Newsletter- January 2012

Newsletter- January 2012
It’s 2012.

Instead of saying the same thing every year such as ‘Already?!’ and “WOW! Time really goes fast!”, I will say this year that time could not go any faster in 2011. It was dragging during the last quarter of 2011, as during this time things really move slow in the telecoms industry. The ‘network freeze’ period is really not productive at all in an already slow moving technology. We awaiting so many projects to be completed in 2012, we welcome the year with wide open arms. These projects will bring many changes in the South African Telecoms industry.

Over 2011, O-Tel Telecoms has experienced considerable growth. The change of strategy towards SIP Trunking and the introduction of the partner program for 1Cloud Hosted PBX Services have spun O-Tel’s vision around totally, forcing us to revise our long term strategy.

Service Changes

Needless to say that with ICASA’s upcoming inter-connect rate cut, making money on call rates just is not a sustainable business model anymore. Thankfully, O-Tel does not rely of this type of income, but many of our competitors do. Sadly, many of our older partners still do too, as that is what the O-Tel strategy was back in 2008 (LCR and low call rates). Our main focus and effort in 2011 was to promote and educate partners that the 1Cloud Hosted PBX service is certainly the way forward. Our 1Cloud partners turnover have overtaken SIP Trunk partners in October 2011. Surprisingly as we have signed on a good number of new SIP Trunk partners too.

A major change in strategy is the cancellation of all direct retail, SME and corporate services offering from O-Tel Telecoms. With the progress being made by it partners, we have decided to allocate all resources to partners only. Current retail/SME client accounts are being allocated to partners serving the area.

2012, Year of Fibre

What’s in store for 2012 then? Lots, I tell you. As an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, O-Tel has to keep its finger on the pulse of telecoms. With its close partnerships with companies around the world, O-Tel is kept ahead of the competition by having the latest in VoIP Technology. We’re also working on more stable backhaul connections. With our future ‘Triple Play’ service, Fibre is required for Internet breakout. O-Tel is well continuing negotiations with all local fibre companies to deploy fibre services. We have already deployed a few sites with Fibre, and the results are astounding! Our main focus this year will be to move most of our ADSL clients to a more stable fibre or copper backhaul infrastructure without paying much extra for the service.

Aim for the moon, land in the clouds

You’re hearing about Cloud Computing everywhere. Cloud Backup, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Cloud Collaboration and many more. Every major technology company out there is in it. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Intel, IBM and Yahoo are just some which come to mind.  

Monetizing the Cloud

You should know by now that O-Tel Telecoms is arguably the largest Licensed Cloud based Telecom Operator in South Africa. Our network runs from ‘zero to hero’ on Cloud. Our billing system, webservers, VoIP Switches, and Backhaul infrastructure, all were setup on Cloud Systems years ago.

Did you know that in a long term deal spanning over 10 years and worth billions of dollars, Hewlett Packard and Alcatel-Lucent formed an alliance to create the worlds most powerful ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service’ Cloud Based Data Center? Offering from storage to VoIP, the deal has already netted Bhati Airtel, one of the largest telco’s in the world who has 130 million subscribers serviced by this Cloud Infrastructure. Another Telco to power up its Next Generation Network is Informatica Espana. Together with HP, their new product has hit the market very quickly (one of the traits of Cloud IaaS) leaving its competitors trailing behind!

IBM’s Global Telecom Division Vice President, Craig Wilson commented in IBM’s promotional video: “Cloud Based Telecom services is estimated to hit a $89bn market by 2015. This is a terrific opportunity for service providers who are looking for an engine for growth.”

We at O-Tel are very optimistic about your future. Partnering with us is the best decision you’ve made, and we’ll ensure that you make much profit from the services we offer.  

Not just about cost anymore

Cloud Services is definitely a cost saver, but it also opens the doors for much more than cost saving. The multitude of Telecom Services made available by this technology will keep you innovating packages for a good few years.

Calling via web-browser, mobile phone and tablet seems to be topping the popularity list.

mVoIP

Acronym for Mobile Voice over Internet Protocol. mVoIP is definitely the technology set to establish itself in 2012. Do you remember the days when you were using Netscape to browse the internet? What happened to them when Internet Explorer was shipped with all MS Windows OS? How much market share has IE gained by this? Well, look at history repeating itself now. Mobile smart-phones is certainly the most popular device to access the internet at this time. It has built in browsers amongst many other applications which makes a smart-phone..errr….really ‘smart’?! Now that Microsoft has acquired the worlds largest VoIP company, Skype, guess what will ship freely in all Smart Phones with MS OS! Yes! VoIP calling from the smart-phone via Skype!

Like any other services, there will be many branches to this service. Skypes high latency and limited service to South Africa will only mean a rise in mVoIP using other software. Many are found free in the Application Markets. Others like Counterpath will offer considerably more features and performance, albeit at a low price.

VoIP over 3G (Vo3G) has increased on the O-Tel network. Comparing to December 2010’s 1.7% of devices connected were mobile devices. This has steadily increased to 3.4% in December 2011. We’re looking forward to the sub-$100 smart phones to be released in South Africa. This will fuel the growth of mVoIP.

New facilities for mVoIP software will be released during 2012 to accommodate the growth in this sector.

Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs)

2011 seen a huge market share take on by WISPs. Not only were they able to quickly deploy VoIP services to their clients, they were also able to increase their turnover, profitability and status of providing good and stable VoIP service via the O-Tel Network. We’re expecting further growth in 2012 as many WISPs have upgraded their backhaul infrastructure with our Fibre MPLS.

That’s it from me, I’m really looking forward to the challenges in 2012, particularly the hurdles we’re given to jump by ICASA and the incumbents. It’s a tough telecom world out there, I tell you! But that’s our headache. We keep it away from you so you can focus on growing your network and making more money!

May you have a joyous and blessed 2012!