The challenge for network operators and users is to change the architecture. Maybe it means using small cells or power lines, maybe it means locating antennas on grain silos, or maybe it means using satellites. Users are finding ways to get network access because they need to be connected and operators are devising ways to deliver. There might be bandwidth constraints or problems finding reliable power, but all over the world operators are overcoming these challenges and managing limitations. Service offerings are the result of consumer and business demand, not government-mandated universal service. The answer may not be scalable to a large provider, but it works locally and should be enabled and supported by regulation, not buried. A bonus for those users and operators is that their own local solution will likely benefit others that are facing those same conditions and circumstances in another corner of the world.
Instead of delivering high capacity broadband to a community, remote operators need to deliver broadband to individuals. Satellite service providers claim 12Mb download speeds and as Iâ€™m writing this, my provider is delivering me 6Mb download speed because my broadband is distributed across the entire neighborhood. Satellite providers use tiered pricing based on usage, which might make the monthly cost higher, but not out of line for really remote access, and weâ€™ll all probably be switched to usage-based billing before too long anyway.
Economies of Small Scale
For every locale in every region of the world there is a need for communication service providers. Where an AT&T or Vodafone will not be successful with their giant retail business models that rely on economies of scale; smaller operators will succeed and in the end there are hundreds more Tier 2, 3, and smaller operators than there are Tier 1. Small operators benefit from understanding local economies and operating realities. A small operator in the Caribbean offers pre-paid broadband to the large number of bankers and businessmen that regularly visit the island. Itâ€™s more expensive than local service, but less expensive than roaming and wildly successful. By becoming part of a larger alliance, small operators ensure global coverage for Tier 1 providers, while offering their own customers that same advantage.
Building connectivity into virtually any product or offering makes network operators less relevant on their own, so small operators need alternative sources of revenue. Small network operators are usually located in areas with small utilities and business units. Those operators are uniquely positioned to manage network services and infrastructure for their business customers, whether located nearby or headquartered a world away from this remote outpost. For vendors selling systems to small operators, the ability to scale down and deliver reliable capability at a lower cost is important as are hosted, managed, and cloud services models. Multi-tenant systems that can be remotely managed and upgraded are valuable to network operators and businesses of any size but especially to small organizations. Managed or hosted services ensure security, technology refresh, and regular maintenance that many businesses are unable to adequately manage or afford. Fully automated functionality with on-line control of configurations and parameters reduces the amount of expertise required in the field while minimizing travel and support costs.
Operators of every size need the ability to support customers using automated, on-line and cost-effective tools for order management, CRM, and customer care. ConceptWave offers a line of integrated, customer-facing products based on a centralized product catalog. The ConceptWave solution enables operators large and small to define and deliver any combination of connected products tailored for individual customers and locations from a central data source.