It’s strange that you might travel across the Atlantic and one of your highlights of a conference is to hear from Clive Selley explaining BT’s UK technology strategy. Clive was a keynote speaker at Genband Perspectives conference in Orlando.
Clive explained that BT believe the total market value for the key areas they focus are
Clive explained BT’s television and fiber strategy but I was particularly interested in his discussions about BT’s mobile and Future Voice strategy. He described that the momentum from TDM to IP was now moving at a pace and is the most advanced in the Enterprise segment, and how voice only networks were now morphing to session based core networks. What was also interesting is that BT valued the IT services at £37 billion in the UK alone.
He described how BT services were now all based on a IP SDIN (Session Distribution Interworking Network), which is based on Genband and he mentioned that the growth on this network was now running at over 100% percent a year and this had been the case for the last 2 years. This core is also being expanded globally into USA, Middle East, Asia and Europe. The growth of this is also demonstrated by the wholesale offering of IPX being one of the 3 fasted growth areas in the whole BT Group. So as there are discussions about who offers the applications within the BT network, whether that is Cisco HCS, Genband or Broadsoft etc., it appears Genband is well established in the very core infrastructure being used in the SDIN. With the current growth rates, that must be a good place to be.
Clive then went onto describe how BT have been considering a reentry into the mobile market. He mentioned effectively they had 3 strategic choices
– Buy a mobile operator
– Build a national mobile network
– Or try a Disruptive play
He mentioned the cost of purchasing one of the UK based mobile operators would probably be too expensive and to build a national network would be both costly and take a long time to deliver. He also mentioned that he thinks the current providers are going to struggle because as new LTE technology is enabled the growth on their core is network and cell infrastructure is going to increase cost dramatically.
So when looking at a disruptive strategy BT looked at a number of key factors, probably the most important was that 70% of mobile data was happening either at a users home or in a single workspace, and often mobile delivery in building or at home was often poor. With BTs role out of FON and other investments BT had already got over 5 million WIFI hot spots.
So BTs strategy will be to use low cost FEMO Cells using LTE spectrum in home and office to provide in building service in those locations, and then using its EE MVNO to provide service outside of the building. BT will then be able to benefit from their core investment and infinity investment to provide a disruptive mobile play. This was described as BTs “Inside Out” wireless strategy.
Its interesting that BT continues to leverage the edge provided by its customers to power its services, and it will be interesting to see how this will manifest self in real services in years to come but certainly should be disruptive to the mobile operators including its old friend O2