptive to the op-
erations of service providers,
they will see phased adoption
in the marketplace.
The initial phase, which
we are witnessing now,
has network-centric policies
and real-time charging and
billing functionality that is
bandwidth oriented. In addi-
tion, some service providers
have implemented bundling
strategies, where they are
bundling and zero-rating key
services and applications like
We believe that subse-
quent phases will see further
innovations, such as specific
functionality for enterprise
applications and M2M ser-
vices, and API exposure lay-
ers to provide basic, real-time
business support capabilities
for OTT service providers and
application developers.
The pace of innovation will
continue to accelerate as
mobile broadband services
become increasingly strate-
gic to service providers and
drive fiercer competition
among them. Since much of
the service innovations will
be driven by OTT compa-
nies, we believe that service
providers who aggressively
develop API exposure to
stimulate innovative business
support capabilities will be
better positioned to capitalize
on mobile broadband market
New horizons

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Policy control has traditionally been
the domain of the network operations
department, and its role has been
simple and a little dull. Communication
service providers (CSPs) deployed policy
control mostly defensively to prevent
customers from abusing the data
bandwidth and ruining the customer
experience for other users. Those are
worthy goals indeed, but hardly the kind
of capabilities that would have CSPs
re-think what they can do with their data
Companies like Convergys have added
charging to policy control to create
Policy and Charging Control (PCC), and
suddenly policy has become far more
interesting. Under the old model, it
wasn’t possible to use policy control to
create offers. With charging, CSPs have
the tools to monetize data networks in
new and creative ways.
This is accomplished in two ways,
first by prioritizing and managing data
access and second by adjusting quality
of service (QoS) and throttling for end
users or over-the-top (OTT) content
providers. This puts the CSPs in the
position of being able to sculpt users’
data interactions to assure that they
are having the best possible data
Furthermore, because the
overwhelming growth in mobile data
usage is bound to run head-on into the
limited amount of data bandwidth, it is
even more important that CSPs deploy
a sound and sophisticated policy and
charging control capability.
How charging makes policy
control matter
So what will this new capability
look like?
The products will have two different
orientations, one aimed at OTT content
providers, and another aimed at mobile
phone subscribers. Let’s take a look at a
few examples.
On the fly upgrades. Customers are
going to play a larger role in managing
their own satisfaction by selecting
their own services and add-ons from
an à-la-carte menu of options and by
using self care to manage complex
capabilities cost-effectively. An effective
PCC solution will utilize the interactive
capability of smartphones, as well as
facile web self care capabilities to drive
increased customer satisfaction. There
are revenue implications as well of
course, as CSPs can and will charge for
these services.
Customized packages. Previously,
CSPs have sold data in two ways: all
you can eat or bundles. PCC lets them
expand that product set to include
guaranteed quality of service and
prioritization. Bundles can now be sold
with a lower QoS during peak usage
times, for example, and better QoS
during non-peak hours. CSPs can create
tiered packages based on prioritization,
where users are segmented in how
they access the data network during
peak times and premium users can
get priority access. There are many
possible variations. These allow CSPs to
get paid in ways that weren’t possible
prior to PCC and will increase customer
satisfaction as customers are given more
By Tony Jackson, Director Telecoms Solution Strategy, Convergys
options to choose services based on cost
and capability. It’s even conceivable that
CSPs could interact with customers in
real time to create customized services.
For example, a customer could choose
to watch a video. The CSP could ask the
customer to time shift the watching until
a later date and offer them an incentive
to do so.
Service bundles. End users could
buy packages for specific types of QoS
or discounted usage. For example,
a customer might be a big user of
Facebook. The customer could purchase
a Facebook access package, where
for a few dollars, customers could
get access to Facebook in unlimited
quantities that don’t contribute towards
their data quota. Similar packages could
be created for streaming video, music
streaming, and cloud service access.
OTT partnerships. This is probably
the most promising uses of PCC, as it
moves CSPs into a business model that
is tried and true. Lets look at subsidizing
services based on commercials. It could
work as simply as giving a guaranteed
QoS or even guaranteed prioritization
to specific sites regardless of what
service the end user has subscribed to.
For example, a CSP could partner with
YouTube to give guaranteed QoS for
all users and YouTube would subsidize
the service based on the revenue
they expect to gain by giving location
aware advertising delivered to mobile
users. The possibilities for these kinds
of partnerships are amongst the most
exciting and promising uses of PCC.
Research reveals PPC is on the rise
A 2011 Convergys survey asked leading
CSPs around the globe what their plans
were regarding 4G monetization. Policy
and charging control are squarely at the
forefront of expected developments.
In the Convergys study, 40% said they
already have QoS partnerships, but 71%
expect to deploy those services in the
near term future. Whilst 38% percent
said they have already monetized that
capability. It will be very interesting
to see how CSPs experiment in this
In the Convergys study, the
respondents indicated that packages
are coming. Most cited that they are
planning a wide array of data packages
to drive revenue and customer
U 83% plan to offer video packages
U 65% plan to offer interactive master
plans where users control
U 61% plan to offer audio streaming
U 48% plan to offer services where
customers can upgrade QoS from
their handsets
One of the more interesting survey
findings is that CSPs are not yet
prepared to offer these services using
their legacy rating and billing platforms.
Only 39% reported having the needed
capabilities to actually charge for
controlling policy. But nearly 50% of
those who don’t have the capability plan
to add it in the short term.
Will that mean that they will rip and
replace their billing systems? That
seems very unlikely. Far more likely
is that CSPs will be augmenting their
existing systems with adjunct rating and
billing capabilities.

Billing systems need to be capable of
interacting with legacy policy platforms
or supply their own equivalents and
charging and controlling access based
on subscriber profiles or domain based
rules. This sophisticated interactivity
and the ability to control access and
charging is the heart of policy and
charging control.
To learn more, visit
or email us at telecoms@convergys.com.
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Family plans in which a master controls
access and usage for subordinates
Corporate plans in which a master controls
access and usage for subordinates
Interactive services in which customers can
upgrade quality of service from the handset
Cross-service bundling for quad play
Loyalty and bonus rewards
Other value-added services
Video 83%
Note: Respondents cited multiple answers
Yes 39%
No 61% No 50%
Yes 50%
If no, do you plan to seek
new BSS services in the
short/medium term?
Which of the following services do you plan to offer? Does your BSS support the services you need to monetize 4G?
92 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
New horizons
Cloud security has big implications for government agencies and commercial
organizations alike. Many governments describe it as the biggest single risk they face.
We take a look at the threats and some extant and possible solutions to them.
colossus Microsoft, e-mail
marketing company Epsilon
and gaming industry giant
Sony have in common?
Reportedly, all have been the
target of, or fallen victim to,
breaches of cloud computing
By John Williamson
Getting from
cloud nein to
cloud nine
Why does this matter?
Well, the consequences of
breached cloud security are
by no means trivial. A number
of reports put the cost to
Sony of compromised secu-
rity at around $170 million,
and the company’s senior
management acknowledged
a 24 percent fall in its share
price in the three months fol-
lowing the hacking attacks.
Although purists would
doubtless demur, cloud com-
puting is a generic term for a
relatively new form of buying
web-based IT systems, ap-
plications and computational
power: the novelty is that the
end user, rather than owning
these capabilities, buys them
on an as-needed basis.
Three prominent flavors of
cloud computing as identified
in the U.K. Government’s
2011 G-Cloud Strategy docu-
ment, are Infrastructure as a
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 93
New horizons
Service (IaaS), Software as a
Service (SaaS) and Platform
as a Service (PaaS). In each
case, rather than residing
on the desktop or on in-
house servers, capabilities
are hosted on the web and
accessed by the Internet or a
private network.
Cloud computing can be fur-
ther segmented on the basis
of the degree of ownership
and level of access involved.
Private cloud computing is the
model whereby the in-cloud
facilities are provided on an
exclusive basis for an organi-
zation. Public cloud facilities
are provided by an external
entity and are shared among a
number of, or very many, end
users. In community clouds,
private facilities are shared
by a number of organiza-
tions. Hybrid cloud computing
involves a mix of in-house and
external resources.
In general, cloud computing
offers significant benefits to
end-user organizations. These
include lower IT operating
and capital expenditure, ready
access to technology updates
and, in principle, scalability of
a high order. In place of high-
cost, custom-made solutions,
organizations have the op-
portunity to buy in low-cost,
best-fit commodity comput-
ing resources, services,
applications and storage as
and when required, and pay
for them only as used. If
anything, the appeal of the
cloud is amplified in times of
economic uncertainty, as at
Is it safe?
However, as is clear from the
experiences of Microsoft,
Epsilon, Sony and others, a
major worry is the security of
the different cloud computing
In the Into the cloud, out
of the fog section of its 2011
Global Information Security
Survey, professional services
organization Ernst & Young
but even this was only done
by 20 percent of respondents,
indicating a high and possibly
misguided level of trust.
“In the absence of clear
guidance, many organizations
seem to be making ill-informed
decisions, either moving to the
cloud prematurely and without
cloud,” reports Curt Aubley,
Vice President for Cyber Se-
curity and NexGen innovation
at Lockheed Martin.
Worries about security are
probably also the reason that
such organizations are tend-
ing towards the private cloud
model in their initial imple-
For both governmental and
commercial end-user organi-
zations, the development and
deployment of appropriate
security solutions is seen
as being absolutely key to
the more widespread use
of cloud computing. “Infor-
mation security is a critical
component and key enabler
for making the transition to
the cloud a successful one,”
argues Ernst & Young.
In this, as in other con-
texts, appropriate security
solutions are interoperable,
standardized solutions that
can be replicated, recycled
and reconfigured to meet
changing needs, without
major reworking or retro-en-
gineering to meet each threat
variant. Standards are also
key in an environment where
automation and policies are
used to protect increasingly
complex systems and deliver
lower cost and improved
service to end users.
Secure transition
TM Forum is one of the
world’s leading standards
production and advocacy
bodies. In terms of its overall
focus on simplifying the
complexities attached to
building and operating new
generation communications
and IT networks, the Forum is
continuing to work to
“Concern about the security of cloud
computing certainly looks to have
slowed down its adoption by
governmental and military organizations.”
identifies several main risk
and challenge areas associ-
ated with the introduction
of cloud computing. One
is the disconnect between
the ‘borderless’ cloud and
national compliance and
privacy legislation. Another is
the increase in vulnerability
that results from information
and data being processed and
communicated outside an
organization’s network. Risk
management is a third. The
Ernst & Young analysis also
mentions continuity of busi-
ness and disaster recovery.
Implementation challenges
According to Ernst & Young,
in 2011, 48 percent of
respondents to the survey
listed the implementation of
cloud computing as a difficult
or very difficult challenge,
and more than half had not
implemented any controls to
mitigate the risks associated
with cloud computing. The
most frequently taken mea-
sure was stronger oversight
on the contract management
process with cloud providers,
appropriately considering the
associated risk, or avoiding
it altogether. Although many
organizations have moved to
the cloud, many have done so
reluctantly,” comments Paul
van Kessel, Ernst & Young
Global IT Risk and Assurance
Government organizations
in particular are very mindful
of the potential vulnerabilities
of the cloud. In mid-2011 U.S.
defense contractor Lockheed
Martin and its Cyber Security
Alliance partners released a
study that revealed that secu-
rity remained the single big-
gest concern on the minds of
U.S. government IT decision-
makers when it came to cloud
computing. In all, two-thirds
of participants cited security
as the most important ele-
ment in their evaluations.
Concern about the security
of cloud computing certainly
looks to have slowed down its
adoption by governmental and
military organizations. “Secu-
rity concerns are the single
biggest reason agencies cite
for their slow adoption of
94 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
New horizons
establish best practices, stan-
dards and processes for cloud
computing. This is facilitated
in part by the use of some of
the elements of the flagship
Frameworx suite of standards
(see page 33), and by cloud-
related enhancements to that
suite of standards.
TM Forum initiatives
A number of TM Forum work
items and initiatives have
general relevance in the cloud
computing security domain.
Work on Single Sign-On,
User Authentication, Alert
Management, Enterprise Risk
Management and Enterprise
Identity Management are
good examples of these.
More specifically, TM
Forum’s Cloud & Digital
Services Initiative brings
together cloud users, tech-
nology suppliers and cloud
service providers to better
understand user needs and
remove barriers to growth
and success. Two key ele-
ments here are the acceler-
ated standardization of cloud
services, and reducing the
risk involved in the adoption
of cloud services.
Part of the Cloud & Digital
Services Initiative is the
Cloud Security & Risk Special
Interest Group. This body has
been set up so that par-
ticipants can engage in many
parallel discussions regarding
the various security and risk
areas that may impact Forum
member companies' cloud
It also explores the work of
other standards organizations
and their focus on cloud stan-
dards, in order to determine
what role the TM Forum
should play in the evolution
of global cloud security stan-
dards in these groups – or in
Meantime, at the core of
the Cloud & Digital Ser-
vices Initiative is the Forum’s
Enterprise Cloud Leader-
ship Council (ECLC). This, a
results-based group of ‘buy-
side’ companies made up of
many of the world’s largest
multi-national companies and
government bodies, is dedi-
cated to sharing actionable
best practices, standing up
real-world reference imple-
mentations, and advancing
the adoption of enterprise
cloud operating models.
Again, one stated ECLC
priority is security.
Simplifying delivery
Cloud computing has been
addressed in several TM
Forum Catalyst initiatives.
The Catalyst program is the
TM Forum’s proof of concept
environment where suppli-
ers and systems integrators
work together for three to six
months to create solutions
for critical industry operation-
al and systems challenges
defined by end users such
as service providers, multiple
system operators (MSOs),
defense agencies and enter-
prise IT departments.
One such effort, entitled
the Cloud Service Broker
(CSB) Catalyst, involved TM
Forum, BT, Comptel Corpo-
ration, Infonova, OpenNMS
Group and Square Hoop.
It was aimed at defining
and creating a trusted and
governed cloud management
platform to simplify the deliv-
ery of complex cloud services
to enterprise customers. That
collaboration, which com-
menced in 2010, looked at the
role of the CSB in addressing
enterprise cloud customer
concerns in areas such as
security, application perfor-
mance and vendor lock-in.
Continuing with the col-
laboration theme, TM Forum
has also recently announced
that it is partnering with the
Distributed Management Task
Force (DMTF), a leading stan-
dards organization in the cloud
industry, to coordinate their
work around the development
“While enterprises wish to lever value
from the cloud, they are apprehensive over
losing control, citing areas of concern such
as IT governance, application performance,
runaway costs, inadequate security and
technology lock-in.”
“The Cloud Service Broker
TM Forum Catalyst provides
an excellent opportunity
to address the barriers to
cloud adoption for enterprise
customers,” observed John
Gillam, Programme Director,
Cloud Services, BT Global
Services, at the launch of the
“While enterprises wish
to lever value from the
cloud, they are apprehensive
over losing control, citing
areas of concern such as
IT governance, application
performance, runaway costs,
inadequate security and tech-
nology lock-in.
“The CSB addresses this
by matching cloud services
to each enterprise's needs,
enforcing the right policies,
and then showing how this
can be backed up by an ongo-
ing service level agreement.
We believe developments of
this nature will be of primary
importance in future cloud
and adoption of standards
for the management and
operational needs of the cloud
computing environment. The
two organizations are focus-
ing on developing standards
for a more holistic approach
to cloud management in order
to reduce deployment costs,
speed time-to-market, and im-
prove service quality through
best practices and standards.
“By partnering with DMTF
we are able to draw on each
other’s strengths, and not
reinvent the wheel when
understanding the opera-
tional needs of cloud services
customers,” says Aileen
Smith, Senior Vice President
of Collaboration & Research
and Development, TM Forum.
“With the help of DMTF, we
will continue to define opera-
tional and management needs
and the standards that will
drive cloud service adoption
and remove the barriers to
entry for enterprises today.”

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New horizons
96 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Cloud computing has shifted from concept to mainstream, but the rush to transform
business by pushing data centers and computing services out to the Internet is
creating unwieldy service environments. This is particularly true for enterprises, many
of whose IT departments are ill-equipped to manage multiple cloud service providers.
This in turn has led to the creation of a new business entity, the cloud service broker.
By Tammy Parker
Cloud service brokers
aid enterprise customers
(CSBs) are a new breed of in-
termediary between enterpris-
es and cloud service providers.
Their skills at orchestration
promise to ease complexity by
matching services to specific
enterprise needs and creating
an environment of trust and
security for customers that
increasingly rely upon cloud.
The cloud services market
has escalated with the intro-
duction of smartphones and
other intelligent devices along
with advanced communica-
tions networks, resulting in a
proliferation of operational end
points, which can now number
in the billions and overwhelm
enterprise IT departments.
This is creating a business
opportunity for CSBs, which
connect enterprises with
multiple cloud service provid-
ers while providing service
level agreements (SLAs) for
business operational systems,
management systems and
security. At its most basic
level, the CSB “instills the trust
between the providers and
the buyers of cloud services,”
says Aileen Smith, Senior Vice
President of Collaboration &
Research and Development,
TM Forum.
The CSB’s role encompass-
es both technical and business
aspects. In an audio interview
on the Gartner website, Benoit
Lheureux, Research Vice
President at Gartner, says that
in addition to aggregating and
adding value by providing a
single point of entry to multiple
cloud services, with one billing
and one security system, CSBs
also play an important role by
representing the services be-
ing delivered to the end user.
Through 2014, cloud service
brokerage will be the fastest
growing area of cloud comput-
ing, generating more than $5
billion in sales – up from fewer
than $50 million in 2010, Gart-
ner says – making the CSB
segment “the single largest
revenue growth opportunity in
cloud computing.”
Factors inhibiting adoption
Yet cloud services, including
CSBs, suffer from a lack of
standards, which could inhibit
their adoption and lessen the
benefits of using cloud. With
these concerns in mind, in
November 2011, TM Forum
announced a partnership with
the Distributed Management
Task Force (DMTF) aimed at
developing and adopting stan-
dards for the management
and operational needs of the
cloud computing environ-
ment. TM Forum’s Cloud and
Digital Services Initiative and
DMTF are tackling numerous
critical cloud-management
issues, including SLAs, billing,
cloud management interfaces
and service lifecycle manage-
ment, all of which have direct
impact on CSBs.
“It’s all around the extended
value chain, when you’re talk-
ing about multiple vendors,
multiple content providers,
multiple carriers and mul-
tiple customers. How do you
manage interoperability, data
portability, elasticity, security,
and so on, across multiple
players that are delivering ser-
vices based on the needs of
end customers? And how do
you make sure you can scale
up and down effectively and
efficiently and meet enterprise
customers’ requirements, who
in turn want things to happen
in real time?” says Smith.
Managing services
She argues that TM Forum
is in a unique position as its
Frameworx suite of standards
(see page 33) and support
services have been help-
ing service providers in the
delivery and management of
services for the past 20 years,
and cloud is just a different
mechanism for delivering
services. Hence the Cloud and
Digital Services Initiative is all
about reviewing Frameworx
from a cloud perspective and
filling in any gaps to meet
the needs of this new virtual
In addition, the Forum is pro-
posing a Catalyst project (see
panel) that would involve a
Service Delivery Broker (SDB),
a solution for managing the
services lifecycle, exposing a
services catalog and delivering
a service marketplace to de-
velopers, on top of a Network
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 97
New horizons
Broker to deliver “cloud elastic
network/Network as a Ser-
vice.” TM Forum has conduct-
ed separate Catalysts focused
on CSB and SDB platforms but
has never before run a merged
Catalyst for the two, according
to Smith.
Portugal Telecom’s SAPO
division, AT&T, Microsoft,
IBM, BaseN, and Telcordia col-
laborated on a Catalyst called
Multi-Cloud Developer Experi-
ence, that was presented at
TM Forum's Management
World Americas 2011. This
was SAPO’s third Catalyst in a
row, demonstrating and devel-
oping its SDB platform.
The company’s five-year-old
SDB middleware is used to
manage SAPO’s catalog of
dozens of mobile and IPTV
apps, 340 web services and
more than 3,400 web service
end-points. SAPO has dem-
onstrated a common service
delivery platform as well as a
virtual developer marketplace
by using Windows Azure and
Microsoft’s SQL Azure data-
base to expand the SDB into
the cloud.
Service provider issues
The solution includes Mes-
sage Broker and a Developer
Marketplace to enable third
parties to buy access to
service providers’ product
offers, such as web applica-
tions, web services, native
mobile applications and more.
“CSB models are a natural fit
to SAPO SDB,” says António
Cruz, software architect and
program manager at SAPO,
and a member of TM Forum’s
Software Enabled Services
(SES) project.
“Through our API [Applica-
tion Programming Interface]
catalog, we already expose
services from several partners
and customers. This catalog
includes services created
in Portuguese universities
through our SAPO Labs pro-
gram. Recently, we launched
SAPO Services, an SDB-based
marketplace for enabling ser-
vice APIs as product offers,”
says Cruz, adding that SAPO
is also “working internally
to offer SDB as a Service in
SmartCloudPT.” This is a cloud
computing offer for enter-
prises that Portugal Telecom
launched on May 28, 2011.
Operators such as Portugal
Telecom are in a race to win
the hearts and wallets of en-
terprise customers. In a June
2010 survey, Gartner asked
respondents what kind of
companies they would trust to
serve as their CSB: Systems
integrators topped the list with
63.5 percent of votes, while
carriers garnered 47.9 percent.
Communications service pro-
viders “are very well positioned
to be a B2B player in their
markets,” argues Cruz, who
includes local stores, customer
support, billing relationships,
branding and credibility among
their natural advantages.
Yet many communications
service providers are strug-
gling their way into the cloud
and how to go beyond IaaS
[Infrastructure as a Service]
through PaaS [Platform as a
Service] and SaaS [Software
as a Service] offers,” Cruz
Similarly, Smith notes that
“there are hindrances from a
service provider perspective
in terms of culture because
service provider culture is
based on network voice and
data, not IT resources for
organizations. This is proving
difficult for service providers
and is requiring new strate-
gies such as the acquisition
of specialist cloud services
The whole package
Gartner’s Lheureux says a
viable CSB must aggregate
enough services to attract
enterprise users and also add
ample value by, for instance,
providing mash-ups, additional
applications, professional IT
services and business pro-
cess outsourcing.
“Is there sufficient aggrega-
tion? Is there sufficient value
delivered? I think the market
will pretty much use those
criteria to test these cloud
services brokerages as they
emerge, and they’re very
quickly emerging all over the
place. Those who don’t deliver
the value probably won’t make
it very long,” Lheureux says.

What is TM Forum’s Catalyst program?
The Catalyst program is TM Forum’s rapid prototyping
environment where suppliers and systems integrators work
together for between three and six months to create
solutions for critical industry operational and systems
A key aspect of these projects is that they accelerate
development and validate TM Forum best practices and
standards, including Frameworx. The solutions are demon-
strated live at TM Forum Management World events.
For more information or to take part please contact
Sunil Vaswani, Catalyst Program Manager via
98 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
By Phil Marshall, PhD
Service providers across the globe are busily deploying LTE networks
and small cell technologies like pico, femto and microcells to improve
the economics of their networks and increase revenue opportunities.
The drivers for improved network economics are relatively well
understood, but strategies for monetizing mobile broadband services
are proving a challenge. This is particularly the case as mobile
broadband collides with Internet-oriented business models, which
tend to undermine the value of network services and encourage the
perception that broadband should be ‘free’.
mobile broadband
New horizons
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 99
market faces off against
established Internet business
models, service providers are
struggling to transform from
their network services roots.
Network upgrades are
needed to economically
deliver mobile broadband
services and convince service
providers’ subscribers that
their supplier is on the leading
edge of technology. How-
ever, the high performance
technologies like LTE do not
automatically command a
premium price over legacy
technologies like 3G-HSDPA.
Service providers are typically
implementing similar pricing
plans across their 3G and LTE
service offers.
Mobile broadband moneti-
zation strategies for service
providers vary across geo-
graphical regions and depend-
ing on whether wholesale or
retail services are on offer. So
far, wholesale models for mo-
bile broadband have not been
particularly common and have
typically incorporated basic
network access services. The
lion’s share of market activity
on the part of the service
providers is retail services.
The characteristics of retail
services will continue to refine
themselves for many years
to come, with much of the in-
novation coming from third par-
ties, including device manufac-
turers, application developers
and over-the-top (OTT) service
providers. Since 3G and 4G
access technologies will only
play a small part in the overall
value proposition for mobile
broadband, service providers
must capitalize on technical and
commercial innovations across
entire mobile broadband eco-
systems and transform their
operations accordingly.
This is not trivial and calls
for major operational changes
on the part of service provid-
ers. From a technology per-
spective, there are a variety
of capabilities that will help
and enable them to innovate.
These capabilities include the
Q The evolution towards all-IP
environments supports the
convergence of services
and eliminates legacy prod-
uct silos. By eliminating
the silos, service providers
can use all-IP architectures
to create customer-centric
solutions to converge ser-
vice functionality. Examples
might include integrating
messaging and telephony
with social networks, uni-
fied communications and
creating services that vary
with context, depending on
users’ profiles.
Q The proliferation of developer
communities that capitalize
on widely adopted stan-
dards such as Javascript,
Web Services, XML and
HTML, and device specific
standards such as those
relating to Apple’s iOS and
Android operating systems.
With the wider adoption of
smartphone devices, these
standards are forming the
basis of service innovation
and must be embraced by
service providers, whether
in terms of service and ap-
plication enablers, industry
partnerships or application
development environments.
Q The global adoption of
cloud-based services for
improved application and
service delivery. Service
providers can benefit from
opportunities to advance
and personalize cloud-based
services when delivered to
mobile devices. For example,
personalized content can be
cached locally on mobile de-
vices and service discovery
capabilities could incorporate
contextual data to enhance
the overall user experience.
Given the level of innova-
tion in the mobile broadband
market, service providers will
continue to be challenged
by the speculative nature of
the services on offer. In an
environment where it is virtu-
ally impossible to predict the
success of individual mobile
broadband services, providers
must take a portfolio approach
to them, and applications that
they support, to find where
there are opportunities to
offer common functionality
within and between the port-
folios. Two possible portfolios
might include media and
infotainment, and machine-
New horizons
“Service providers
will continue to
be challenged by
the speculative
nature of the
services on offer.”
100 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
to-machine (M2M) services.
Others candidates include
enterprise services and
unified communications.
Media/infotainment services
The roaring success of
many smartphone models
and, more recently, tablets,
have shown that with the
right user interface and an
open development environ-
ment, they fuel an insa-
tiable appetite for media and
infotainment services. This
resulted in the proliferation
of App Store services, music
downloads, streaming video
services like YouTube, email,
messaging and browsing.
So far these services have
been delivered primarily by
OTT players who, in most
cases, pay little attention to
the value added by service
Although service providers
have missed opportunities
to monetize the first round
of smartphone and tablet
applications, there are sev-
eral trends that could create
future opportunities for them.
These trends include secur-
ing and protecting premium
content, cloud computing,
Wi-Fi and local area network
integration, HTML5 standard-
ization and the proliferation
of low-cost memory. On the
basis of these trends, candi-
dates in media and infotain-
ment services emerge that
are well suited to service
providers adding value. They
could include the following:
Q Personal cloud services
will bring new models
for the virtualization of
service and applications.
Cloud-based solutions
typically drive the central-
ization of computing using
web service interfaces.
However, in the case of
mobile broadband, there
are opportunities to cre-
ate personalized clouds
using mobile devices. The
devices might be used for
the caching and orchestra-
tion of services and ap-
plications. They could also
enable ‘split’ application
architectures where the
applications local to the de-
vice can be integrated with
real-time core and edge
network functionality, such
as subscriber and service
profiles and other network
service capabilities.
Q Service discovery and
content caching could
come into play where
service providers work with
key industry players to in-
troduce advanced content
caching to improve service
delivery by capitalizing
on network intelligence,
content caching at the
network’s edge and in de-
vices’ memory. These ap-
proaches not only improve
service efficiency, but
allow personalized filtering
services to improve service
discovery and orchestra-
tion. Amazon’s Kindle
illustrates that practical
implementation of some of
these capabilities.
Q Mobile gaming solutions,
which might include social
networking with tiered
network performance to
enhance the overall user
Service providers are poten-
tially positioned to capitalize
on many of these opportuni-
ties. Their success depends
on service innovation be-
yond mobile networking as
we know it to include local
area networks and content
distribution networks and
caching. It also means service
providers have to transform
their operations and embrace
partnerships with third parties
– two big asks.
The machine-to-machine
(M2M) market has been a
sleeping giant, having gained
niche market attention so
far, but with the potential to
ultimately dwarf the mobile
cellular market in terms of
the number of connected
devices. M2M solutions have
used narrowband channels to
send basic signaling infor-
mation and while this will
continue, opportunities are
emerging for broadband solu-
tions that leverage broadband
media such as video.
To capitalize on the M2M
market, service providers
must evolve their business
and operational support sys-
tems with highly automated
business and operational
support systems to enable
millions of low cost and low
revenue generating de-
vices to proliferate. To bring
services to market, service
providers must work closely
with partners that have
vertical industry expertise
to ensure that the solutions
align with their respective
markets. We examine the op-
portunities provided by M2M
in the article on page 78.
Also, members can download
our Insights Research report,
M2M strategies for commu-
nications service providers,
free from our website (for
more information see panel
on page 82).
In conclusion
As service providers pursue
their mobile broadband strat-
egies, they must capitalize
on their pervasive role in
delivering network services.
This contrasts other ecosys-
tem players who generally
operate in technical or com-
mercial silos within specific
mobile broadband solutions.
With a pervasive role in the
mobile broadband market,
service providers are poten-
tially positioned to deliver
customer-centric solutions
that will create sustainable
market value and ensure that
they are not relegated to
‘dumb pipes’.
“Service providers have to transform their
operations and embrace partnerships with
third parties – two big asks.”
New horizons
1 Copyright © 2012 Juniper Networks, Inc. www.juniper.net
NAT64 translation
Single device DS Lite Model
Sponsored feature
The most widely used addressing
scheme, IPv4, was adequate to meet
the needs of the last few decades, but
has proven insufficient to meet the
scale challenges of our increasingly
connected world.
A replacement for IPv4 addressing
does exist today. Called IPv6, it offers
practically unlimited address space
that will easily meet the needs of our
connected world, today and tomorrow.
While IPv6 is available today, IPv4 and
IPv6 cannot natively communicate;
that is, IPv4 addressed devices cannot
directly access IPv6 addressed content,
and IPv6 enabled devices cannot directly
communicate with IPv4 addressed
content or devices.
This has profound technical and
business implications.
While the move to IPv6 is necessary
to accommodate the continuing
explosion of connected devices, the
current Internet technology profile
mandates that IPv4 and IPv6 will have to
coexist for now, and for the foreseeable
future. And even if some operators are
ready to transition to IPv6 today, the
more immediate concern is to mitigate
IPv4 address depletion.
In order to maintain IPv4 subscriber
growth, the current IPv4 address pool
will need to be shared among more
subscribers. This is accomplished with
Carrier-Grade NAT (CGN). Rather than
assigning public addresses directly to
individual users, CGN “pulls back” these
addresses to a more centralized NAT
point, allowing the sharing of a single
public address among a much larger
number of end devices.
There are several variations in
the deployment of CGN. Dual Stack
Lite (DS-Lite) and NAT44(4) are the
most common CGN approaches for
overcoming IPv4 address depletion,
and they are somewhat similar in the
way that they enable service providers
to share a small set of IPv4 addresses
A Pragmatic and Comprehensive
Approach to IPv6 Adoption
among a large number of users.
NAT44(4) is a CGN architecture that
uses the NAT44 protocol that extends
a service provider’s IPv4 address pool
by allowing multiple subscribers or
end users to share a single public IPv4
address. NAT44(4) requires no change
to the service provider’s existing
network infrastructure, and provides
immediate relief to IPv4 address
Using NAT44(4), each subscriber
in a local area network has its own
private IPv4 address space. When
communicating over the public network,
the service provider translates these
private IPv4 addresses into a shared
IPv4 address, which improves utilization
of the existing public IPv4 address
space by aggregating subscribers in a
public IPv4 pool on a CGN router.
DS-Lite also uses NAT44 to allow
many private IPv4 addresses to share
a common public IPv4 address, and
has the added benefit of permitting
the incremental adoption of IPv6.
When an IPv4 address sends an IPv4
packet, the packet is not only assigned
a shared public IPv4 address, it is also
encapsulated in an IPv6 packet for
transport into the provider network.
While a service provide might select
NAT 44(4) for IPv4 address conservation,
they might also adopt NAT64, another
CGN technology, in parallel to provide
communications between subscribers
using IPv6 addressable devices and
content hosted on IPv4 addressed
resources. Implementing NAT64 has
significant benefits: it is transparent to
IPv6-enabled subscribers, and content
providers are not forced into an expensive
upgrade to IPv6 compatible hosts.
Similarly, 6to4 and 6rd provide
mechanisms to connect IPv6 hosts or
networks across an IPv4 infrastructure
or the Internet. These technologies
allow communications between IPv6
addressed subscribers and content
without forcing the service provider to
significantly change their current IPv4
based network.
As service providers evaluate their
addressing needs, they need to look
to solutions that preserve access to
IPv4 services and content, permit
the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6
subscribers and content, and enable
a smooth and cost-effective transition
to IPv6.
There are many technologies
to choose from, and they should
thoroughly evaluate their options
without delay. The supply of available
IPv4 address blocks is finite, and
dwindling… and the time to act is now.
David Noguer Bau, Head of SP Marketing, Juniper EMEA
Sponsored feature
Just as the fastest way between two
points is often a straight line, the most
direct way to accomplish a task is often
to do it yourself. Like that straight
line, accomplishing a task yourself
runs between two points, you and
the task itself, without the need to
bring in a third tangent, so it’s often
efficient and fast. Bringing in a third
party to help you accomplish a task is
by definition less efficient, as you now
have to educate that party as to what
you are trying to accomplish and why.
It introduces complexity, a chance of
misunderstanding, and worse, cost, as
two people working on a problem is
twice the resource.
This is why self service has become
a dominant theme in the 21st century,
as technology enabled complex
transactions to take place in areas as
diverse as the airport, gas stations,
and even the post office. When that
underlying technology is simple
and works well, the third tangent is
removed, driving lower costs.
The self care revolution
Communication service providers
(CSPs) have not until recently been
able to capitalize much on the self
care revolution. The introduction of
IVR technology allowed customers to
conduct simple tasks, like checking
their bill balance or enquiring about
their usage, but the sophistication and
complexity of the BSS/OSS technology
behind the scenes left more complex
tasks for customer care representatives.
When self care is the best care
Just as the arrival of kiosks and credit
card swipe machines changed self
care at the airport and the gas pump,
the arrival of the smart phone and
intelligent BSS are positioned to do the
same for customers of CSPs. Using self
care applications enables previously
inconceivable kinds of transactions
to take place. Take, for example, the
arrival of Apple’s Easy Pay technology,
where a customer can, using an iPhone
and an application, walk into an Apple
store, take something off the shelf,
scan it, buy it, and walk out the door
without ever interacting with a person.
Try explaining that to a grandparent, and
you will get an idea of exactly why the
self care revolution is a game changer
that cannot be ignored.
Self care is not for everyone
Which brings us to another important
point, self care is not for everyone. A
2011 Convergys study showed that the
overall preferred method of customer
care was still by phone, with a live
person. But tellingly, the younger a
person was, the more likely they were
to choose self care as the preferred
method of accomplishing a task. The
reason is clear, today’s generation
will see self care as not only the best
way to do something, but also the
simplest, again assuming that the
transaction is seamless and intuitive.
This is a generation that does most
of its communication via typing, so
the desire to accomplish things non-
verbally is understandable. What’s
By Tony Jackson, Director Telecoms Solution Strategy, Convergys
more, accomplishing tasks yourself is
a compelling experience, which drives
overall customer satisfaction, and thus
reduces churn. But, CSPs do need to
beware that a difficult to use or poorly
performing self care system will have
an adverse effect on the customer
experience and could well be worse
than having no self care system at all.
How can CSPs use this shift to
their advantage?
The way to move to self care is to
embrace the paradigm throughout
their entire customer interaction. Yes,
that means more intelligent context
sensitive IVRs, but it goes well beyond
that. The use of dynamic decisioning to
offer customers choices that the system
selects based on the activity and history
on the account is one way. The use
of applications from smartphones is
another. The customer needs to be
able to do as many things as is possible
directly, and not just the simple ones
that are accomplished today. Every
possible section of the BSS solution
needs to be evaluated based on the
new self care possibilities.

Financial and business benefits
Self care means your customer is, in
effect, working for you, and for free.
The investments in the development
and deployment of self care
technologies yields long-term rewards
in call center costs. According to the
2011 Mobile Self-Service Report, which
details the findings of a poll of more
than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by
YouGov for Antenna Software, when
asked about their customer service
experience with mobile operators,
YouGov found that operators could
move as many as one in two (49
percent) of 18-24 year old customers
onto a self-managed account offering if
the service was available. One operator
providing USSD-based self care services
is enjoying annual savings of over
U.S.$40 million on IVR costs alone.

So it’s reasonable to expect that using
self care well could yield significant call
center savings, perhaps even double
digit reductions in the amount of staff
necessary to still deliver exceptional
customer care.
Are there reasons to believe that
the benefits go beyond savings?
The YouGov survey says yes there
are indeed. When asked about their
customer service experience with
mobile operators, 72 percent of
consumers answered they would like to
control their accounts via their mobile
device if their service provider offered
a mobile application or mobile internet
option. That’s an astonishingly high
figure and it’s based on the assumption
that the self care capability is intuitive
and easy to use. Thus, CSPs need
to develop these capabilities very
carefully and test them thoroughly.
A great product would use event
aware capabilities to suggest actions
to customers and understand who is
accessing the self care capability, and in
effect, know what the customer is likely
to want before the customer interacts
with the system.
The biggest benefit of self care will
be in significant customer satisfaction
improvements. This has to do with the
psychology of mastery. People are hard
wired to solve puzzles, and when they
do, find the experience rewarding, and
that rewarding experience creates a
bonding experience with the system
that is delivering the “reward” of
accomplishment. If your self care
experience can be seen as satisfactory,
then it’s reasonable to believe that cus-
tomers will like the overall service more.
We see that self care can both reduce
costs and has the potential to reduce
churn, so the time to embrace customer
self care is yesterday, but today will do.
Deploy self care throughout your BSS,
and start saving now.
To learn more, visit
or email us at telecoms@convergys.com.
104 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
was recently asked what
he thought about customer
experience. His reply was
forthright and simple: “Don’t
upset your customers”.
This might seem blindingly
obvious, yet our track record
in customer care is not good.
If you want to make a cus-
tomer really angry, a poorly
deployed interactive voice
response system works as
well as poking a tiger with
a stick. Even if all the key
performance indicators (KPIs)
were met, it doesn’t mean
the customer was happy, and
their dissatisfaction is all over
Twitter or Facebook.
If you think these channels
don’t matter, it is worth con-
sidering the role social media
and the web played in bring-
ing down governments during
2011 and how some well-
documented digital protests
stopped large corporations in
their tracks. Twenty-two year
Is self-service
the answer to better
customer experience?
By Annie Turner
old Molly Katchpole’s cam-
paign (via www.change.com)
against Bank of America’s
proposed $5 a month debit
card fee forced the bank to
retract after 40,000 people a
day signed up to object.
Positive steps in analytics
Fortunately many people in
the our industry are thought-
ful and pragmatic about the
best way forward. The heart
of TM Forum is collaboration
(through our 60,000 strong
Collaboration Community)
and our members (that is four
out of five out of the top 100
network operators around the
world) are proceeding in vari-
ous ways.
For example, the Forum’s
Data Analytics team is striv-
ing to help service providers
make the best use of busi-
ness intelligence and data
analytics tools for revenue
management as part of the
our Revenue Management
initiative (see www.tmforum.
At TM Forum Mangage-
ment World 2011, Analytics
for operational excellence was
one of our most successful
Catalyst demonstrations (see
page 66 for more about our
Catalyst program). It showed
how service providers’
existing tools could be used
together to glean far greater
benefits for the provider and
their customers than used in
It was championed by Voda-
fone with technology partners
Microsoft, N-Pulse and Subex,
The use of data analytics to improve customer service and give customers
the tools to serve themselves are not new ideas. Over the next five years,
the first is going to become an increasingly precise science as it becomes
ever more important to hold onto customers and make more profits from
them, while self-service will simply be expected as the base line – how
well it is executed will become a big differentiator.
New horizons
Customer Experience Maturity Model
Over the next year, TM Forum plans to develop a
Customer Experience Maturity Model using a similar
approach to the successful Revenue Assurance
Maturity Model – a consistent, widely deployed
framework for assessing how mature a service
provider’s organization, people, processes, tools and
influence are at protecting and recovering revenue.
Deploying the Model can save many millions of dollars,
straight to the bottom line – and very quickly. For real-
life examples of just that, please see the TM Forum
Case Study Handbook, available free to members at
www.tmforum.org/CaseStudyHandbook. We look
forward to replicating this success in the critical area of
customer experience.
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 105
and set out to identify cus-
tomers whose contracts were
due for renewal soon and
had suffered an abnormally
high level of dropped calls to
pinpoint the failures and make
tempting renewal offers to
prevent them from churning.
You can read a detailed ver-
sion of how this was achieved
by Ian Emsley, Chief Archi-
tect, Subex, and Head of TM
Forum’s Data Analytics Team
in the September 2011 edition
of our Business Intelligence
Quarterly: Knowing the cus-
tomer pays, which is free for
members to download from
our website (www.tmforum.
The Catalyst confirmed the
applicability and importance
of the Information Framework
(SID) and Business Process
Framework (eTOM) – two key
parts of TM Forum’s Frame-
worx suite of standards (see
page 33) – in collaborative
data analytics. Without them
it would not have been pos-
sible to share data between
applications in this way.
The plan was that a further
area of study would incor-
porate the business metrics
defined by the Business
Benchmarking Program (see
panel), ensuring that the
various data analytics ap-
plications are reporting in a
consistent way.
This work was built on in
another Catalyst project at
TM Forum's Management
World Americas 2011, Ad-
vancing customer experience
management (CEM) with
analytics, which established a
strategic and enhanced set of
CEM indices to address the
analysis, manipulation and
structured presentation of
complex data from across the
service provider’s enterprise.
This was done by identi-
fying the key components
of Frameworx engaged in
presenting the information
to enterprise management.
It will be possible to calcu-
late these metrics regularly
(for example, hourly, daily,
weekly) and use them to
operationalize the enterprise
CEM index.
By capturing disparate
KPIs and identifying their
relevance to customers’ ex-
perience, the project showed
how one small, but pertinent
KPI can affect overall
customer satisfaction.
This project was champi-
oned by Telecom Italia, and
with support from IBM, Hua-
wei, Network Critical, The
Now Factory and Ventraq.
Early research on customer
Allowing customers to
serve themselves should
be a big win-win for service
providers and customers –
it’s cheaper than complaints
via a call center and, if done
properly, increases customer
satisfaction. It’s early days,
but a study undertaken
by TM Forum’s Business
Benchmarking Program had
interesting results.
Service providers with high
service usage, who have the
most completed online trans-
actions and high satisfaction
scores are reaping a good
return on their web self-
service investments – cus-
tomers clearly appreciate the
convenience. However the
study clearly illustrated that
simply providing the service
isn’t enough to reap these
benefits; service providers
have to promote them to gain
critical mass.
What to do to join the
Q Implement the high-value
services, not just those
that are easy to provision.
Q Incentivize your retail and
call center agents to
encourage customers to
learn about and become
proficient at using web
self-service. Consider
offering the customers
incentives for using self-
service via the web.
Q Ensure your services are
intuitive and easy to use,
for example, providing
eChat to help users com-
plete transactions, which in
turn will encourage them to
visit the site again.
Q At the very least, measure
the basics, including usage,
successful completion of
tasks and customer satis-
faction for each function to
find out what works and
what doesn’t and adapt as
New horizons
What can Business Benchmarking
do for you?
More than 170 service providers from over 65 countries
use performance data from TM Forum’s Business Bench-
marking Program to improve efficiency and effective-
ness. It is free to TM Forum members who are service
providers. Participants receive free, secure, individualized
reports showing their performance against each metric
and have access to broader results and statistics in the
benchmarking database. Aggregated results are available
for a fee to non-participating service providers.
Service providers pool critical industry data through a
secure, independently audited web-portal.
The Program was developed, and is constantly refined,
by service providers, for service providers. It uses
quantitative metrics ranging from tactical to business
performance data.
TM Forum’s Business Benchmarking Program is based
on the comprehensive set of business metrics defined
in our Frameworx suite of standards (see page 33). It
allows you to compare your business and operational
performance against the rest of the industry.
In addition, TM Forum benchmarking studies, proposed
by service providers, help you measure the impact of
changes in your business, providing a balanced scorecard
across finance, customer service and operations.
Benchmarking before and after projects allows you to
assess how much you have improved, and where you
stand against your targets. These regular studies provide
updates on industry shifts and trends.
For details of upcoming studies or to participate,
please contact Chyrssa Dislis, Senior Manager, Business
Benchmarking, cdislis@tmforum.org
106 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
a strong sense of the poten-
tial power of data analytics
in helping them run their
businesses better in areas as
diverse as customer experi-
ence and forecasting. Yet
there seems to be a big gap
between that potential and re-
ality, as we explored in detail
in TM Forum’s Quick Insights
report Agile decision making:
Improving business results
with analytics, which is free
for members to download
from our website. www.tmfo-
This is supported by the
findings in a Gartner report*
published in January 2012.
The analyst house predicted
that by 2014, fewer than 30
Getting real
about data analytics
By Rob Rich and Annie Turner
Analytics are a very hot topic in many industry sectors. Perhaps the biggest
question regarding their role in communications is how to realize their full
value, particularly in the area of making better informed decisions quickly?
There is considerable evidence that we've got a long way to go. Here we
look at some of the issues and suggest some remedies.
percent of business intel-
ligence (BI) initiatives will fully
align analytics with enterprise
business drivers. This, as the
analyst house points out, is
missing the point of using
analytics (see Figure 1 for an
explanation of the relation-
ship between analytics and
BI, which are frequently used
interchangeably, creating a
great deal of confusion).
Gartner’s research suggests
that one reason for misalign-
ment is that organizations
often develop and deploy
reports in hindsight and/or
around query applications that
focus on metrics users find in-
teresting, but don't represent
the operational or strategic
controls used to facilitate busi-
Business metrics
A measurement used to
determine how well an aspect
of business is performing.
Business intelligence
In this context, a broad set of
software platforms and tools that
report on business performance
and predict future trends.
BI tools are both above and below
business metrics in that they
use the appropriate analytics to
build the business metrics, and
can also be used to represent
those performance metrics
on a dashboard to help their
(Data) analytics
The specific applications within
the BI portfolio that provide
the data elements to execute
business metrics.
Figure 1: The relationship between business metrics
and analytics
Source: TM Forum
New horizons
ness performance. In short,
we seem to be measuring the
wrong things to help improve
business performance, never
mind planning for the future.
There is also an acute lack
of joined up thinking, with
Gartner’s research finding that
fewer than one-third of orga-
nizations have a documented
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 107
analytics, BI or performance
management strategy.
The report also noted,
“Many BI programs have
departmental roots with ana-
lytical resources embedded
in the business. This model
has worked well in serving
departmental needs, but it
lacks consistency in terms of
data definitions and measures
across an entire organization.
“Often, the IT organization
has solved this inconsistency
problem by establishing a
central team to deliver BI.
However, such an overly cen-
tralized model lacks the agility
and familiarity of the decen-
tralized model. A hybrid de-
livery model enables greater
consistency and economies
of scale, more autonomy and
faster turnaround times.” In
these times of accelerating
change, Information from data
analytics needs to be fast to
be truly useful.
Of course analytics is suf-
fering a further challenge too,
along with so many other
areas of business. The soar-
ing amounts and types of data
available (see article on Big
Data on page 42) due to the
growing number of consum-
ers of communications ser-
vices as well as the usage of
those services, Gartner says,
is making it more difficult
to ensure the right data is
presented to the right people
at the right time. There is also
the danger of using metrics in
isolation, resulting in func-
tions operating in conflict with
each other – Gartner gives the
example of one group focus-
ing on profitability and another
on market share.
Both TM Forum and the
Gartner report concluded
that the gap between service
providers’ needs and analytical
applications suppliers is sig-
nificant, made worse by a lack
of analytic skills within service
providers. Rob Rich, author
of TM Forum’s report and
Managing Director, Insights
Research, TM Forum, sug-
gests the following remedies.
QFocus first on the problem
and decision analysis and
then on tools. Although
analytics can be used to
model, measure or predict
aspects of customer experi-
ence, network and service
performance, product and
service acceptance, and of
course internal processes,
increasing efficiency, agility
and boosting profitability.
Q Service providers must
develop and manage an
enterprise-wide view of
where analytics can be
most effectively applied to
support decision making
in their organizations and
where they might gain the
greatest return from their
Q A successful strategy does
not mean being world-class
at everything, rather we
need to determine which
areas are most important
and where we can get the
best payback.
Q Service providers need to
work closely with vendors
to clearly understand the
decision processes and
metrics associated with
those areas, and to evaluate
the vendor’s strategic fit.
The deployment strategy
needs to be both tailored
and affordable.
Q Service providers are
typically large-scale enter-
prises, and their processes,
systems and projects also
tend to be large scale and
take time to implement.
Choose a few small but
impactful areas where
decision making can be
markedly improved and
analytics can be quickly
deployed with meaningful
return on investment to
realize benefits quickly and
gain momentum.
principle of continuous
Q Given the breadth and
complexity of the problem,
use established best prac-
tices, data management
and domain frameworks
– TM Forum’s Frameworx
suite of standards and is as-
sociated programs is a great
example, see page 33,
and TM Forum’s Business
Benchmarking Program
(which is free to our service
provider members – see
page 105) can accelerate
progress greatly.
Q Good analysts are in short
supply and need to mas-
ter a broad range of skills,
including quantitative/
technical and business
knowledge, process design,
relationship building and
consulting, and coaching
to help others. They are
typically highly motivated
by interesting work, which
affords them a sense of
personal progress. Remem-
ber this if you want to hold
onto your best analysts.
Perhaps the biggest thing
to remember about analytics
is that they are a tool, not the
whole story, and avoid being
too inward looking – we can
benefit greatly from exter-
nal sources. After all, a new
hedge fund, Derwent Capital,
made the headlines in August
2011 after out-performing
the market in its first three
months of operation, having
pioneered a strategy that in-
volved sifting through the 250
million tweets generated each
day looking for clues about
the market’s movements.
New horizons
*Predicts 2012: Business Intelligence Still Subject to Nontechnical Challenges
is available from www.gartner.com/resId=1873915
“Perhaps the
biggest thing to
remember about
analytics is that they
are a tool, not the
whole story.”
Q Virtually every aspect of
decision management and
analytics hinges upon the
accuracy and accessibility
of data. Unfortunately, this
data is scattered across the
service provider’s organiza-
tion, in every imaginable
format, and at times in con-
flict with similar data from
other sources. Some data is
found external to the enter-
prise, often from third party
sources – social networks
being a great example – so
far service providers haven’t
excelled in figuring out how
to use this information.
QData management pro
grams must address quality
issues and ensure data
accessibility and usability.
A good approach is to focus
on a handful of critical data
elements for initial improve-
ment, then work on the
108 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Spectrum is a physically limited resource, with ever-increasing demands
placed on it due to the ever-growing appetite for bandwidth. What can we
do about it? This is a huge issue for defense and mobile service providers –
defense seems to be painfully aware of the situation, the mobile operators
to a lesser extent, but now they too are beginning to grapple with this issue.
By John Williamson
Spectrum squeeze
spurs management
limited resource with ever-
increasing demands placed on
it. This demand is famously
led by the 6 billion mobile
devices estimated to be
in circulation worldwide at
the end of 2011, but is also
ramped up by the burgeoning
wireless machine-to-machine
(M2M) sector (see page 78),
expanding wireless backhaul
and fixed wireless access roll-
outs, and the escalating use
of satellite communications.
Congestion of the spectrum
is a very real issue for service
providers, not least because
the growing use of smart-
phones, tablets and laptops dra-
matically inflates traffic levels.
According to Cisco Systems,
a smartphone can generate
as much traffic as 24 basic-
feature phones, while a laptop
ups the figure to 515. The
defense community is likewise
concerned as its use of wire-
less continues to expand, with
communications capability
being pushed further down
the chain of command, and
as newer Command, Control,
Communications, Comput-
ers, Intelligence, Surveillance
and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)
systems such as unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs) and
bandwidth-hungry imagery and
video systems become more
widely deployed.
Service providers' mobile
networks are already over-
loaded in urban areas in coun-
tries with very high mobile
phone penetration. And the
congestion threat to military
users of the spectrum is obvi-
ously higher where emphasis
is placed on ‘all-informed’
troop deployments.
Re-farming and off-loading
Some capacity relief may ac-
crue in some locations from
the re-farming of frequencies,
and in particular the re-use
of the analog TV spectrum,
sometimes dubbed TV white
space (TVWS).
U.K. telecoms regulator
Ofcom is progressing plans
for the introduction of ser-
vices that use TVWS and has
claimed the U.K. is the first
country in Europe to be doing
so. TVWS developments have
also been reported in the U.S.
and Finland.
New horizons
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 109
White space technology will
work in a similar way to Wi-Fi,
the main difference being
that the TVWS router will first
need to consult a list of da-
tabases hosted online. It will
notify one of these databases
of its location and update it on
a regular basis. The database
will then return details of the
radio frequencies and power
levels it is allowed to use in
order to prevent devices inter-
cense or data charges to pay,
the cost savings is another
major benefit.”
‘Offloading’ traffic, from
licensed to unlicensed
spectrum in the case of Wi-Fi
hotspots, or via the fixed
broadband access line in the
case of femtocells, is another
tactic in the battle to mitigate
network congestion.
Reconfigurable Radio
System (RRS) technologies
services. Public comment has
suggested that ‘opportunistic’
or ‘cognitive’ technologies can
significantly increase the ef-
ficiency of spectrum utilization
by enabling radios to access
and share available spectrum
These technologies could
allow access to many differ-
ent frequencies across the
spectrum chart that may not
be in use at a specific place
and time and could do so
without harming other users’
operations or interests. Given
the upside potential of these
technologies, the FCC (Federal
Communications Commission)
and NTIA (National Telecom-
munications and Information
Agency) should take steps to
expand the environment in
which new, opportunistic tech-
nologies can be developed and
In Europe, one phase of
the RSPP was agreed by the
European Union’s Council
of Telecoms Ministers in
December 2011. This Deci-
sion on RSPP is intended to
create a comprehensive EU
spectrum policy program
until 2015 and complete the
Single Market, particularly in
line with the Europe 2020 ini-
tiative and the Digital Agenda
for Europe.
In December 2011, EC
Vice President for the Digital
Agenda Neelie Kroes remind-
ed Ministers that the RSPP
would only be the beginning
of common efforts in achiev-
ing a number of important
objectives in the years ahead.
One of these objectives was:
“Promoting more flexible
spectrum management, and
encouraging collective and
shared use of spectrum.”
On the international front,
one of the preparatory studies
for the International Telecom-
munications Union’s 2012
World Radiocommunications
Conference notes: “Evolving
and emerging radiocommuni-
cation technologies may en-
able sharing possibilities and
may lead to more frequency-
agile and interference-tolerant
equipment and consequently
to more flexible use of
Next generation
Many of the mechanisms
described above for squeez-
ing more out of the available
spectrum will depend on the
development and deploy-
ment of radically improved
spectrum management (SM)
technologies and practices.
Modern SM encompasses
the processes by which
the use of the spectrum is
planned, allocated and dynami-
cally coordinated and moni-
tored to avoid interference
between different users and
to make the most flexible and
efficient use of the resource.
Traditionally SM was
concerned with the physical
layer aspect of the wireless
network architecture. Today,
integration with network
management systems and
processes is high on the SM
agenda, and there is a press-
ing need to standardize spec-
trum management architec-
tures, processes, information
and data models, applications,
interfaces and testing.
Hitherto the SM require-
ments of service providers
“Spectrum sharing to maximize the
utilization of radio frequencies is a
fairly widely promoted approach to
staving off wireless spectrum gridlock.”
such as Software-Defined
Radio and Cognitive Radio are
also of interest in this context,
in that they can be ‘aware’
of the RF environment and
automatically respond to it
by optimizing link utilization,
avoiding interference and
adjusting power levels. RRS
can also share frequencies
with other systems at times
when those frequencies are
not in use.
In practice, spectrum shar-
ing to maximize the utilization
of radio frequencies is a fairly
widely promoted approach to
staving off wireless spectrum
gridlock, and can be found in
initiatives such as the U.S.
National Broadband Plan and
the European Commission
(EC) five-year Radio Spectrum
Policy Program (RSPP).
Recommendation 5.13 of
the U.S. plan states: “Us-
ing existing allocations more
intelligently is another way
to provide for growth in data
fering with existing licensed
users of the spectrum. White
space services could include
localized TV, M2M and rural
It could also radically
improve emergency services
communications and de-
liver valuable new data-rich
applications to help save
lives, claims The Technology
Partnership (TTP), one of the
UK companies pioneering this
“With Ofcom committed to
regulate TV white space spec-
trum as a free resource, public
safety use could be prioritized
to provide the backbone for
emergency communications
with far greater performance
than existing systems,” says
Richard Walker, Head of
Wireless at TTP.
“Secure pop-up networks
could also be deployed
quickly, removing the current
dependency on local cellular
networks – and with no li-
New horizons
110 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
and military spectrum users
have been different in degree.
For the former, the resource
has usually been static over
extended periods of time, and
SM has been primarily con-
cerned to maximize spectrum
re-use and detect and remove
interference from unauthor-
ized users.
Defense users are faced
with a more variable and
complicated task, not least
sure on the spectrum, the SM
requirements of the civilian
and military sectors are begin-
ning to overlap to a greater
degree. Here, a number of
important contributions have
been made, and continue to
be made, by TM Forum.
For example, TM Forum
has launched a Spectrum
Management Special Interest
Group (see www.tmforum.
satellite spectrum using the
Frameworx Business Pro-
cess Framework (eTOM),
including network planning,
management, reconfiguration,
technology migration, service
pricing and Quality of Service.
One of these Technical
Reports, Spectrum Manage-
ment/Network Management
Integration Military Use Cas-
es, is based on three military
use cases and their research-
based approach to spectrum
management and network
management integration.
It examines the processes
needed to assign bandwidth,
manage it and build in dy-
namic automatic re-allocation
that may be required to cir-
cumvent interference on the
battlefield or when respond-
ing to a humanitarian crisis.
The second Technical
Report, Spectrum Manage-
ment Use Cases and Busi-
ness Process Framework
Mapping describes use
cases and identifies common
processes employed by the
commercial service provider
community. This covers: ini-
tial network planning; moni-
toring interference reporting
and resolution; surge event
planning and network recon-
figuration; congestion driven
service strategy revision;
next generation technology
migration; and disaster event
and network recovery.
PIE charts
A particular SM focus for
both service providers and
defense users is Dynamic
Spectrum Access (DAS),
and a key element of DAS
is the use of policy-based
management (see page 44).
The latter, which describes
software that uses rules or
logic to control access to,
and administer the use of,
network resources.
The Forum views policy
management as a core
enabling component of more
flexible, efficient, secure and
resilient networks. A set of
Intellectual Property contri-
butions made to TM Forum
in May 2010 prompted the
launch of a project aimed at
delivering a Policy Information
Exchange (PIE) Interface that
would facilitate the exchange
of policy-related information
among the different domain-
specific operational support
systems that typically consti-
tute modern networks.
As such, the PIE Interface
enables a distributed policy
environment, with high-level
functions and associated ca-
pabilities that include: request
and response correlation;
event reporting; heartbeat;
acknowledgements; and
policy exchange, synchroniza-
tion and negotiations.
It has the potential to
support DAS and medi-
ate between the levels of
network automation and
human intervention that DAS
implementations need to be
practically and economically
viable. The PIE Interface can
also address the manage-
ment challenges associated
with the rapid roll-out of 4G
and new satellite networks,
and the securing of networks
against vandalism, theft and
information espionage. All
together, then, a very useful
management tool.
“The spectrum management requirements
of the civilian and military sectors are
beginning to overlap to a greater degree.”
considering the potential
consequences of loss of
connectivity through interfer-
ence and deliberate interrup-
tion. And things aren’t made
easier by the fact that military
operations can vary consider-
ably in scope and intensity,
and take in disaster relief, civ-
il unrest, peacekeeping and
large scale conflict, and also
involve joint and multinational
The need for SM to be
standardized for multinational
defense operations is reflect-
ed in developments such as
the open standard Spectrum
Management Allied Data
Exchange Format (SMADEF-
XML) by NATO countries.
This standard has also has
been adopted in the U.S.
Department of Defense as
the Military Communications-
Electronics Board (MCEB)
Publication 8.
With the passage of time
and the ever-increasing pres-
to facilitate discussion, col-
laboration and contributions
on the subject.
A key strand of the Fo-
rum's work is to ensure that
the organization’s Frameworx
suite of standards (see page
33), fully integrates spectrum
management requirements,
enabling the development of
certifiable, standards-based,
interoperable commercial off
the shelf (COTS) products
and solutions.
While the defense indus-
try is providing the initial
motivation, contributions and
related project activities for
this effort, TM Forum’s mem-
bership of wireless network
operators, integrators and
developers stand to benefit
greatly from the work.
Two Spectrum Manage-
ment Technical Reports in
the latest (November 2011)
Frameworx 11.5 release
provide the information
needed to manage radio and
New horizons
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112 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
growth, continuous and rapid
evolution of technologies,
combined with cut-throat
competition are making infra-
structure resource manage-
ment an increasingly critical
component in operators’
business strategies.
The infrastructure resource
Getting infrastructure resource management right is a necessity for operators
striving to launch new services economically and efficiently. Problems are
amplified with the ongoing convergence of networks and services, which
demand resource management, span multiple technologies, domains and
vendor equipment, rather than reside in a standalone silo.
Resource management
is critical to viable new services
By Tammy Parker
management umbrella covers
areas such configuration, fault
alarm, inventory and network
assets. While operators have
always had management
capabilities in these areas,
the new challenge involves
aligning operational business
systems and IT across what
historically have been sepa-
rate infrastructure domains in
order to improve operational
expenditures, time to market
and creation of new services.
“In the past, you could
rely on some of the basic
capabilities from the ele-
ment management systems,
the network management
systems, to do a very simple
level of resource manage-
ment for you, and you’d buy
that with the equipment.
Therefore, from day one,
you’d have a lot of the basic
capabilities at least to get the
network operational,” says
Peter Briscoe, Executive
Director, Innovation, Strategy
Office, Telcordia.
New horizons
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 113
However, the complexity
of new services – which span
multiple technologies and
vendors – raises the bar for
resource management. Fur-
ther, even when considering
traditional platforms and ser-
vices, service providers are
striving to reduce operational
costs and “you have to have
a very good view across all of
your technologies to be able
to do that,” Briscoe explains.
Harmonizing interfaces
A major challenge to expand-
ing infrastructure resource
management across technol-
ogy silos is bridging the gap
between interfaces. To that
end, TM Forum’s Resource
& Service Assurance (R&SA)
team is working to define
harmonized interfaces. (see
ServiceAssurance for more
information about these
The R&SA team is tar-
geting a set of interfaces
harmonized between OSS
through Java (OSS/J) and
Multi-Technology Operations
System Interface (MTOSI)
that can be used as basis for
inter-operation between het-
erogeneous components.
It is also working with
the SA5 group within the
3rd Generation Partnership
Project (3GPP) to harmonize
interfaces more globally to
achieve a single definition
across the industry.
“On the EMS [element
management systems]-NMS
[network management sys-
tems] interface, we have a
strong requirement from the
operators that they want the
interface to be simple. They
have a feeling that some-
times the interfaces coming
from standards groups are
too complex,” says Marc
Flauw, Chief Architect for the
OSS Transformation Group,
which is part of the Commu-
nications, Media and Enter-
tainment Group at HP. He is
also the Team Leader, Ser-
vice and Revenue Assurance,
in the TM Forum Integration
A primary joint project
between the Forum and
3GPP has been fault man-
agement harmonization. The
Forum and 3GPP also intend
Alliance, which is putting
together a comprehensive
service provider-focused
requirements document for
release toward the end of
first-quarter of 2012.
“They’ve kicked off a se-
ries of technical activities and
asked TM Forum and others
to help converge techni-
cal solutions for fixed and
mobile networks,” says Dave
Milham, Chief Architect, TM
In addition, he explains the
Forum’s new Integration Pro-
gram tooling strategy, which
relies upon open-source tool-
larly when it comes to data
gathering and analysis.
“Service platforms are
completely dependent upon
the resource systems that
supply them with information,
and if that underlying resource
information is either not cor-
rect or if you cannot span the
information across the data
centers into the network, if
you can’t create those ties
that support that service, then
the investment in the service
arena is for naught.
“So, the quality and ac-
curacy of the resource layer
is going to drive the qual-
ity of the service layer. I
think you’re seeing people
redouble their efforts to
make sure that the resource
domain is accurate to support
the service domain where
they spent their investment
recently,” comments Chris
Wade, Global OSS/BSS Lead
for Alcatel-Lucent’s services
and software business.
Issues with data accuracy
can be caused by changes
such as customer additions or
deletions, outages and more.
“Operators are not able to
put enough strict rules and
processes in place to restrict
the provisioning process to
ensure that systems are up-
dated as the network changes
and evolves,” he adds.
“The data over time
gets worse as the network
changes, and the system’s
not kept up to date. And that
would be the same through
configuration management,
infrastructure management,
the fault platform, every-
thing,” Wade says. Operators
are therefore working with
vendors to automate
“Harmonization work goes beyond just
the networks and is really about linking
into the next generation of services.”
to collaborate on harmoniza-
tion work for performance
3GPP, which is focused on
mobile specifications, and
TM Forum, whose focus was
originally on wired networks,
have taken slightly different
approaches to standards cre-
ation, which is impacting the
harmonization process.
Harmonization work goes
beyond just the networks
and is really about linking
into the next generation of
services. Patterns for fault
and configuration “should
probably be consistent across
the platforms – including
networks, across the infra-
structure (IaaS), and across
the software as a service
(SaaS),” Milham adds.
TM Forum is also collabo-
rating with the Next Genera-
tion Mobile Network (NGMN)
ing, has already helped reduce
the mechanical effort involved
in generating interfaces from
nine months to a few days.
The interface development
strategy is entirely based on
model-driven engineering
principles: the Forum and
its members have invested
heavily in the creation of tool-
ing so we can generate inter-
faces driven from a specific
set of patterns and against
the Information Framework
(SID), part of Frameworx, the
TM Forum suite of standards
(see page 33), which are
deployed by more than 90
percent of the world's largest
service providers.
Lack of automation
Another major issue that
hamstrings infrastructure
resource management is the
lack of automation, particu-
New horizons
114 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
reconciliation systems and
scripts as well as automate
the interfaces that exist
between those systems.
According to Wade, the
EMS platforms are usually
the most accurate because
the platforms are written to
work directly with the ven-
dor’s equipment.
“When you look at configu-
ration management and inven-
tory platforms, depending
upon who implemented them,
they might go directly to the
network elements, bypassing
the EMS, or they might have
interfaces into the EMS,”
potentially causing gaps in the
data collection, he says.
Service providers may
forego using auto-discovery
tools with a reconciliation
package to update the data
and instead opt for a manual
audit in the field, which,
although expensive, is some-
times necessary.
When appropriate, howev-
er, automating processes can
offer quantifiable savings.
Quantifiable savings
For example, Briscoe notes
that Canada’s Bell Aliant is
using Telcordia Network En-
gineer product to automate
what was a 100 percent
manual design process for
the service provider’s rollout
of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).
“They needed to design
to a level of accuracy where
they could pre-splice the fiber
in the factory to be taken out
to the field,” he says. “This
was highly labor intensive.”
“Not only are Bell Aliant’s
rollout costs significantly
reduced, but the design time
for the new solution’s first
600 fiber-servicing areas
(FSAs) was reduced from
120 hours to 72 hours and
engineering time slashed by
32 percent.
This is quite significant
since they are on track to
build out a total of 2,000
FSAs by the end of 2012,
reaching 600,000 homes and
businesses,” says Briscoe.
As for the future of infra-
structure resource manage-
ment, new techniques such
as virtualization have so far
not had a significant im-
pact. According to Briscoe,
external virtualization in the
proved that using TM Forum’s
Frameworx to improve effi-
ciencies and service manage-
ment processes can dramati-
cally impact the bottom line,
through better infrastructure
resource management.
To facilitate the rollout
of 3G and leased lines, the
service provider worked
with NetCracker Technology
on an Operational Support
Systems (OSS) solution that
employed three elements
of TM Forum’s Frameworx.
TM Forum’s Application
Framework (TAM) provided a
common language to enable
in NetCracker as well as in in-
formation exchange within the
system integration process.
NetCracker’s OSS replaced
eight legacy systems and
more than 100 spreadsheets
and other documents, mean-
ing 20 fewer engineering
and business staff could
be redeployed. Creating a
single inventory database
enabled the service provider
to reallocate unused network
assets and improve capacity
management, resulting in
annual savings of up to $1.1
million on procurement of
transmission equipment.
Cell site rollout time was
slashed by 10 to 20 percent
from the previous average of
239 days. Further, automated
error detection and correction
for network management
system configuration issues
eliminated 100 percent of
related manual tasks.
Ultimately, some 60 per-
cent of manual tasks were
eliminated from the rollout
acceptance process. Efficien-
cy grew by about 30 percent
due to removal of redundant
steps, and the time to build
a process for new equip-
ment was slashed to one day
from three weeks. In addi-
tion, the number of manual
tasks needed for outside
plant rollout processes was
reduced by 50 percent, while
data quality and efficiency
increased by 80 percent.
You can read lots more
success stories in the
TM Forum Case Study Hand-
books, 2011 and 2012
editions, which are free for
our members to download
from www.tmforum.org/
“Creating a single inventory database
enabled the service provider to reallocate
unused network assets and improve
capacity management, resulting in
annual savings of up to $1.1 million on
procurement of transmission equipment.”
cloud environment for core
resource management would
not provide many cost sav-
ings to a service provider
unless it was trying to share
parts of its resources with
However, he says cloud
virtualization will be useful
for service delivery once net-
work operators join a larger
value chain with third parties,
bringing more resource man-
agement and service delivery
Saving millions of dollars
through better network re-
source management
A leading mobile service
provider in Southeast Asia
collaboration by multiple
vendors involved in building
the solution architecture,
classifying current and legacy
systems, and designing the
target solution and transition
The Forum’s Business Pro-
cess Framework’s (eTOM)
Strategy, Infrastructure and
Product (SIP) processes
were used in the resource
layer, and the framework’s
Resource Management and
Operations processes were
implemented in designing the
rollout process.
Further, the Forum’s
Information Framework (SID)
provided the basis for model-
ing managed inventory objects
New horizons
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116 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Last year was a record year in so many ways, thanks to the commitment
and effort of our membership, which for the first time exceeded 800,
equating to some 60,000 individuals from 195 countries. The TM Forum
Frameworx suite of standards was, as always, at the center of many of
our activities. In addition, we doubled our output of updated documents,
and made huge progress in defense, collaboration, cloud, cable and
revenue management, and much, much more.
TM Forum: Building
our connected world
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
association, TM Forum has
to continually reassess itself.
On the one hand, its activities
must be relevant to the chal-
lenges being faced in busi-
ness operations by service
providers today. On the other,
the organization must continu-
ously look forward, bringing
consensus to where the
industry is heading and lead
Few years have demon-
strated the importance of
both roles with such clarity as
2011, a year where the com-
munications industry woke up
to the harsh realization of its
uncertain future.
2011 will go down as the
year service providers started
fighting back against the ero-
sion of traditional service rev-
enues by over-the-top (OTT)
players. The fear of becoming
mere bit players in the com-
munications value chain, or
‘dumb pipes,’ has galvanized
the industry’s thinking.
As European Communica-
tions discovered in its most
recent quarterly survey, senior
service provider managers
believe the OTT players will
increasingly disrupt their busi-
ness models over the next
12 months.
In an interview with Euro-
pean Communications, Mar-
tin Creaner, President and
CEO, TM Forum stated that
2011 had been characterized
by continued consolidation
in the back office sector and
would be remembered as
the year service providers
finally realized that concrete
changes had to be made.
According to Creaner,
service providers have been
happy to blame a lack of
standards, suppliers and
themselves for a lack of
professionalism in their back
office systems over the past
decade. The battle with OTT
players will be fought in the
back office.
“From a business point of
view, it’s not about the app
that sits on your phone,” he
said. “All the profitability will
sit in the back office and will
be determined by how you
analyze customers, provide
customer care and build new
This drive to maximize
profitability by back-office op-
timization, paired with future
growth attached to
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 117
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
118 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
new services has continued
to drive membership of the
Forum and adoption of its
Frameworx suite of standards,
which provide the blueprint for
effective business operations.
By December 2011, mem-
bership numbers exceeded
800 companies, representing
more than 60,000 profes-
sionals across 195 countries.
TM Forum service provider
members are now respon-
sible for more than 90 percent
of global communication
Frameworx adoption
Adoption of Frameworx accel-
erated sharply during the year.
The first annual Frameworx
Adoption Survey, concluded
in October, showed that 83
percent of service providers
surveyed use Frameworx
today, while 64 percent
already mandate Frameworx
conformance in many or all
software or service procure-
ment specifications.
This rapid growth in
Frameworx adoption has
been underpinned by the
success of the Frameworx
Conformance Certification
program. Launched in 2010,
the program delivers indepen-
dent assessments of a sup-
plier’s products and solutions,
enabling service providers to
verify a product or solution’s
conformance to Frameworx
Business Process and Infor-
mation Frameworks' models
quickly and easily.
To date, more than 25
products and solutions have
received certification, includ-
ing major industry suppliers
such as Microsoft, Hewlett-
Packard, Comverse, Oracle,
Huawei, ZTEsoft, Nokia
Siemens Networks, Con-
ceptWave, Amdocs, Tribold,
cVidya Networks, Interna-
tional Turnkey Systems and
NetCracker Technology.
Meanwhile, Deutsche
Telekom AG led the industry
as the first service provider
to perform a Frameworx
Implementation Conformance
Certification Assessment.
Deutsche Telekom’s internal
process models were certified
against TM Forum’s Business
Process Framework (eTOM).
Deutsche Telekom’s primary
objective was to reduce costs
The Forum’s board pro-
vides strategic direction and
leadership for the organiza-
tion, with representatives
from across the communica-
tions ecosystem.
In June, TM Forum’s
President and CEO, Martin
Creaner, and Market Strat-
egist, Tony Poulos, were
named as two of the 25 most
influential people in the tele-
coms software industry by an
independent panel of editors
and readers of Billing and OSS
World. The list highlighted the
industry leaders and visionar-
ies that have had a significant
more than 60,000 profession-
als around the globe. The Rev-
enue Management commu-
nity alone now includes nine
community groups with over
20,000 members in total.
Of this vast community,
over 500 individuals are active
contributors to collaborative
projects while more than 50
invest considerable time and
effort in leading projects. To
all of these members we are
extremely grateful.
The growth in industry col-
laboration was also under-
scored by record attendance
to the Forum’s bi-annual live
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
“Deutsche Telekom AG led the industry
as the first service provider to perform a
Frameworx Implementation Conformance
Certification Assessment.”
and risks for IT projects by
requiring its suppliers to
conform to Frameworx. It has
also contributed to the defini-
tion of reference processes
that then are the basis for
solutions provided by Frame-
worx-compliant suppliers.
Frameworx adoption by
adjacent industries such as
defense communications
and cable also accelerated in
2011, details of which appear
later in this report.

Leading from the front
2011 also saw many new
faces at Board and Executive
Committee levels representing
the broader reach of the Fo-
rum both geographically and in
new industry verticals such as
defense communications and
cable, including senior execu-
tives from Axiata Group, NATO
and UPC Liberty Global.
effect on the direction and
development of business and
operations support systems
and is testament to the ef-
forts made by the Forum to
simplify the complexity of run-
ning a service provider busi-
ness over the last 20 years.
A year of collaboration
As a global, non-profit industry
association, the Forum relies
on member collaboration to
achieve its annual strategic
In 2011, member collabora-
tion exceeded all expecta-
tions. The throughput of new
and improved standards and
guidebooks more than dou-
bled from the previous year
with 50 being put forward for
member approval.
The Forum’s Collaboration
Community continued to
grow in 2011 and now boasts
collaboration events – Action
Weeks – held in Paris in Janu-
ary and Baltimore in July.
Both events featured a
new Frameworx Spotlight,
bringing together the com-
munity of service providers
to share the value they have
gained from using the Frame-
worx suite of standards. The
suite was, and continues to
be, developed collaboratively
by TM Forum’s 850-strong
membership, to meet service
providers’ changing needs.
Case studies were pre-
sented at the Spotlights,
highlighting the use of
Frameworx by leading com-
munications service provid-
ers. They were complement-
ed by a series of roundtable
discussions to help define
requirements for the evolu-
tion of Frameworx.
Attended by more than 80
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 119
service provider professionals
from around the world, topics
included B2B interfaces in
the value-chain; charging and
billing; cloud services; data
analytics; enterprise risk man-
agement (including fraud and
revenue assurance); security
management and spectrum
Another key component
of the Forum’s Collaboration
Program – the Catalyst Pro-
gram – went from strength to
strength in 2011.
A record 20 projects were
showcased at Management
World 2011, covering a
Program in 2011 was the third
phase of the Secure, Feder-
ated Service Management
Championed by the NATO
C3 Agency and the Forum’s
Defense Industry Group,
the Catalyst was inspired
by the multi-national disas-
ter response to the Haitian
earthquake in 2010, providing
a blueprint to enable mission
command visibility to each
partner’s services and the
necessary controls to estab-
lish configurable security,
access control, and service
quality policies for commu-
that took place at TM Forum’s
flagship Management World
2011 conference in Dublin.
The live demonstrations
showcased multiple scenarios
involving federated service
fulfillment and assurance,
where mission command,
military partners, and relief
agencies arrive in a disaster
location and must establish
communications within a
few hours.
Collaboration in cable
Late in 2010 the Forum
announced a collaborative
partnership with CableLabs,
such as CableVision SA in
Argentina on board, the Forum
has made a major commit-
ment to ensure Frameworx
components meet the needs
of MSOs around the world.
This was evidenced by a
key theme of Frameworx
11.5, released in November,
being Transforming Cable
Operations, featuring cable
‘views’ and offering quick-
start packs developed
specifically for MSOs.
Banking on benchmarking
Service providers’ participa-
tion in the Forum’s Bench-
marking Program continued
to grow in 2011, with over
150 service providers now
having joined. Benchmarking
is increasingly being recog-
nized as an essential start and
end point for any transforma-
tion projects – measuring ‘as
is’ performance, and then
illustrating the improvement
Underpinning the bench-
marking program, the Forum’s
members have collaboratively
defined more than 100 indus-
try standard metrics which
today form part of the Frame-
worx suite of standards.
Another major breakthrough
for benchmarking in 2011 was
the launch of the Business
Metrics Automation Certi-
fication program, enabling
software suppliers to gain an
independent assessment of
their solutions’ conformance
to the TM Forum Frameworx
Business Metrics standards.
This new program speeds
service providers’ ability to ac-
cess reliable, real-time bench-
marking data and perfor-
mance analytics, and reduces
the time and cost of the
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
“Four out of five of those surveyed use
Frameworx today, and 64 per cent mandate
Frameworx in many or all BSS/OSS software
or service procurement specifications.”
range of key topics including
managing cloud networks
and services, digital service
delivery, analytics/business
intelligence, revenue assur-
ance, M2M management and
personalization. For the first
time, two banks – Common-
wealth Bank of Australia and
ING – participated in selected
cloud projects in order to pro-
vide a clear view of end user
These unique multi-compa-
ny Catalyst projects typically
run for three to six months,
enabling service providers to
have prototype, standards-
based solutions to their re-
quirements in a much shorter
timeframe than standard RFx
and lab testing processes.
Success in defense
One of the most notable
successes of the Catalyst
nication services across the
Based on the Frameworx
suite of standards, the
blueprint includes a central-
ized requirements directory
to scope and define a series
of quality of service (QoS),
service assurance, policy
enforcement and fulfillment
benchmarks that partner
nations can exchange.
The Catalyst was added to
Computerworld’s 2011 Class
of Laureates for Honors,
selected from more than
1,000 entries. This prestigious
annual awards program recog-
nizes organizations that create
and use information technol-
ogy to promote and advance
the public welfare, benefit
society and change the world
for the better.
This was just one part of
the defense industry agenda
the non-profit cable R&D
consortium that develops new
technologies and conducts
conformance and compliance
testing of products for the
U.S. cable industry.
This collaboration was es-
tablished to leverage TM
Forum best practices and
standards for the cable
industry. This essentially
means that U.S. cable opera-
tors, which all have stakes
in CableLabs, have decided
that their two core standards
bodies moving forward will be
CableLabs and TM Forum.
With major MSO members
including North American
players such as Cox, Charter
Communications, Rogers
Communications, Time War-
ner Cable and Brighthouse
Networks; European providers
such as UPC, Com Hem and
Ziggo; and other companies
120 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
overall procurement process
by allowing them to easily
select products that conform
to TM Forum standards.
Unlike vendor-specific or
proprietary solutions, Busi-
ness Metrics Automation
conformant solutions provide
data for industry standard
metrics, enabling meaningful
comparative data and ensur-
ing consistent, ‘apples-to-
apples’ comparisons for both
benchmarking studies and
internal dashboards.
Clearing the clouds
Cloud computing continued to
be a major topic of discussion
in 2011, a year that saw many
service providers rolling out
a variety of cloud based ser-
vices to a market beginning to
understand and appreciate its
TM Forum’s Enterprise
Cloud Leadership Council
(ECLC), formed in 2009, con-
tinued to make strides in this
closely watched sector. Its
goal – to stimulate the growth
of a vibrant and open market-
place for cloud services by
bringing together the entire
ecosystem of enterprise us-
ers and cloud providers – was
enhanced by the announce-
ment in January of seven new
members to the ECLC from a
variety of industries including
aerospace, advertising, de-
fense, banking and financial.
In January, the ECLC also
delivered the industry’s first
set of Enterprise-Grade
External Compute Infra-
structure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
The ECLC is supported by
the TM Forum’s Cloud and
Digital Services Initiative, a
collaboration community with
members including CA, Cisco,
HP, IBM, and Microsoft; lead-
ing service providers such as
AT&T, BT and Telstra; and
large enterprise users such as
Deutsche Bank and The Com-
monwealth Bank of Australia.
In November, coinciding
with Management World
Americas 2011, the Forum
announced a partnership
with the Distributed Manage-
ment Task Force (DMTF), a
leading standards organiza-
tion in the cloud industry, to
coordinate their work around
the development and adop-
tion of standards for the
management and operational
needs of the cloud computing
The two organizations are
focusing on developing stan-
dards for a more holistic ap-
proach to cloud management
in order to reduce deployment
costs, speed time-to-market,
and improve service quality
through best practices and
Conferences, events and
training exceed expectations
The Forum’s flagship event,
Management World 2011,
was held in Dublin for the
first time and despite national
visits by HM the Queen and
President Obama, the event
was a resounding success
with record attendance of
3,500 professionals from
across the globe.
The conference ‘unwrapped’
the innovation revolution
facing communications. With
service provider representation
at 97 percent of all sessions
and more than 165 speakers in
total representing 145+ com-
panies, the event delivered a
most comprehensive view of
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
the communications revolution
and how it will impact busi-
ness in the future.
Management World Asia
was held in Singapore in Janu-
ary, Management World Mid-
dle East in Dubai in March,
Management World Africa in
Johannesburg in September
all delivered record attendanc-
es, while Management World
Americas in Orlando in No-
vember maintained delegate
numbers despite a depressed
U.S. market.
Twelve TM Forum Spotlight
events were also held around
the globe during the year.
These free to attend, one-day
events typically drew more
than 100 attendees, bringing
together local service provid-
ers and suppliers to discuss
local industry issues and
share experiences of
TM Forum standards.
Over the year Spotlights
were held in Jakarta, Delhi,
Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo,
Paris, Sydney, Tel Aviv and
Sao Paulo.
Underpinning the dramatic
growth in Frameworx adop-
tion mentioned earlier, the
Forum’s Training and Certifi-
cation program continued to
post strong growth with over
5,000 training days delivered
in 2010/11.
Some 3,000 trainees
passed exams to become
certified against key Forum
standards. During the year the
first online training program
was introduced, offering a
business-level introduction
to Frameworx. More are
planned; including multi-lan-
guage online courses to cater
for the vast number of non-
English speakers the Forum’s
membership now includes.
“The Forum’s
Training and
Certification program
continued to post
strong growth with
over 5,000 training
days delivered in
www.tmforum.org / Perspectives / 121
TM Forum 2011 annual review and highlights
Big Data, policy-based
management, business
intelligence and more
Other topics making head-
lines in 2011 revolved
around the explosion of data
traffic and the increasing
importance of policy-based
management and business
intelligence (BI).
As we move into an era of
unprecedented amounts of
data, the Forum is looking at
how policy-based manage-
ment can liberate innovative
new services from what
threatens to be unmanage-
ably large amounts of data.
The term ‘Big Data’ is be-
ing bandied about and refers
to data volumes beyond the
scope of typical database
software tools to capture,
store, manage and analyze
data. As technology advances
it will produce larger and
larger data volumes and the
size of data sets that qualify
as Big Data will increase
One solution to the prob-
lem of getting value from
large data sets is to use
policy-based management to
deal with situations that are
likely to occur. Policies are
operating rules that reflect
principles about how the
service provider wants to run
its businesses and manage
its resources.
A rules engine reads and
filters the data in the pro-
duction environment and
executes automated re-
sponses when it encounters
a pre-defined situation.
Policies can be used to
manage a wide variety of
applications, such as net-
work management, quality
of service, personalization,
discounts, charging/bill-
ing, fair usage and security.
For network management,
policies can allocate priority
to different types of traffic,
decide which has guaranteed
delivery, allocate bandwidth
and delay low priority traffic
to ease congestion.
The Forum’s Insights
Research report, Customer
experience in a connected
world, written by Rob Rich
and published in September
2011, found that service pro-
viders are increasingly recog-
nizing policy management’s
potential as a strategic
enabler of service differentia-
tion, but they are concerned
about cost, integration, scal-
ability and ease-of-use.
Standard BI tools are
used in a data warehouse to
determine high-level policies
to meet strategic objectives.
These are set up in the rules
engine, which can run them
as a simulation in a live envi-
ronment, to test their
The dynamics of Big Data
and the need for real-time in-
formation and policy manage-
ment to improve the custom-
er experience are changing
the way service providers
operate and are topics that
the Forum will continue to
address in the coming year.
Research leads the way
In order to help its members
keep abreast of the changing
business environment and
supporting technologies the
Forum produces an extensive
range of publications and
research documents.
The reports library has
already covered the topics
above and has grown to
become an excellent free in-
formation resource for mem-
bers (and a paid resource
for non-members). There
has been a rapid growth in
the number and range of
publications – with over than
30 reports produced during
the year 2011/12 covering
numerous areas of interest.
2012: A landmark year for
Alongside cautious steps
towards global economic
stability, 2012 will be a
critical turning point for the
communications industry.
The focus of recent years on
cost-reduction and weather-
ing recessionary storms will
be expand to embrace the
fact that future growth will
be predicated on the indus-
try’s ability to play an integral
role in the digital economy.
Adding value across an
ever-expanding value-chain
and binding together multiple
vertical industries to deliver
innovative digital services
are very real opportunities
for service providers, but to
embrace these growth op-
portunities they must move
fast. Key to this progress will
be industry collaboration –
working together to estab-
lish a common approach to
enabling the digital economy
and the standards required to
make complex value-chains
a reality.
Building on the successes
of the last year, the Forum
remains committed to lead-
ing the charge in this era of
radical change, providing the
environment for discussion,
debate, networking and col-
laboration between service
providers of every kind.
“The Forum is
looking at how
management can
liberate innovative
new services from
what threatens to be
unmanageably large
amounts of data.”
122 / Perspectives / www.tmforum.org
Altech ISIS 84
Amdocs 40-41
CHR Solutions 115
ConceptWave 11, 80
Convergys 8, 46-47, 51, 90-91, 102-103
Etiya 28-29
Ericsson Outside back cover
Farice 111
Huawei GTS 12, 15, Inside back cover
Huawei Software Inside front cover, 34-35
Juniper Networks 101
Lavastorm Analytics 55
Nexus Telecom 7
Orga Systems 87
Perpetual Solutions 67
SAP 45
SMI Telecoms 39
Telcordia 62-63
TM Forum Events 83
TM Forum Publications 95
TM Forum Webinars 89
Contact Us
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Morristown, NJ 07960-6628
Phone: +1 973-944-5100
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Huawei ManagedServices.pdf 1 30/01/2012 12:33
In five years, fiber-to-the-home will triple. Four billion more people will
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