Service providers are being extremely creative in using technology and ingenuity to launch new and enhanced services and products to keep customers and attract new ones. Some of the better ideas I have seen lately are the consumer electronics DECT phone from Comcast which allows internet browsing and address synchronization via the in-home cordless phone.
I also think the Alltel/AAA collaboration is a great move allowing consumers access to over 100,000 locations which give AAA discounts. In addition the GPS-enabled devices allow instant transmission of location to AAA when you have a car problem.
Another great idea is the transmission of Pandora radio to certain AT&T Wireless handsets. I really like Pandora as the service allows you to customize your own radio stations without listening to commercials. I even said that Pandora could be one of the biggest threats to satellite radio.
If we have to try to determine what other areas service providers will be able to capitalize on in the future we should look to the PC as a guide. In the PC world, instant messaging, video and social networking are some of the hottest trends around.
It is a fairly logical leap to assume these trends will be very lucrative for service providers who find ways to generate revenue from them. For example, providing presence on cell phones as well as the passing of presence information from cell phone to the web/PC are natural revenue generators. Presence is an essential part of bringing the social networking and IM paradigm to the mobile device.
In addition, the sharing of video and the integration of video with social networking and messaging is a natural extension of phone service to mobile devices.
As service providers do not have unlimited funding but at this point it does seem like they have unlimited opportunity, the question they need to ask is how to tap into the opportunity at the lowest possible cost. One way to do this is to transition your networks as fast as possible to session initiation protocol or SIP and learn as much about SIP as possible.
In addition, if presence is indeed the future of providing telephone service then SIP is an essential protocol to become expert on.
Deploying services rapidly becomes easy via SIP. In fact rolling out services which are not SIP-based is time-consuming and very expensive.
It is for this reason TMC University has partnered with Dialogic to provide SIP training and certification for service providers. Although I must apologize for the promotion of a TMC product in this piece, I simply haven’t found any other conference which offers such a certification and I think every service provider should send their SIP delegation to this class to get certified and to network with their peers.
For more information on this session which takes place in a week and a half in Miami, FL — check out the the syllabus for TMC University SIP: The Foundation for Building Enhanced Services.