Telco 2020 Vision: The 4 Characteristics of Underlying Technologies (Part 1)

January 27, 2014 Paul Davey

featured-teleco2020“Vision for 2020” is a root theme for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, and telecommunications CEOs are looking to their CIOs and CTOs for a vision and a plan that has a big impact on business over the next five years. EMC’s Joe Tucci will be delivering a keynote on big data and analytics. VMware’s Pat Gelsinger and Pivotal’s Paul Maritz will also be sharing our vision with telecommunications leaders.

The Vision for 2020 is based on what telecommunications customers want in the future.

  • Starting with customer research, we know businesses and consumers expect to get more from their telecommunications providers for less money. Customers want more flexibility and more service options without the historical complexity.
  • We can also benchmark companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple. They are setting a high bar for customer expectations.
  • Within the telecommunications industry itself, we must realize there is a new normal. Self-provisioning of services, multi-platform service delivery, cloud-based intelligence, always-on connections, and self-care are now all standards.
  • If telecommunications companies don’t take action to raise the bar, they will look old and tired as customer expectations move away from their ability to deliver services in the next five years.

There are also clear financial drivers behind the vision.

While no one has a crystal ball, we do know that growth is slowing globally. There is downward pressure on price and margin, evidenced by 2013 dividend downgrades and suspensions in the sector. Operators have already seen the cost of changing too slowly as value has transitioned to OTT service players. Equities analysts know that a sector’s underlying weaknesses can be masked for a few years by the capital cost of a 4G roll out. As public companies, telecommunications providers must create new revenue streams and improved margins over the next five years.

What Does the Telecommunications Vision look like for 2020?

Given these customer expectations and financial drivers, our vision for the Telecommunications CEO, CIO, and CTO has three main components:

  1. As businesses continue to move away from private networks and data centers, operators will bundle IT clouds, storage, app stores, and other services with connectivity and SLA-based network performance.
  2. As consumers enjoy the merger of TV and Internet services, they will expect to pay a single price for network capacity whether it is carrying content or services.
  3. As business and consumer expectations increase, all growth-oriented services must add a smarter, faster layer of analysis and action on big data, combining network and customer data.


While none of these are new concepts, and all are well-reasoned business models, a few operators have started to buy content rights in preparation for the migration to these new models. Some are moving to a wholesale model that will enable the content owners to sell their services over the top, and others are exploring approaches.

To successfully deliver on each component within this vision, we believe operators must have a plan to perform real-time analysis of streaming network and subscriber data to trigger new kinds of actions—the kind that lets all services deliver above the new bar of current customer expectations.

There must be a plan in place to deliver technology with four underlying characteristics:

  • Increased Agility
  • Greater Speed to Market
  • Improved Scale
  • Lower Cost

In the second part of this series, we will explain each underlying characteristic. Then, we will connect these characteristics to the following Pivotal’s products to explain how we deliver on the vision for telecommunications companies in 2020:

  • Real Time Intelligence (RTI) for Telecommunications
  • Pivotal CF (Cloud Foundry)
  • Pivotal One

Connect with us at the Mobile World Congress:

  • Along with EMC and VMware, Pivotal will be present at the Mobile World Congress.
  • Join us in a private meeting room or for talk to us about demonstrations.
  • Our telecommunications experts will be available to discuss how we’ve solved problems across networks, B&OSS, care services, platform hosting, real-time signal stream analysis, data sovereignty, big data, Hadoop, analytics, and more.

Learn more about the Pivotal products covered:

About the Author


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