Dialing for Data: How Big Data is Transforming Telecom

Robert Fox, Global Telecom, Media and Entertainment Industry Leader IBM Global Business Services

Robert Fox, Global Telecom, Media and Entertainment Industry Leader
IBM Global Business Services

By Robert Fox

Cut throat competitiveness has been with the telecom industry since its inception nearly 140 years ago when Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray in a race to the U.S. Patent Office to lay claim to inventing the telephone.

Fast forward to today and we see a highly complex, competitive telecom environment where voice services have taken a back seat  to a growing range of data-intensive services such as streaming music, radio and video, high definition video, online gaming and social media.

Transporting all of this data through their networks is resulting in shrinking margins and network congestion for the carriers. But don’t hang up on them yet! Mindful of protecting customers’ privacy and preserving their trust, many of the carriers are annonymizing their data, or offering opt-in programs, as they start to embrace and leverage advanced analytics for competitive advantage. 

A new IBM study on how telcos are using Big Data highlights this trend: 85 percent of the respondents indicate that the use of information and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for them – a 124 percent increase in the last two years.

And what types of data? That is changing too.

According to the study more than half of the telecom respondents reported using internal data as the primary source of big data within their organizations. Traditionally this has meant data extracted from phone calls, transactions, call center interactions and call detail records, like who made the call, who received it and duration of the call. But the proliferation of smartphones opens up a whole  new category of transaction records, called XDRs  which capture other transactions such as the purchase and download of a song or a video clip, a recharge on a prepaid account, or a mobile payment. Carriers are already using this type of information to improve customer experience, align solutions to customers’ needs and help predict the potential for up-selling or cross selling products and services.

Read more on The Smarter Planet blog

Telcos’ social future | Telecom Asia
Social networking and social business will continue to change the way we work, communicate and live. It represents a fundamental shift in all aspects of the communication service provider industry. So why is the adoption of social business by CSPs so low? They have been playing in the shallows of social business. The good news is that most are planning to take the plunge.
A recent global study by IBM provides insights into how CSPs are using social business today and sets out the areas of focus and value going forward.  The timing is right. Today, roughly one-third of the world’s population is online. And many of these connected users are increasingly using social media tools to shop, spend and share insights. This all has led to an amazing consumer revolution as profound as any seen before. Additionally, every new employee coming into the industry is already a power user of social networking, a capability to be further nurtured and harnessed. 

Telcos’ social future | Telecom Asia

Social networking and social business will continue to change the way we work, communicate and live. It represents a fundamental shift in all aspects of the communication service provider industry. So why is the adoption of social business by CSPs so low? They have been playing in the shallows of social business. The good news is that most are planning to take the plunge.

A recent global study by IBM provides insights into how CSPs are using social business today and sets out the areas of focus and value going forward.  The timing is right. Today, roughly one-third of the world’s population is online. And many of these connected users are increasingly using social media tools to shop, spend and share insights. This all has led to an amazing consumer revolution as profound as any seen before. Additionally, every new employee coming into the industry is already a power user of social networking, a capability to be further nurtured and harnessed. 

Smartphone apps put parking spots at your fingertips
A growing number of drivers are turning to a high-tech solution for a low-tech problem — finding a parking spot in the nation’s congested cities.
From Pittsburgh to Los Angeles — and dozens of cities in between — mobile applications are becoming available to ease drivers’ search for a place to park.
The problem doesn’t always stem from too few spots, but from not enough information about where to find available parking, said Kelly Schwager, the chief marketing officer for Streetline, a smart parking provider.

Smartphone apps put parking spots at your fingertips

A growing number of drivers are turning to a high-tech solution for a low-tech problem — finding a parking spot in the nation’s congested cities.

From Pittsburgh to Los Angeles — and dozens of cities in between — mobile applications are becoming available to ease drivers’ search for a place to park.

The problem doesn’t always stem from too few spots, but from not enough information about where to find available parking, said Kelly Schwager, the chief marketing officer for Streetline, a smart parking provider.

Mobile Internet data traffic to grow 13-fold by 2017, says Cisco
One point also worth highlighting is that it appears researchers are forecasting mobile data traffic to increase sharply because of more devices online — not users.
By 2017, Cisco is predicting there will be 5.2 billion mobile users — up from 4.3 billion in 2012. But they also predicted that there will be more than 10 billion connected devices (including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections) within four years — up from 7 billion total in 2012.
» via CNET

Mobile Internet data traffic to grow 13-fold by 2017, says Cisco

One point also worth highlighting is that it appears researchers are forecasting mobile data traffic to increase sharply because of more devices online — not users.

By 2017, Cisco is predicting there will be 5.2 billion mobile users — up from 4.3 billion in 2012. But they also predicted that there will be more than 10 billion connected devices (including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections) within four years — up from 7 billion total in 2012.

» via CNET

(via infoneer-pulse)

7 Social Media Trends for Consumers New Research | Social Media Examiner Here are seven key findings from that report. #1: More Time Invested in Mobile The survey found that consumers are increasingly looking to their smartphones and tablets to access social media. While the PC is still the most widely used device when it comes to social media consumption, the study found that time spent on mobile apps and mobile websites accounted for a 63% increase (compared to 2011) in total time spent. Additionally, 43% of users said they use smartphones to access social media, while 16% connect using a tablet.

7 Social Media Trends for Consumers New Research | Social Media Examiner Here are seven key findings from that report. #1: More Time Invested in Mobile The survey found that consumers are increasingly looking to their smartphones and tablets to access social media. While the PC is still the most widely used device when it comes to social media consumption, the study found that time spent on mobile apps and mobile websites accounted for a 63% increase (compared to 2011) in total time spent. Additionally, 43% of users said they use smartphones to access social media, while 16% connect using a tablet.

IBM Next 5 in 5: 2011 (by IBMLabs)

IBM unveils its sixth annual “Next 5 in 5” — a list of innovations with the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The Next 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.

In this installment: you will be able to power your home with the energy you create yourself; you will never need a password again; mind reading is no longer science fiction; the digital divide will cease to exist; and junk mail will become priority mail.

Find Every Food Truck In The City With The Tweat.It App | Gothamist

Tired of tracking down each and every food truck on their own individual Twitter account? Yeah, it’s hard to keep track of all the Korean tacos and cupcakes and fancy grilled cheeses cruising around out there. That’s why Tweat.it was invented, and now, you can finally get it on the go.

Jess Eddy and Joel Potischman created the Tweat.it website last year as a way to help street food fans track down any food truck in the city, in real time. As soon as a food truck tweets their location, it’s updated on the app’s map, alongside the app’s mini truck-only Twitter feed. It’s a great way to visually plot our your next meal

Africa is being tipped to pass one billion mobile subscriptions to become the world’s second largest mobile market by 2016 according to new research from analyst firm Informa. Mobile activations in the continent, which currently stand at 616 million, are estimated to grow by more than 60 percent over the next five years making the region the world’s second largest telecom market behind only Asia. Informa explains that the development of the region’s “relatively immature telecoms market” — thanks to increased competition and lower costs — combined with the continued growth of Africa’s population are the primary reasons for its growth predictions. The use of 3G is also tipped to rise at a strong rate from 6.6 percent of Africa’s total mobile subscribers today to 46 percent by the end-2016 .

IBM: Mobile Retail Traffic Will More Than Double This Holiday Season | TechCrunch
IBM’s Coremetrics Benchmark is releasing data around holiday shopping  trends we can expect over the next few months. Big Blue says that  mobile retail traffic will more than double this holiday season.
During this year’s November holiday season, an unprecedented 15  percent of people in the U.S. logging onto a retailer’s web site are  expected to do so through a mobile device, says IBM. All online sales in  November will experience a growth of 12-15 percent over the same period  in 2010.
IBM reports that in October nearly 11 percent of people used a mobile  device to log onto a retailer’s site, up from 4.2 percent in October  2010. Additionally, mobile sales continue to increase, reaching a high  of 9.6 percent in October 2011, up from 3.4 percent in October 2010.
One of the new trends expected to take place is among Android users.  And for the first time, the growing number of Android users will  demonstrate similar levels of mobile shopping as iPhone users. These  October 2011 numbers show iPhone accounting for 4 percent of mobile  traffic and Android 3.5 percent. The iPad will also play a big role in  holiday shopping this season. In October, iPad conversion rates reached  6.8 percent as compared to the overall mobile device conversion rate of  3.6 percent.

IBM: Mobile Retail Traffic Will More Than Double This Holiday Season | TechCrunch

IBM’s Coremetrics Benchmark is releasing data around holiday shopping trends we can expect over the next few months. Big Blue says that mobile retail traffic will more than double this holiday season.

During this year’s November holiday season, an unprecedented 15 percent of people in the U.S. logging onto a retailer’s web site are expected to do so through a mobile device, says IBM. All online sales in November will experience a growth of 12-15 percent over the same period in 2010.

IBM reports that in October nearly 11 percent of people used a mobile device to log onto a retailer’s site, up from 4.2 percent in October 2010. Additionally, mobile sales continue to increase, reaching a high of 9.6 percent in October 2011, up from 3.4 percent in October 2010.

One of the new trends expected to take place is among Android users. And for the first time, the growing number of Android users will demonstrate similar levels of mobile shopping as iPhone users. These October 2011 numbers show iPhone accounting for 4 percent of mobile traffic and Android 3.5 percent. The iPad will also play a big role in holiday shopping this season. In October, iPad conversion rates reached 6.8 percent as compared to the overall mobile device conversion rate of 3.6 percent.

Mobile and the rise of the smart buyer | GigaOM
27% of US smartphone users will use the device during in-store holiday shopping: A new Deloitte survey (Oct 26) of 5,000 U.S. consumers says of the 42% of consumers who own a smartphone, 27% will use the device while shopping for the holidays. 67% of these shoppers will use the devices to find store locations, 59% to compare prices, 46% to check product availability, 45% to shop at online stores, and 40% will scan bar codes.  

Mobile and the rise of the smart buyer | GigaOM

27% of US smartphone users will use the device during in-store holiday shopping: A new Deloitte survey (Oct 26) of 5,000 U.S. consumers says of the 42% of consumers who own a smartphone, 27% will use the device while shopping for the holidays. 67% of these shoppers will use the devices to find store locations, 59% to compare prices, 46% to check product availability, 45% to shop at online stores, and 40% will scan bar codes.