In recent years operators have scaled their thinking into hundreds of millions – but not in terms of data volumes, but instead in the numbers of devices now utilizing their networks. Smart handsets have led the charge of devices, followed (and soon to be surpassed) by IoT devices, and an army of small cells that will serve to densify the upcoming 5G network rollouts around the world.
Why are these devices capturing more and more operator attention? With over 1.5 billion smart phones shipped from manufacturers in 2017, the amount of investment by telecom operators just in this device category alone amounts to approximately 20% of their overall operational budget. However, each year tens of millions of dollars of this opex are being written off as losses by operators due to issues with logistics (forward and reverse), fraud, and process misalignments; device journey oversight doesn’t exist as a discipline today.
Subex has invested almost two years researching this domain, including talking with operators of all sizes around the world. What we have found is an expanding set of exploitable gaps that current systems and practices are incapable of closing. Points of risk exist across internal processes, channel partners, distribution and supply chain, and various other areas leading to (and sometimes even originating from) the end consumers. These risk points accumulate losses for operators that range between $500K USD to over $10M USD per month, per operator, depending on size of the operator.
The device growth area today is not only in smart handsets, but also in a wide array of small cells, sensors, and various other categories. With already significant gaps existing in oversight, this new breed of devices puts an even greater risk on operating budgets. Under current estimates, deployed IoT devices alone in the next 5 years will exceed 200 billion units, dwarfing the handset counts worldwide. Can losses be sustained, or even ignored, at these levels?
Subex will be speaking about a comprehensive strategy and methodology for Device Journey Management during a presentation at the CFCA Winter Conference in Las Vegas on February 6th, 2018. We will also be at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later in February where we look forward to speaking with operators encountering the same problems.
Vice President – Product Management – John Brooks serves as the Vice President of Product Management in Subex. He has over 26 years of experience in Telecommunications, spanning Fixed, Mobile, Data, and Video technologies. Within the industry Mr. Brooks was a board member for the GBA, founded the TM Forum Fraud team (authoring the first International Fraud Operations and Fraud Classifications guides), and now leads the TM Forum Network Asset Management team, focusing on transformative best practices for SDN/NFV operations. Over the years Mr. Brooks has served as an Advisory Board member for a prominent technical university, and has spoken at over 50 industry events and authored numerous papers on topics spanning IoT, Digital Disruption, Big Data, and Enterprise Risk Management. With Subex (formerly Connexn/Azure) since 1999, he has directed over 40 successful Cost, Revenue, and Business Optimization engagements at over 24 top-tier carriers globally, including AT&T, America Movil, BT, Vodafone, and Verizon.