Communications Service Providers Compelled to Adopt New Technologies and Business Models to Meet Customer Service Demands over Data-Hungry Networks, Accenture Survey Finds

Tue Apr 9, 2013 10:00am EDT

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NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
Faced with ongoing economic challenges, declining voice and text revenues, and
the need to address customers` quality of service expectations on data-intensive
networks, communications service providers (CSPs) are being compelled to
consider revamping their operating models and adopting new transformational
technologies to survive and thrive, according to a survey from Accenture
(NYSE:ACN). 

Accenture conducted the survey, "Evolutionary Trends in the Operations of CSP
Networks: How the Migration to Broadband Data Services is Shifting the Paradigm
of Network Operations," to understand and explore the evolutionary trends in
CSPs` network operations, including the main drivers of change and the lessons
learned from new operating models that companies are using. Thirty of the
world`s leading communications and media companies were surveyed. 

CSPs see the need to invest in network tools and technology

The survey confirmed that new technology introductions, quality issues, and cost
pressures are among the key drivers forcing CSPs to shift toward more accurate
models for controlling network planning and enhancing quality of service,
supported by new capabilities such as analytics. In fact, the overwhelming
majority (93 percent) of CSP executives surveyed identified the need for new or
improved tools to plan, design, and track traffic on broadband or cable
networks. One-third (33 percent) said they need to significantly revamp the
tools used for broadband deployment, while another 60 percent would consider
adding some tools. 

When asked about technology investments, three-quarters (75 percent) of wireless
operators and integrated services providers plan to implement long term
evolution (LTE), a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for
mobile phones and data terminals, in the next three to five years to increase
network capacity for faster data transmissions. In addition, all wireline
providers said they would swap all or part of the cable used to connect homes
and businesses from copper to fiber optic, also over the same time frame. 

All interviewees plan to invest in network analytics tools, and more than half
(53 percent) cited customer experience improvements as the most important
reason. These tools are typically used to analyze network data alarms,
performance measures, trouble tickets, and customer churn due to dropped calls
in an effort to improve network service quality. 

To reduce network operations spending while transforming operations, CSPs favor
a variety of approaches. Thirty-three percent prefer to manage the
transformation internally, while 27 percent prefer transformation by outsourcing
(managed services) and 40 percent prefer a combination of both. 

"This survey paints a picture of a telecom industry in transition, buffeted by a
storm which is both economic and technological in nature, with an impact across
the entire value chain," said Paolo Sidoti, global managing director of
Accenture`s Network Business Services group. "A challenging global economic
climate, combined with reduced consumer spending for telecommunications
services, is driving a rapid decline in traditional voice- and text-based
revenues. Data traffic continues to rise, but data revenue is growing at a
slower rate. 

"Plus, over-the-top services, such as substitutes for traditional SMS text
messaging and other services, are continuing to put pressure on carriers`
overall revenue. And although some CSPs totally embrace the new realities,
others are taking much more of a `pick and choose` approach to dealing with the
challenges swirling around them." 

Operating models to consider:managed services and network sharing

The survey found that a large majority (80 percent) of CSPs have entered into
managed services agreements using a range of models and incorporating different
scopes of work, with 43 percent in both mature and emerging markets willing to
outsource some of their tasks. When asked for more specifics regarding managed
services, more than half (58 percent) said managed services/outsourcing deals
met their expectations for quality compared with their own resources, and half
(50 percent) said implementing a managed services approach delivered expected
savings. 

Regarding network sharing, which helps reduce costs using a shared
infrastructure, the survey revealed differences between mature and emerging
markets. CSPs in emerging markets are much more likely to deploy network sharing
for their mobile broadband networks (56 percent), compared with the mature
market operators (nine percent). CSPs in emerging markets are also more likely
to use network sharing for new and existing infrastructure, rather than only
existing infrastructure. Regulatory concerns (77 percent) and competition (73
percent) were cited as key factors that can preclude network sharing in emerging
markets. 

Quality of service is the overriding challenge

Most respondents (77 percent) said managing the quality of services is the
biggest challenge in today`s communications environment, especially in a shared
network environment. All wireless CSPs cited quality of service as the top
challenge, as did most wireline (83 percent) and cable (75 percent) providers. 

"Clearly, traditional operating models cannot completely meet current CSP
requirements," Sidoti said. "Instead, CSPs need a more industrialized and
collaborative approach, with the right strategy, execution support, and
transformation initiatives that can enable them to adopt new operating models,
becoming leaner organizations that use shared services that leverage network
analytics." 

Methodology:

Accenture surveyed CTOs, network directors, COOs, EVPs/VPs of operations, and
other senior executives from 30 companies in 22 countries. Included in the
survey were cable providers, wireless service providers, integrated service
providers, and wireline service providers. All of the respondents indicated that
they were decision makers or influencers in decisions regarding their company`s
network operations strategy. The report is available at
www.accenture.com/broadband-network-migration. 

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing
company, with approximately 261,000 people serving clients in more than 120
countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across
all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world`s
most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them
become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net
revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home
page is www.accenture.com. 

About Accenture Network Services

Accenture Network Services, an Accenture Business Service, helps service
providers streamline their operations and reduce the costs of planning,
building, and operating legacy and new networks and services. It provides
targeted solutions in four key areas - Network Engineering and Optimization to
accelerate broadband deployment; Service Fulfillment to streamline quote-to-cash
processes; Service Assurance to provide quality customer experience and reduce
time to repair; and Field Force for enhanced workforce productivity and
efficiency. By addressing each step of the network transformation journey,
Accenture Network Services helps clients implement the right capabilities to
unleash their full potential. Its home page is
www.accenture.com/network-services.

Accenture
Barbara Burgess
+ 973-301-1260
+ 973-452-0694 (mobile)
barbara.burgess@accenture.com
Alison Geib
+ 202-530-4654
+ 917-291-5243 (mobile)
alison.geib@bm.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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