Special reports


The digital dilemma – telecoms firms prepare for the future: Based on in-depth interviews with 15 C-level operator executives, and drawing on a wide-ranging survey of telco digital strategies, this report – written for the Economist Intelligence Unit and published in March 2015 – finds many CEOs worried about getting a return on network investment. And unlike their CTO colleagues, they are highly suspicious of the business case benefits of SDN and NFV. Despite some anxiety at the top, the report finds scope for profitable telco growth through collaboration with application developers, device manufacturers, distributors and systems integrators to develop digital solutions.


Fonts of innovation – mobile development in the business: Published in January 2013, and commissioned by The Economist Group, this report examines how IT and other business departments are using mobile technologies to innovate. Drawing on original survey material and interviews, the report finds that feelings of mutual distrust – especially in the financial services sector – can run high between IT and non-IT staff. Better lines of communication between different business departments would help spur innovation within the enterprise.


IMS and Evolved Voice Core: Commissioned by ABI Research, and published in November 2012, I compiled a detailed competitive assessment on the ‘big five’ IMS vendors – Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NSN and ZTE – in terms of implementation and innovation. In a related report – Does VoLTE Provide Necessary Impetus for IMS Growth in Mobile? – GSMA VoLTE and RCS/RCSe are evaluated as market drivers, along with potential of ‘IMS Lite’ solutions to provide alternative and attractive solutions.


LTE report for the Economist Intelligence UnitSaving mobile broadband – 4G early mover strategies (networks and pricing):  Commissioned by The Economist Group, the report contains eight operator case studies.  Each case study looks in detail at network rollout strategies, spectrum holdings (including those of competitors), the regulatory environment, and LTE pricing plans. One striking finding is that LTE pricing strategies in Europe are markedly different from those in Asia and North America.


Beyond connectivity:  How do enterprises view their telco providers? This report, commissioned by Ernst & Young (in collaboration with The Economist Group), tackles the question. And through a mixture of interviews and analysis of survey responses from enterprise executives, the report finds that telcos are indeed well placed to diversify their service portfolio beyond basic connectivity. However, they still have a lot of work to do in convincing large enterprises they can play a more prominent role.


Broadband architectures in Russia: Written for Mobile Communications International, and sponsored by Tellabs, this supplement examines the broadband architecture requirements of fixed and mobile operators in Russia. The support of mobile and fixed  traffic over one optical network, as close as possible to the customer to achieve greater cost efficiencies, is a key requirement. There is direct input from MTS, Russia’s largest mobile operator.


Total TelecomTotal Telecom mobile cloud supplement:  Published by Total Telecom and sponsored by ZTE, the supplement is an objective look at how mobile operators can leverage the cloud to offer new services and reduce churn. Although cloud strategies are in their infancy, some operators are moving much faster than others. There is also a look at how mobile operators, as cloud consumers, can be more cost efficient.


The FTTx mini-guide: A jargon-busting look at the relative business case merits of different FTTX architectures. Intended for handy reference for operator executives, the guide contains a concise overview of the different active and passive optical networking  flavours that are available for operators. Published by Telecommunications magazine and commissioned by Nexans, a cable supplier, the guide has been downloaded more than 5,000 times.


Mobile VPNs and the revenue opportunity for operators and suppliers: Commissioned by BWCS, a telecoms consultancy, this 100-page report was written at a time when 3G was in its infancy. That said, the mistakes operators were making then – selling technology rather than a service – are still apparent today. And the report’s analysis of enterprise concerns about mobile VPNs (security and indentifying tangible business case benefits) still seem relevant.