The changing face of communication


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The changing face of communication

  1. 1. IBM Global Business Services IBM Institute for Business Value Telecommunications The changing face of communication Social networking’s growing influence on telecom providers
  2. 2. IBM Institute for Business Value IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute for Business Value, develops fact-based strategic insights for senior executives around critical public and private sector issues. This executive brief is based on an in-depth study by the Institute’s research team. It is part of an ongoing commitment by IBM Global Business Services to provide analysis and viewpoints that help companies realize business value. You may contact the authors or send an e-mail to for more information.
  3. 3. The changing face of communication Social networking's growing influence on telecom providers By Rob van den Dam, Ekow Nelson and Zygmunt Lozinski People are communicating more things to more people than ever before, and not just by phone anymore. Internet-enabled communication models are gaining audience, attention and market share at the expense of traditional telecommunication providers (Telcos). Can Telcos fight back and find new growth opportunities in this rapidly changing ecosystem? The challenge is not just in understanding the technology, but also the unfolding fundamental shifts in human communication behavior. The face of communication has changed communicate with geographically dispersed dramatically over the past few years. Traditional employees, suppliers and partners. Telcos, which have historically dominated two-way interpersonal conversations, are The widespread social networking increasingly being challenged by new market phenomenon reflects shifts in two long-term entrants that use open platforms to meet communication trends. First, there is a shift in diverse and rapidly changing user wants and communication patterns – from point-to-point, needs. two-way conversations, to many-to-many, collaborative communications. Secondly, Social networking Web sites and services, control of the communication environment such as Facebook, MySpace and Cyworld, is transitioning from Telcos to open Internet have become primary communication platform providers, enabled by better, media for a new generation of digitally aware cheaper technology, open standards, greater consumers. Driven by high broadband penetration of broadband services and penetration, maturing “social software” wireless communication networks. and readily available, affordable Internet- enabled multimedia devices, these sites and The combined effect of these trends is altering services are making inroads with enthusi- the competitive landscape in communications astic users and garnering the attention of and giving rise to emerging business models advertisers, consumer product companies that include: and enterprises that are using social media to • Open and Free – This model features reach their customers, build brand loyalty and companies that offer one-to-one communi- 1 The changing face of communication
  4. 4. cation services, but through an open Internet that facilitate collaboration and sharing, with platform and at no – or very little – cost. Shared Social Spaces attracting a more These services potentially threaten profitable significant and impactful share of people’s traditional services, such as long distance communication time. calling and mobile roaming. Over the short to medium term, Telcos should • Gated Communities – Companies using focus on laying the foundation for a more open this model focus on many-to-many commu- and collaborative future. They can begin by nications, rather than point-to-point, within taking advantage of the window of opportunity telecom-controlled environments. They are, in mobile social networking and also bolster essentially, a “walled-garden” for opera- their capabilities to serve the evolving, broader tor-led collaboration services and are likely communication needs of enterprises. They to appeal to users and enterprises that should partner with, or acquire, existing players desire secure and reliable communication to proactively develop the capabilities required environments. for success, or enable other participants in the • Shared Social Spaces – This rapidly value chain to benefit from distinctive telecom growing model facilitates collaboration capabilities. Using network and computing on the open Internet. Key players include infrastructure optimization techniques, they can social networking sites such as MySpace reduce the cost of delivering high bandwidth and Facebook. These providers have the content and potentially capture value from it. potential to become de facto integrated Over the long term, Telcos should embrace communication platforms, bringing together a broader definition of communication – one social networking, voice communication, that encompasses everything from two-way e-mail, instant and text messaging, as well conversations to many-to-many commu- as content. They are drawing attention away nications – and align the organization with from traditional Telcos and contributing to this reality. Also, Telcos are well positioned the fragmentation of the market. Beyond to enable a cross-platform, fully integrated gaining audience share, these services experience across mobile, fixed and IPTV pose an operational challenge to Telcos as services. they “piggyback” on the existing commu- nications infrastructure, imposing network A new ecosystem is emerging from these long capacity issues and increased costs for the term shifts in communication trends that will network providers. require bold, significant changes by existing telecom providers. The option of doing nothing In the short term, as the industry transitions to is not a luxury many providers can afford, as more open and collaborative communication revenues from traditional services continue models, the traditional model will likely remain to decline and highly resourceful Internet dominant. Over the long term, however, the information providers and IT companies enter industry can expect a shift toward models the communications space to claim a larger share of communication time. 22 IBM Global Business Services IBM Global Business Services
  5. 5. The changing face of communication Social networking's growing influence on telecom providers The changing face of communication Overall, the number of unique monthly visitors to the top six social networking sites increased A burgeoning market in social networking 95 percent between June 2006 and June Social networking, perhaps considered 2007 – and then another 50 percent from a “communication fad” in recent years, is 2 June 2007 to June 2008. According to data transcending that phase and becoming from comScore, the global Internet information an activity woven into the intrinsic fabric of provider, unique visitors to social networking the Internet. Throughout the world, Internet sites in June 2008 represented approximately users are turning en masse to such sites as 3 two-thirds of the world’s Internet audience. Facebook and MySpace to meet their commu- Based on the projected growth of the global nication needs. Consider, for example, that Internet audience, we estimate that by 2012, before 2005, not a single social media network the number of unique monthly visitors to social was ranked among the world’s top 20 English- 4 1 networking sites will surpass 800 million. language Web sites. By June 2008, social networking sites comprised half of the same In South Korea, considered by many to be list, displacing many traditional Internet “stars,” the world’s most developed social networking such as AOL (see Figure 1). FIGURE 1. Top 20 English language Web sites. Rank Aug 2004 Aug 2006 Aug 2008 1 Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! 2 MSN MSN Google 3 Google Google Youtube 4 Microsoft MySpace Live 5 Passport Live Facebook 6 eBay eBay MSN 7 Amazon Youtube MySpace 8 Offeroptimizer Microsoft Hi5 9 Fastclick Amazon Orkut 10 Doubleclick Orkut Rapidshare 11 Go Blogger Blogger 12 Alibaba Google UK Megaupload 13 CNN Passport Fotolog 14 BBC BBC Friendster 15 Craigslist Microsoft 16 AOL Go eBay 17 Google UK CNN Megarotic 18 Gator Alibaba Google UK 19 eBay UK Megaupload Amazon 20 Searchscout IMDB Internet Movie Social media sites Note 1: The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data, and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach). Note 2: Due to the way Alexa assigns “language”, multilingual Wikipedia, which is in global top 20, is not shown in this list. Source: Institute for Business Value (IBV) Analysis; Alexa Internet Web Search – top 20 English Language Web Sites. 3 The changing face of communication
  6. 6. Social networks have nation, 90 percent of teens and 40 percent The new online portal of the entire population are members of the Social networks have done more than attract become primary 5 social networking site Cyworld. In the United users and ad revenue away from traditional destinations for online States, 80 percent of young adults, 60 percent Internet sites. They have become a primary users to organize their of teens and 30 percent of adults use social destination for online users and represent Internet experience. networks. 6 the next stage in the evolution of the online experience, serving as control points for Not only are social networks generating a managing and enriching a user’s digital significant amount of online traffic, visitors lifestyle. They bring together user-generated to leading social networking sites also view and professional content, communication tools more pages per visit than any other category and services, online connections, applica- of Internet site, including such online portals tions and collaborative tools from blogs and 7 as Google and Yahoo. This opens the door podcasts, to wikis and widgets (see Figure 2). for potential revenue generation as social networks, like most online service providers, Communication and content distribution base their business model on trading page With numerous communication tools at their views for advertising dollars. disposal, social networks are becoming integrated communication hubs. The Already, savvy marketers have begun to integration of MySpace and Skype, for experiment more heavily with this concept. example, illustrates how social networks and They spent US$2. billion on social network 1 communication applications can converge advertising in 2008, almost double the to benefit users. With more than 118 million 8 US$1.2 billion spent in 2007 By 2012, if the . active MySpace users and over 370 million current trend continues, social networking ad Skype registered users around the world, revenues could reach $3.8 billion, provided the this partnership connects two of the most 9 right business model can be found. FIGURE 2. Social networking sites are becoming online portals. Late 1990’s Portal aggregator Browse Network of user connections Early 2000s and relationships Content search/discovery User A User B Search Mid-late 2000s Social networks Directories Shared social spaces Web content User C RSS Tagging Mashups Podcasts Widgets Blogs Wikis User-generated content Meta data and tools Source: Institute for Business Value analysis. 4 IBM Global Business Services
  7. 7. Enterprises are popular communication platforms on the Enterprises are also learning the value of a leveraging social network Internet “to create the world’s largest online solution that facilitates communication and 10 voice network. MySpace members can make collaboration among employees, partners applications to improve Internet phone calls using Skype’s telephony and suppliers. Social networks provide the collaboration with network and MySpace’s instant messaging opportunity to bridge the gap in communi- customers, employees, program.” 11 cation and collaboration created by enterprise partners and suppliers. globalization. For example, General Motors Social networks are also increasingly uses social networking tools to facilitate becoming channels for digital content distri- communication between executives and bution, using their network of relationships employees, as well as to give product experts to push information to users. In November the opportunity to present new designs to the 2007 for instance, Bebo launched its “Open , 16 employee community. Motorola’s “Intranet 2.0” Media” platform that offers media companies initiative has met with considerable success, such as BBC, MTV and BSkyB an additional with 70,000 people using it every day, including 12 distribution outlet. And Apple is tapping into 17 partners. The company now has 4,400 blogs the popularity of social networking sites by and 4,200 wiki pages. It uses, among other embedding its iTunes Internet music download technologies, social networking, bookmarking 13 service into the Bebo Web site. and tagging. 18 Expansion and extension Telcos are getting in on the act Traditional mainstream Internet sites and major A number of Telcos are already responding consumer brands are beginning to recognize to the challenges and opportunities of social the value of social networking, not just for the networking. Many have initiatives underway potential advertising dollars it may generate, that range from simply enabling online social but also for e-commerce and the built-in networking sites, to extending their offerings mechanisms it employs to communicate with to the mobile communication environment, customers. to even building their own, proprietary social eBay, for example, has created more than networks. 600 micro-social networks called eBay For example, SK Communications, a Neighborhoods, where members can access subsidiary of SK Telecom in South Korea, blogs, guides, reviews and product searches, 14 acquired Cyworld in 2003 and is now and then click to visit related auctions. generating approximately US$200 million And big-name brands, such as Coca-Cola, per year from selling digital items and adver- Victoria’s Secret and Webkinz, have ventured 19 tising. In 2005, the company started a joint into this newly charted arena by using social venture with EarthLink to launch a mobile networks to generate brand awareness and 15 virtual network operator called Helio, which affinity. Depending on a brand’s goals, 20 merged into Virgin Mobile in July, 2008. affiliating with a social network site – or possibly creating its own – can bring in an audience of customers, contain them and allow them a voice whenever appropriate. 5 The changing face of communication
  8. 8. In early 2007 Vodafone struck a deal with , 2. Shift in communication control is MySpace to enable MySpace users to access transitioning from provider-controlled envi- 21 their profiles from Vodafone cell phones. ronments to open Internet platform service Today, Vodafone has a similar arrangement providers with greater opportunities for user 22 with Facebook. U.S. telecom operators participation. Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Virgin Mobile provide MySpace and Facebook on their mobile Shifts in communication patterns devices. 23 “Communications overall is Vodafone’s “Connect to Friends” is an shifting from ‘point-to-point’ application embedded within social networks to ‘many-to-many,’ in order to that facilitates communication with friends, socialize and enjoy an experience regardless of where they are, with SMS (short message service) and MMS (multimedia more deeply – people consuming message service) from either a PC or a mobile content together and interacting phone (see sidebar, Vodafone – Extending during that experience from telecom capability to open social networking). virtually anywhere in the world.” – John Stankey, President and CEO, AT&T Vodafone – Extending telecom capability Operations to open social networking The “Connect to Friends” application from Communication patterns are changing from Vodafone is a messaging application users can personal and conversational, to sharing and download from Facebook. It is open to Vodafone collaborative, augmented with links, videos, and non-Vodafone customers and allows them photos and other multimedia content that to send messages and photos directly from substantially enrich the communications Facebook.24 Free messaging credits are offered experience. This is being enabled by greater to attract users and to encourage viral marketing. global connectivity, the availability of affordable, Further messaging credit packs are applied to high-quality content and communication the customer’s phone bill using the e-commerce devices, and the rise of social software. service Pay4it. The provision of “Connect to Friends” enables Vodafone to reach out to Traditional interpersonal communication, customers across other online channels and helps usually via the telephone, allows expression, drive customer conversion.25 but does not provide group or collaborative capabilities. As Professor Clay Shirky, a leading Trends in communication evolution authority on the social and economic effects of The widespread social networking the Internet at New York University’s Interactive phenomenon is a reflection of shifts in two Telecommunication Program observes, “The long-term underlying trends in communication: telephone, the technological revolution that 1. Communication patterns are shifting from put the most expressive power in the hands point-to-point, two-way conversations to of the individual, didn’t create an audience; 26 many-to-many, group communications and telephones were designed for conversation.” collaboration. 6 IBM Global Business Services
  9. 9. Brought up in the connected The availability and convergence of mobile For many of this generation, social networking communication and the Internet are now is even supplanting e-mail as the preferred and collaborative world creating a platform that enables group method of communication. But they also use of the Internet, the Net communication encompassing many partici- social networking for more than commu- Generation is at the pants through shared spaces in virtually any nication and content sharing. They use it forefront of shifting social geographic location. to develop their identities, meet friends or communication patterns. form relationships that become part of their The so-called “Net Generation,” composed individual social graphs, which are becoming of “digital natives” who have grown up in a key resources for harnessing collective technology-enabled environment, is at the wisdom or opinion from “trusted” individuals. forefront of this phenomenon. According to Pew Research, on average, a typical But the shift away from traditional telecom- 21-year-old in the United States entering the munication to social networking is not limited workforce today has played video games to digital natives. A growing number of adults for 5,000 hours, exchanged 250,000 e-mails, now use technology to get what they need instant messages and phone text messages, from each other, instead of from traditional has 10,000 hours of cell phone use and has media and institutions. Nineteen percent of 27 spent 3,500 hours online. consumers in the 2007 IBM Digital Consumer survey said they spent more than 6 hours The new generation of digital natives is far 29 per day on personal Internet activities. Only more likely than their parents to own a digital 9 percent indicated they watch the same music player, to have posted writing, pictures amount – or more – of television. 30 or video on the Internet, to have created a blog or profile on a social networking site, to have As shown in Figure 3, social networks are downloaded digital content such as songs, used instrumentally to reinforce social ties. games, movies, or software, to have shared a remix or “mashup” creation with friends and to have snapped a photo or video with a cell 28 phone. FIGURE 3. The most popular activities in social networking are communications/staying in touch. Talk to friend/family a lot 69% Talk to friend/family I rarely see 65% Look for old friends I have lost touch with 47% Look at other peoples’ sites without leaving a message 40% Talk to people who are friends of friends 35% Listen to music/find out about bands 29% Talk to people I don’t know 17% Look at campaigns and petitions 6% Other 4% Source: Institute for Business Value analysis; “Social Networking,” United Kingdom Office of Communications (Ofcom) 2008, http://www.ofcom. 7 The changing face of communication
  10. 10. Shift in communication control the availability of Internet-enabled devices, Widespread availability and affordability of with increasing user interface sophistication, is connectivity and communication tools/devices enabling richer, more immersive experiences. are also shifting control of communication media away from the domain of Telcos and With better, cheaper technologies and greater toward a more open communication platform. use of broadband, the Internet, and wireless networks, “Over the Top” (OTT) providers, such The majority of households, individuals and as social networking sites, are becoming businesses in developed nations have Internet ever-more viable platforms for communication access, and the number of Internet users services – and consumers are responding 31 in emerging economies is growing rapidly. eagerly. In September 2008, there were 452 million broadband subscribers worldwide (more than Impact of shifts on the emerging the total number of households in the United communication landscape States, Britain, France, Japan, Korea and The combination of shifts in communi- Germany), expected to grow to 876 million by cation control and patterns is redefining the 32 2012. At the same time, data connectivity competitive landscape, giving rise to new speeds have increased considerably – from business models. In contrast with traditional 56Kbps modem connectivity speeds only communication models, emerging models 33 a decade ago to 8-16Mbps today. Some are based on open platforms that support countries support bandwidth up to 90Mbps many-to many and/or collaborative communi- 34 currently. The costs of connectivity and cation patterns (see Figure 4). storage have also declined significantly, and FIGURE 4. Shifts in communication control and patterns give rise to new business models. Audience and attention migration Collaborative Gated Communities Shared Social Space Online SN Active Mobile social Members 2007 2012 networking users 2007-2012 Communications pattern CAGR 64% 2007-2012 on SN unique visitors CAGR 20% cti ire ±2/3 of Internet users td Traditional Communication a rke Open and Free M Mobile subscribers All types of VoIP in IM accounts 2012: 1.2 billion Fixed subscribers Skype 2007-2012 2007-2012 Two-way CAGR 18.5% CAGR 13% conversational 2007-2012 CAGR 6.8% 2007-2012 CAGR 3% Communication Open internet Communications environment provider-controlled Source: IBM Institute for Business Value analysis based on publicly available data from eMarketer, Datamonitor, Skype, ABI Research and The Radicati Group, Inc. 8 IBM Global Business Services
  11. 11. Traditional communication Many of the players in the “open and free” The traditional model, characterized by space, such as Microsoft and Google, have two-way point-to-point communication is considerable resources and leave little room the domain of traditional Telco providers. It is for a commercially viable response from Telcos the largest segment in terms of revenue and beyond repackaging existing services into subscribers, but it is showing signs of slow “convenience bundles.” Some Telcos, however, growth as other models take hold. Wireline seemingly have embraced the model and are revenue is declining and although, according partnering with disruptive new entrants. The to Gartner Inc., global mobile services revenue mobile operator 3 in the United Kingdom and is forecast to grow 7 percent from 2007-2012, .6 Italy, for example, has partnered with Skype the mobile subscriber base has reached to launch the 3 Skypephone, which enables 3 35 saturation in key developed markets. subscribers to make free calls and send free Skype instant messages from their 3G mobile Open and Free 38 phones to other Skype users. As first movers, This model offers alternatives to traditional this partnership has the potential to attract and point-to-point communication services on retain customers. However, while the benefits open Internet platforms. Companies in this to Skype are obvious, it is too early to assess domain provide basic communication services the true commercial value to 3. such as VoIP for free or at very low cost. Many of these services threaten profitable traditional Gated Communities services such as long distance calling and This model is also the domain of traditional mobile roaming. communication service providers, but the focus is more on many-to-many commu- Providers in this space include VoIP provider nications rather than point-to-point. This Skype, Google with GoogleTalk and Microsoft is essentially a “walled-garden” approach with Windows Live Messenger, which offer in which operators facilitate collabo- PC-to-PC voice services along with instant 36 ration services that will appeal to users messaging and chat. With over 370 million and enterprises with a preference for the registered users worldwide, Skype has, in a more secure and reliable communications matter of five years, come close to creating a 37 environment traditionally provided by telecoms. truly global telecom service. While Skype’s level of growth is impressive, there remains Gated Communities include both fixed (online) some skepticism about the ability of these and mobile social networking. It is our view, types of new entrants to provide the high however, that walled-garden social networking quality of service required to support profes- sites are unlikely to be successful as the sional, error-free business communications. majority of consumers have demonstrated a 9 The changing face of communication
  12. 12. Mobile social networking preference for open social networking sites. such services into their telecom environments. Telecom companies do have a window of For example in October 2008, Telefonica provides a short-term opportunity in this model, however, by enabling signed a global agreement with Facebook opportunity to increase mobile social networking on existing mobile allowing it to integrate access to Facebook’s use of SMS, MMS and network architectures, which, for the most part, mobile service and applications from all of even voice traffic. remain closed platforms. Developments in Telefonica’s mobile portals. 43 smartphones and the mobile Internet, however, will gradually blur the advantage of mobile Enterprise-level collaboration has significant exclusivity. Forecasters estimate that by 2012, potential in this “Gated Communities” space. mobile social networking will represent a Many governments and corporations are market opportunity of between US$22.5 and redefining their communication needs beyond US$52 billion. 39 voice telephony and e-mail, and are looking to productively employ Web-based collabo- Recent studies have revealed that more than ration tools such as blogs, wikis and social 40 percent of iPhone users in the United networking to help transform their organi- States, Germany, France and the United zations by achieving greater coordination 40 Kingdom are visiting social networking sites. and communication with their customers, In South Korea, a mobile user visits Cyworld employees and partners (see Figure 5). 41 on average 11 times per day. The mobile service of the Japanese social network Mixi, While traditional telecom companies are which started as an online site, has turned often perceived as conduits of information, out to be hugely successful with mobile page the opportunity exists for them to serve views already outnumbering online page enterprises – and governments – with a views. 42 broader set of innovative communication solutions that encompass collaboration in A number of traditional communication service a secure, reliable environment with agreed providers have formed partnerships with open service level guarantees. social networking providers to incorporate FIGURE 5. Businesses and organizations are leveraging social network applications to improve collaboration with customers, employees and partners. Increase collaboration 69% Raise awareness of “what we know” 56% Increase agility/responsiveness 56% Faster communication 55% Increase innovation and reduce time to market 39% Reduction of IT costs 36% Accelerate brokering of people 21% Source: AIIM Market IQ: Enterprise 2.0, Agile, Emergent & Integrated, March 2008. 10 IBM Global Business Services
  13. 13. Shared Social Spaces have Shared Social Spaces and are contributing to their slowing growth. Shared Social Spaces facilitate collaboration Over the long run, they have the potential to the potential to become on the open Internet. The main providers generate reasonable revenue streams from fully-integrated, end-to-end in this space are OTT applications such as advertising and other sources as dollars begin communication platforms. MySpace, Bebo, YouTube and Facebook. But to follow “eyeballs.” also virtual worlds such as Second Life belong to this domain and have integrated voice and Still, telecom providers need to care about text-based communication capabilities to Shared Social Spaces and, especially, OTT connect to friends, even from mobile phones. 44 applications that put additional strain on already-burdened network infrastructure, A number of key players in the “Open and particularly with the rapid increase in video Free” model are also offering services in content sharing and distribution. According this space, such as Google with its social to a BBC News report, the United Kingdom 45 network Orkut. Other companies entering communications regulator Ofcom estimates the fray include Microsoft with investments these types of OTT services will impose in Facebook, and Nokia with its OVI/Share additional £830m (US$1.4 billion) in bandwidth 46 platform. As many of these players integrate costs on UK Internet service providers (see telephony services, they have the potential to sidebar, Free OTT services cost network 47 become fully integrated, end-to-end communi- providers). cation platforms. It is projected that by 2012, the sum of all While there has been significant growth in forms of online video, including TV, VoD, social networking, we believe the revenue Internet and peer-to-peer (P2P), will account model remains unproven. Regardless, these for nearly 90 percent of all consumer Internet media are drawing attention away from traffic, a large portion of which will flow through 48 traditional communication service providers OTT applications (see Figure 6). FIGURE 6. Global consumer Internet traffic forecast, 2006–2012. CAGR 2007-2012 20,000 Internet video to TV 104% 16,000 Internet video to PC 57% Petabyte/month VoIP 24% Video communicaions 44% 10,000 Gaming 30% P2P 31% 6,000 Web//data 34% 0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Global consumer Internet traffic forecast, 2006 - 2012. 11 The changing face of communication
  14. 14. Massive growth of OTT The dramatic increase in OTT traffic alters availability and congestion during peak usage the equation for telecom operators and will periods and reduces the need for increasing traffic is driving costs up likely force them to develop new business core network capacity. Telecom operators for Telcos, forcing them to and revenue models. However the massive can pass the cost of CDN investments on to develop new business and investment required to satisfy consumer customers through higher or differentiated revenue models. appetites for rich content is likely to broadband fees and/or reaching agreements exacerbate the tension between network with CDN providers to jointly fund these providers and OTT providers. additional costs (see Figure 7). To deal with over-burdening OTT traffic, Free OTT services costly for network telecom operators have options that include providers filtering or blocking OTT traffic, but this is The launch of BBC’s iPlayer Internet TV service in unsustainable in many jurisdictions as it December 2007, an OTT service based on a P2P violates net-neutrality principles. Another architecture, created a bandwidth capacity crunch option is to use Content Delivery Network for a number of Internet service providers (ISP). (CDN) technology to relieve the load over For the UK ISP PlusNet, there was a 72 percent the backbone and the Telcos’ servers. By increase in the number of customers using more caching replicas of content and applications than 250 megabytes of streaming video per month at multiple locations in the network, the CDN and 100 percent growth in those using more 49 allows telecom operators to distribute content than 1 gigabyte. The cost for PlusNet to carry and applications closer to the end user and to this OTT service increased by more than 200 realize more effective P2P traffic routing. This percent per month, and was not recoverable from 50 overcomes issues such as network bandwidth customers. FIGURE 7. New business models to capture value from OTT traffic. End customer Telco/ISP access Subscriptions Pay per use AT&T Limelight Access networks $ Wireless and fixed Akamai Internet access providers CDN $ Peering charges for Telco Typically no charge access to content environment Peering/CoLo CDN charges to shift Internet core Facebook $ Large network and content around CDN Global networks youTube cache of a variety of transporting Internet myspace content traffic iTunes Charges for amount Possibly charges for of data cached bandwidth used OTT providers Content, media and applications Variety of transactions/ Per click or basic Internet core models OTT providers ad revenue End customer Advertisers Source: IBM Institute for Business Value. 12 IBM Global Business Services
  15. 15. Over the long-term, the Toward an open and collaborative percent in 2000 (see Figure 8). In the United 52 largest share of incremental future Kingdom, BT’s share of voice call minutes Emerging communication models are declined from 62 percent in 2000 to less than communication time will 53 fragmenting audiences and shifting customers 50 percent in 2006. trend toward new providers away from traditional telecom providers. While and models. At the same time, UK adults spend an average traditional providers continue to claim the of 3 hours a week on social networks, with largest number of subscribers, it is the users 6 percent of the population engaging for of social networking sites and open Internet 54 11 hours. Not surprisingly, teenagers are communication services that are growing at spending significantly more hours on social significantly faster rates, even as take-up of networking than other segments of the traditional services accelerates in emerging 55 population. As many more people use social economies. YouTube and Facebook, for networking – and for potentially increasing example, claim the third- and fourth-highest 51 periods of time – traditional providers’ share of share of global online minutes respectively. overall communication minutes will continue In France, user time spent on Telco services in to decline and long-term revenues are likely 2005 constituted only 53 percent of the total to fall as a result of increased competition and time spent on communication, down from 95 greater availability of lower cost alternatives. FIGURE 8. Communication has gradually been shifting toward Web-based applications, decreasing Telcos’ share in communication services. Estimated time spent on communication BT market share for fixed voice per person in France per week call volumes 2 hrs 23 mins 4 hrs 25 mins 2% 5% 14.5% 16.7% 30% 20.9% Online IM 24.8% 18% Online 28.2% 10% players players 10.1% 47% 9.4% 13.4% 8.7% 13.5% 9% Direct 15% e-mail 14.3% 14.6% Telcos 14.9% Cable 8% SMS 95% 75% 21% Wireless voice 62.1% 59.7% Telcos 55.4% 51.9% 48% BT 53% 26% Wireline (ind. VoIP) 2000 2005 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Source: Left chart: iDate:”Telecom 2.0: emerging usage and implication for carriers, June 2006: Capgemini, Telecom versus Online, August, 2007. Right chart: OfCom: Communications Market report, August, 2007. 13 The changing face of communication
  16. 16. Although there is a substantial migration from 2. Partner with, or acquire, existing social the traditional communication model to the networking players to proactively develop alternative Shared Social Spaces model, in the capabilities required for success, the short-term, all four models will co-exist. including experimenting with new revenue- Traditional models will continue to be attractive generating services. For example, Vodafone’s to those who place a premium on reliability acquisition of Zyb – the social networking and quality of service, including corporations and online management tool for backing and enterprises. But, over the long-term, the up and sharing contact and calendar largest share of incremental communication information – demonstrates how a mobile time will trend toward new providers and operator can extend social networking models. from PCs to the mobile device with a view toward increasing data services revenue Recommendations and next steps while delivering a much richer and unified The social networking phenomenon arose communication experience. 57 from significant shifts in communication, 3. Enable other participants in the value chain driven by the widespread growth of Internet – including advertisers, virtual operators connectivity and the emergence of interactive and application developers – to benefit online communication tools. These shifts have from telecom capabilities such as location, been redefining a century-old industry, with presence, text/multimedia messaging the result that the advantages enjoyed by services, and conference calling, while traditional communication service providers providing access to customer analytics to are beginning to wane. Telcos can, however, help enhance services and offerings. remain relevant in the face of changing user sentiments and demands if they take bold 4. Bolster capability to deliver fully integrated steps to adapt to this evolving marketplace. enterprise communication services that combine voice, Internet-based communi- Over the short to medium term, telecom cation and collaborative communication providers should focus on the following to lay models. Enterprise spending on Web 2.0 the foundation for a more open and collab- collaboration technologies is forecast to orative future: grow to US$4.6 billion globally by 2013, 1. Exploit opportunities in the Gated with social networking as the top spending 58 Communities by enabling mobile social category. Partnerships with enterprise networking in current “closed” networks to communication providers, software vendors capture a share of potential revenues, which and/or system integrators can be an efficient are forecast to reach between US$22 billion path to delivering these services. 56 and US$52 billion by 2012. 14 IBM Global Business Services
  17. 17. 5. Work more closely with CDN and/or OTT 2. Create more compelling Gated Communities providers to reduce the cost of delivering by delivering a cross-platform, fully inte- high bandwidth content (e.g. video, music) grated communication and collaboration in response to increasing demands for experience across mobile, fixed and IPTV such services. This can be achieved services. This will enable Telcos to stem their through network and computing infra- loss-of-share of communication time, as well structure optimization techniques such as as reduce churn, by offering a differentiated, traffic shaping, use of faster-than-realtime premium-value service that promises greater progressive downloads in place of realtime flexibility, ease-of-use and a consistent streaming, and caching of content close to experience on any communication platform, 59 the edge of the network using CDNs. Such anytime, anywhere. approaches can potentially lead to new business models that capture more value The nature and medium of communications from this increasing OTT traffic, enabling are being rapidly altered by the move of users an enhanced user experience through to environments that offer less expensive – improved quality of service and innovative but more expressive – capabilities to facilitate service partnerships that take advantage of both one-to-one and group communica- this optimized environment. tions with more people than ever before. These shifts are creating a new communi- Over the long-term, as communications cation services ecosystem that will require transition to Shared Social Spaces, telecom significant and bold changes by existing providers should: providers if they wish to remain an integral 1. Broaden the scope of their traditional tele- part of a changing landscape. The journey will communications business to more actively not be without risks, but the option of doing encompass both point-to-point communi- nothing is a luxury few can afford. Revenues cations and many-to-many collaborative from traditional services continue to decline, communication models, and align their and highly resourceful Internet information organizations and industry partnerships providers and IT companies are entering this accordingly. This has strategic and trans- space to accommodate the collaborative, formational implications for the business, many-to-many services that are claiming a impacting areas such as product and significantly larger share of the overall commu- services offerings, skills, platforms, revenue nications marketplace. models and markets, among others. 15 The changing face of communication
  18. 18. About the authors Zygmunt Lozinski is the IBM technical leader Rob van den Dam is the telecommunica- for the telecom industry in Europe. His focus tions leader at the IBM Institute for Business is on the application of software technology Value for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. to the next generation network, the definition In this role he develops industry outlooks of open APIs for the network, implementation and business value realization studies for of open APIs using Web services and Java the telecom sector. He has more than 15 in service delivery platforms, and the use of years experience of working in telecom- Web 2.0, including linking mobile networks to munications. Rob has written or co-written Facebook and Second Life. His most recent numerous papers and articles on telecom- work is on the implications of cloud computing munications and media, including “Fighting for telecom providers. He can be contacted at for Viewers – IPTV versus Internet TV.” “A Future in Content(ion),” “Primetime for Mobile Executive sponsors and contributing editors Television,” “Cash, Credit, or Phone” and Chris Pearson, Partner and Global Telecom “Mobile Advertising, Ads on the Move.” He can Industry Leader, IBM Global Business Services be contacted at Mike Hill, General Manager, Global Ekow Nelson leads strategic thought Telecommunications Industry, IBM leadership for telecommunications, media & Nick Gurney, Partner and Communications entertainment and utilities at the IBM Institute Sector Leader Asia Pacific, IBM Global for Business Value. A management and Business Services information technology consultant for over 20 years, Ekow has worked in a range of advisory Daniel W. Latimore, Executive Director, Institute and implementation roles, from strategy and for Business Value, IBM Global Business business development to systems integration Services and project management for major telecom- Contributors munications and media organizations. He We would like to thank all those who provided, is author of numerous papers and articles guidance and assistance in the development in telecommunications including “Telecom of this paper, in particular Geoff Parkins, switches emphasis,” “A Future in Content(ion)” Joseph Ziskin, Stephen Chey, Thomas Ross, and “The Innovation Paradox in the Telecom Paul Reilly, Matthew Stankey, Andreas Neus, Industry,” published both by IBM and external Karen Feldman and executives of companies publications including The Annual Review who agreed to be interviewed for this paper. of Communications and the Journal of Telecommunications Management. He can be About IBM Global Business Services contacted at With business experts in more than 170 countries, IBM Global Business Services provides clients with deep business process and industry expertise across 17 industries, using innovation to identify, create and deliver value faster. We draw on the full breadth of IBM capabilities, standing behind our advice to help clients implement solutions designed to deliver business outcomes with far-reaching impact and sustainable results. 16 IBM Global Business Services
  19. 19. References 10 Brown, Erika. “MySpace Says: Skype Me.” 1 IBM Institute for Business Value Analysis Forbes. based on information from the Alexa, the skype-myspace-internet-technology-cz_ Web Information Company, website. http:// eb_1016skype_print.html 11 Ibid. 2 Institute for Business Value analysis based 12 “Bebo launches ‘Open Media.’” Bebo in on information from Comscore, the global the News. Internet information provider. jsp?PressPageId=5037676804 3 “Social Networking Explodes Worldwide 13 “Apple to sell music through Bebo network.” as Sites Increase their Focus on Cultural Financial Times. June 12, 2007 http://www. . Relevance.” comScore. August 12, 2008. 000b5df10621.html asp?press=2396 14 “Neighborhoods.” eBay. http://neighbor- 4 “Internet Users worldwide by region, 2007-2012.” eMarketer. January 2008. http:// 15 ”Promoting a thirst for Sprite in teenage cellphone users. The New York Times. June 5 Schonfeld, Erick. “Cyworld ready to attack 7 2007 ; “Pink Victoria’s Secret. Facebook; , , MySpace.” Business 2.0 Magazine. “Webkinz, Come in and Play.” Webkinz. CNN. July 27 2006. http://money.cnn. , com/2006/07/27/technology/cyworld0727 . 16 Holtz, Shel. “GMnext: A preview of corporate biz2/index.htm communications in the social media era.” 6 Li, Charlene. “How Consumers use Social January 3, 2008. Networks.” Forrester Research, Inc. June 21, php/gmnext_a_preview_of_corporate_ 2007 . communications_in_the_social_media_era/ 7 Institute for Business Value analysis based 17 Hoover, J. Nicholas. “Motorola’s IT on information from comScore, the global Department Takes on Enterprise 2.0.” Internet information provider, June 2008 Intelligent Enterprise. June 20, 2007 http:// . 8 eMarketer: “Social Networking Marketing: Ad spending and usage.” eMarketer. ml;jsessionid=A3SDGIXSOTXI4QSNDLPSKH December 2007; “eMarketer lowers Social SCJUNN2JVN?articleID=199905898 Network ad spending estimate” eMarketer. . 18 Ibid. May 20, 2008, 19 “Chinese Social Network site Article.aspx?id=1006321 beats Facebook almost 4:1 revenue 9 Ibid. wise.” March 28, 2008, chinese-social-networking-site-qqcom- beats-facebook-almost-41-revenue-wise/ 17 The changing face of communication
  20. 20. 20 33 ”Earthlink mobile venture rename Helio.” “Average advertised broadband download October 25, 2005, http://news. speed, by country, Mbit/s, Oct. 2007.” Organisation for Economic Co-operation renamed-Helio/2100-1039_3-5914186.html and Development. 21 Gray, Tim. “Vodafone, MySpace Team on broadband 34 Mobile Social Networking.” E-Commerce Ibid Times. February 7 2007 http://www. , . 35 “Hahn, William L. and Nhat Pham. “Dataquest Insight: Global Telecommunications Market html?welcome=1211232337 Take.” Gartner, Inc. July 22, 2008. 22 Ibid. 36 “What’s New on Google Talk?” available at , 23 IBM Institute for Business Value analysis.; 24 “Vodafone Connect to Friends.” Mobile Tech Windows Live Messenger features over News. September 2008. available at 25 features Ibid. 37 26 Isenmann, Thomas R. “Skype.” Harvard Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Business School case study. March 2006. Power of Organizing Without Organizations. 38 Penguin Press. February 28, 2008. “3 Skypephone Delivers Free Skype to 27 Skype Mobile Calls and Instant Messages at Rainie, Lee. “Digital Natives Invade the Touch of a Button.” October the Workplace.” PewResearchCenter 29, 2007 . Publications. September 28, 2006. skypephone_delivers_free_sky.html 28 Boyd, Danah. “Socializing digitally.” Thinker’s 39 “Mobile Social Networking Revenues Could corner. Reach US$52 Billion by 2012.” Cellular-news. VodafoneReceiver.pdf. February 11, 2008; “Mobile Web 2.0 revenues 29 “IBM Consumer Survey shows decline of TV to reach $22.4bn by 2013, driven by User as primary media device.” August 22, 2007. Generated Content and Social Networking.” IBM Institute for Business Value. Juniper Research press release. May 14, 30 Ibid. 2008. 31 pressrelease.php?pr=91 IBM Institute for Business Value analysis; 40 “Entertainment and Media Outlook “iPhone hype holds up.” M:Metrics. March 2008—2012.” PricewaterhouseCoopers. 2008. 2008; Broadband Penetration. OECD.www. PressRelease.aspx?article=20080318- iphonehype 41 32 “World Broadband Subscriber Forecast.” November 14, In-Stat. October 2008. 2007. catalog/Ccatalogue.asp?id=288 18 IBM Global Business Services