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All-IP FUTURE - or - FROM SMART HOUSE TO SMART WORLD

IDEA


Now there is a concept in the world of telecom operators that all communication lines should be turned to IP. At least all the communications among operators and if possible, then fixed telephony “last mile” or mobile terminal radio access are only IP too. Usage of IP transport instead of circuit switched lines - that can be considered as transport base for IMS, NGN, LTE, 4G Mobile Telephony.


But in this article I want to offer another concept of “All-IP Future”. The concept of new services, new style of life for the subscribers and new way of earnings for the operators. All-IP future is a world where almost everything of human technical environment are interconnected, controlled remotely and have access to Internet and meantime all this can be done by some user terminal – mobile phone, fixed phone or other similar gadget.


This idea is long time available as “Smart house”, when refrigerator check products and make order automatically in some internet-shop, heating and security systems of house are controlled from distant PC or Mobile Phone, or even light on/off and music is playing only in rooms where people are. Most of these technologies and exact solutions are digital and are communicating over IP.



But if we not limiting ourselves by the house only, then IP communications spreading all around! Just several examples of what services can be:

· Computer in your car is sending to your PDA information about next date to visit service center. Then your PDA downloads information on service schedule from sites of nearest centers, you choose convenient time and confirm to service center electronically. You also can chose option to send service information from car’s computer to service center that they prepare necessary materials. Important, that instead of many servers there can be one car repair server (WEB-portal) or even just a partition on your content provider server. All these services need a telecommunication service!

· Your navigation system in car can download new maps automatically. It can be done by internal access point or via your mobile terminal when you are in the car, or when car is on service and there is WiFi spot for such downloads. Another business on navigation system is that it can send to your PC or PDA statistic on your travels, make analyzis on day of the weed, time of the day, weather that was and traffic information. Both procedures is convenient software and are seem as business of software producer, but it bring many traffic for telecommunication company which serves it.

· You can place online some orders in shop and this will be synchronized with your “smart house” system, you can appoint your visit to doctor according to reminders from the hospital and whatever you can do just with your PDA. There even can be smart parametric system – for example rescheduling due to traffic or important new meetings in your scheduler, with voice generating call back to corresponding second party (Something like you PDA send service information to server of content provider and server call to hospital with computer generated voice message – “Mr. Smith can’t come today due to important business meeting. He will appoint new date no later than today before 7 p.m.”. Corresponding reminder you have on your PDA).

What is important – whatever service or device is, it must communicate to 2nd party or to some server. This communication is business of telecom operator and if there is a way to increase such communications, then operators have to develop this! And this way is fully rolled out IMS and own content center!


TECHNICAL


Major problem with present situation is that not available standardized solution when separate vendors of software doing something on base of different hardware on the marked and there is various WEB-portals each with own database format and then content providers trying to integrate all these parts to some products which should be adapted to various communication protocols, various client operating system and tools and all these for various operators. User interface is complicated, very differ case by case, software is hard to install and it limited in functions. Surely it is a problem of content providers and users, but operators loosing money!


How to stop loose money and start to control such services and its traffic? Solution is to develop Universal Content Server (UCS) which is describes all major protocols, data formats and user interface representation for generic service. Whether subscriber is placing order in restaurant, make assignment in hospital, check security system of his house – there is same simple interface. In fact it’s like unification in MS office, when for completely different job (plain text, tables, pictures) we have similar interface and inter-working format. Once we need to do a perfect “engine” which is standard for the entire global operator, then we have no problems with user services.



Another option which is even more preferable is that 3-5 leading telecom vendors negotiate about format of such universal content server and then services become world-wide and not limited to the network of exact operator. There is nothing to afraid, as any certain operator can differentiate himself in advertisement and PR, but having universal platform is just easy way to have constant addition in ARPU due to the traffic of IP services. This must become same as send SMS at present days: universal standard, running by all the operators and firm additional income is guaranteed.


Some more details:

  • Regulatory for equipment vendors (smart refrigerators, navigation systems, smart phones and so on) about standards and protocols for universal IMS service system, which used by software. In future there even can be kind of “Plug&Play” of these hardware in relation to UCS.
  • Regulatory for software vendors (media, navigation, security, banking, presence software and so on) about standard and protocols for universal IMS service system which used by content/service providers. Plus there must be some rules (principles or firm structure) for User Interface development.
  • Regulatory for service/content providers (internet-shops, WEB-portals, mobile service) about standard and protocols for universal IMS service system which is exactly implemented – i.e. UCS.
  • Finally there must be standardized administrative rules for principles of integration, operating and income distribution.

MARKETING


May be it’s seems as quite revolutionary idea, but there must be share of telecom operators in business of service/content providers. In fact it’s not revolution, but evolution as there remains more less same structure of business and same specialist are involved. If think from the economical point of view then service/content activities is just easiest way to increase operator’s profit.


Even more in a future of telecom – integration with banking, government electronic systems, medical equipment and so on. If operators have well running universal system then they keep leadership and accept more services including mentioned, which will be easier to connect to existing platform than develop new. In other words – once you have invested in UCS then you only have more and more different services and more and more income.


Task of marketing is to promote well known telecom company as provider of services and content. As concept there even can be a transformation when people know companies which provide services and content and do not care about physical network which provide transport for these.


CONTET PROVIDER’S POINT OF VIEW


Running UCS of the operator is a way to sell same services/content as now, but in scores of times. What is considered as exclusive now – can be mass in the future. What is rarely used - may be included in a base service. Company which known only by small internet group may become same known as Microsoft now.



Another positive point is that by using UCS you reduce cost, time to market and complexity of development. Expertise of market needs and trends, but not concern on technical problems, it is what will become important! In fact, this is actually more just to spend money on customer needs (which brings money) than spend money on solving technical problems which always are costs!


One more notice – as operators are not so experienced now in services/content, there is a way to earn money too! Consulting, joint companies, outsourcing projects, selling know-how - all that can be great part of business. The same things can be even sold to regional offices of global vendors (such as COMVERSE, BERKUT, Nokia-Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei). Whenever unified service platform is become necessary – be ready to actively sell your experience!


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