SOURCE: Apertio

November 28, 2007 09:00 ET

New Research Uncovers Convergence Disconnect

Independent Survey Highlights Convergence Strategies of Major Global Service Providers

PALATINE, IL--(Marketwire - November 28, 2007) - Subscriber management, controlling identity across multiple access networks, and delivering sophisticated data services number among the biggest convergence challenges facing service providers -- according to a wide-ranging global report launched today. The independent research, sponsored by Apertio, questioned more than 70 global communication service providers on convergence issues.

The data consolidation report highlights a glaring disconnect between the demands of the market and CSPs' ability to effectively address these issues and remain competitive. Indeed, the entrance of a new breed of MVNO, ISP, VoIP and Internet Provider competition was highlighted as the biggest challenge to delivering against corporate objectives through the next 12-24 months.

According to the research, this new competitive environment is providing the catalyst for CSPs to attach more importance to the effective management of their subscribers' data. This is highlighted as an important differentiator in the battle against customer churn and rapid new generation service delivery. Seventy-six percent of respondents agree subscriber data management is the greatest convergence issue for their organisation through the coming 12-24 months.

Confirming the launch of more sophisticated services as one of today's major challenges, (second only to the increasing competition from Internet players), the survey confirmed effective subscriber management and data centralisation as vital tools to addressing this issue:

--  80 percent of operators aim to launch new services within six months,
    less than a quarter currently do so, and none claim the ability to launch a
    new service within three months
--  76 percent believed subscriber data is the most important convergence
    issue for their organisation
--  60 percent of CSPs have plans to consolidate subscriber information
    from across the business into a single repository through the next 12-24
    months
    

"Operators cannot be complacent and CSPs must begin to build out consolidation strategies today," said André Girard, analyst for VDC's Telecom and Datacom Practice. "Missing this goal creates a very real threat and provides a significant window of opportunity for these new brands to wrest market share away from incumbent leaders. Twenty-four months is a long time in today's dynamic market, so traditional Telcos must respond more rapidly and prioritize consolidation strategies to remain competitive."

When asked to focus on convergence issues around service provision across multiple access networks, the respondents highlighted issues of identity, access and authentication as the overriding challenge. Issues of assurance and security were considered important, but the key to converged service delivery is managing the experience across IP sessions. Data consolidation is imperative in achieving this, as data silos are simply 'log jams' that serve to block the flow of customer access and operator response to customer needs. Evidently, challenges surrounding the quality of service or the device have been superseded by the demand for managing users' experience throughout their journey.

"The survey shows that telecoms providers are acutely aware of the need to improve the management of customer data. However, the inflexible nature of legacy systems is totally at odds with the realties of delivering an increasingly complex matrix of sophisticated data services," said Andrew Wyatt, chief product operations officer, Apertio. "Only with effective consolidation ensuring real-time visibility of all subscriber data, can CSPs hope to deliver the technology and service innovation so desperately needed in today's ultra-competitive convergence environment."

Note to editors:

The Apertio Data Consolidation 2007 study was commissioned by Apertio and conducted by independent consultancy, Loudhouse Research and questioned executives in 74 Communication Service Provider (CSP) organisations. It addresses convergence issues within the telecommunications industry, looking at three key areas: the market and its changing competitive landscape, the potential for centralised data analysis, and the technical priorities for delivering next generation services.

The full report is available to press. Please contact eric@marchpr.com

About Apertio

Apertio is the leading independent provider of subscriber-centric networks for mobile, fixed and converged telecommunications operators.

Its software application suite, Apertio One, delivers a single, open, subscriber-centric architecture for current and new generation networks. The suite includes Apertio One-NDS (Network Directory Server), Apertio One-HLR (Home Location Register), Apertio One-HSS (Home Subscriber Server), One-AAA (Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting) and One-BSF (Boot Strapping Function).

The Apertio One architecture eliminates complexity and cost. It dramatically simplifies the network and places the subscriber at its heart to deliver increased revenue through rapid service deployment, and lays the foundation for convergence and service innovation.

Apertio's customers number among the world's largest and fastest growing telecommunications operators including Orange, T-Mobile, 02, Vodafone, Bharti and AIS. The company is privately held, and headquartered in Bristol, UK, with offices in Berlin, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. For more information visit: www.apertio.com.

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