As telecom operators look forward to reducing their CapEx and OpEx, while at the same time expand their networks to cater to the growing demands of customers – cloud and virtualisation hold tremendous potential in this direction.
This is where Alepo is positioning its core network and IT software solutions to deliver that much needed NFV and cloud edge to a telecom network today.
Geeta Umamaheswaran, Country Head-India, Alepo Technologies Pvt Limited speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the way Alepo is looking at pushing future-proof innovations in the OSS / BSS space.
What are some of the innovations in the domain of OSS/BSS that can drive profitability for operators in India?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: The telecom market in India is evolving very fast. If you look at the Indian telecom market today, most of the telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone have already launched their LTE services in the country and Reliance Jio is planning to launch commercial LTE services by the end of 2016.
Moreover, the dream projects of the Government of India like the smart city project and Digital India campaign also offers huge business opportunity for the CSPs. This requires the CSPs to transform their businesses and optimize their network performance with a view to service creation and monetization of the latest data services.
With the decline in revenue from voice and text messaging services, communications service providers have realized that data is the clear path forward. Alepo recognizes this and has been dedicated to the successful delivery and monetization of next-generation data services since we started over a decade ago.
With Alepo data monetization solution, operators can drive up data revenues by offering services and pricing models that appeal to consumers’ actual needs and lifestyles.
With 65% of the Indian population being below 35 years, the demand for high speed data with innovative and personalized data offers is on the rise. With Alepo’s data monetization solution, operators can win over this customer segment with contextual data offers based on fast-moving mobile trends.
This enables operators to create targeted offers that resonate with Millennials’ digital lifestyles without infringing upon the operators’ other customer segments and traditional postpaid revenues.
Service providers can also launch advanced data offers like Data for the whole family with full parental control. Bandwidth on Demand, International Data Roaming Passes, Time and Location based services, Data Rollover, Data Gifting, and many more services which resonates with the customer demands and lifestyle,
In close collaboration with our CSP clients, we are continuously making the most emerging and disruptive business use cases a reality – use cases like context-aware and location-based data offers, OTT partnerships, and many more.
How do you plan to deal with the competition from the big existing players?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: At Alepo, we are aware of the competition but we often go head-to-head with larger competitors and win. Alepo has been making in-roads not only because of our vast portfolio of award winning solutions and services but also because of our strong customer focus. At Alepo, customer success is central to everything that we do. With constant innovation and deep market focus, we enable our customers to be competitive, responsive, and ready to be market leaders.
How has your progress been with Indian operators? Are you in touch with them and how what has been the response?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Yes, we are in touch with major telecom operators in the country and the feedback has been very encouraging and positive. We at Alepo, realize that revenue from traditional services like voice and SMS is declining and there is a huge increase in the data usage.
With the launch of the LTE services, CSPs are looking to monetize data services to increase their revenue. Alepo enables CSPs to tap this market, to differentiate data services, gain market share, and build a brand that magnetizes customers. Alepo’s Data Charging solution with its flexibility, rapid service creation environment and focus on data monetization makes it possible to generate ROI from day one.
India is mostly a pre-paid market and we hear that you have a data monetization that is specifically designed to cater to this segment. Can you tell us about that?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: India is primarily a prepaid market. Keeping that in mind Alepo offers a complete, carrier-grade solution for data monetization that enables mobile network operators to seize on the emerging revenue opportunities in the prepaid mobile data market.
With Alepo, CSPs can readily introduce or evolve their prepaid mobile data business with market-ready use cases, pay as you go, recharge rewards and data rollover, location-based service, shared family data packs, and so much more.
Alepo’s Prepaid Data Charging solution consists of all of the functionality and components needed to create a successful prepaid mobile data business model. It combines Alepo’s advanced policy and charging control ecosystem, rapid service creation environment, and sophisticated subscriber tools to deliver end-to-end functionality and rich customer experiences.
From its pre-built library of constantly evolving use cases to its drag-and-drop service designer to an award-winning mobile app purchase experience, Alepo’s solution is one of the most advanced and sophisticated prepaid data charging solutions on the market. With Alepo solution, CSPs not only get the competitive edge but also enables them to drive up their revenue, ARPU, and market share.
According to you, what are the major challenges being faced by Indian operators and how would your solution help them to combat these challenges?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Alepo recently conducted a survey amongst selected group of professionals from all the tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 MNOs across the Asia-Pacific region. The survey suggested that the traditional revenue models are not working anymore. With data usage on the rise, CSPs are being forced to re-look into their existing framework and proactively seek new strategies and business models to overcome that. Moreover, the survey suggests that while just over half of respondents have working partnership agreements with OTT providers today, nearly all expressed interest or intent in forming OTT partnerships.
The reason for not being able to implement these new strategies is because the operators have rather poor or outdated policy and charging control infrastructure that can’t adapt to meet the new realities of today’s dynamic telecom markets.
With a complete, carrier-grade data monetization ecosystem, Alepo enables mobile network operators to better monetize their 3G and 4G mobile data networks, partner with third-party providers, push new offers to customers in a modern mobile app, and much more.
How do you envision the delivery of OSS on cloud and virtualized platforms?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Cloud and NFV are driven by operators’ desire to reduce costs and complexity of running their networks. We’re seeing the emergence of NFV and it’s a step in the right direction.
It provides a glimmer of hope, showing great potential for outcomes that will afford network operators the leverage they need to drive innovation and profits in today’s data-driven world.
It is a paradigm shift in how network operators design, build, manage, and monetize their networks and data centers.
Alepo’s core network and IT software solutions are NFV / cloud-ready and employs modern and open APIs for the most flexible and robust performance in any best-of-breeds network. Alepo has been deploying its core network elements as virtualized network functions (VNFs) in Tier 1 operator production networks for many years, and today, Alepo is established as an experienced and successful technology provider in this space.
A software pure player, Alepo has the core skills, proven experience, and know-how to deploy IT software solution in a virtualized or private cloud network environment.
You have experience of working in emerging markets, but India is a sticky wicket. Will the experience help you?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Yes. We have spent over a decade supporting leading operators in emerging markets like Orange, Digicel, and throughout APAC. We totally understand the pressures of highly competitive, largely prepaid emerging markets.
While every market is different, our experience of working in the emerging markets will surely come handy especially at a time when most of the telecom operators in India are migrating to LTE. Alepo’s LTE solution provides an end-to-end EPC solution for greenfield providers and ensures a smooth transition for providers already in the market with existing 4G technologies, such as WiMAX or 3G providers.
With Alepo’s portfolio of flexible and standards-compliant network elements, service providers can easily and gradually upgrade to LTE at any time without costly or risky changes to the core network. Alepo’s LTE solutions enable service providers to manage network traffic and deliver new value-added services while reducing backhaul and costs.
India is an evolving market, how do you envision your role in this evolution?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Indian telecom market is evolving from just rolling voice services to moving to 3G and now 4G LTE. The country is all set to witness the migration to LTE-A and 5G as well. The best thing about Alepo is that we are continuously innovating our products and solutions according to the needs and demands of the consumers.
Alepo has its roadmap planned for the Indian market needs. Alepo solutions will enable CSPs in India to accelerate revenue and market share, deliver best-in-class performance, and enhance the customer experience on fixed and mobile broadband networks.
How long have you been running your operations from India? Do you have offices in any other parts of the world?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Alepo has been in India since a decade. It has its Development, SI and Support centres in Mumbai and Pune. It is headquartered in Austin, Texas with sales and marketing offices also in Europe and Latin America,
Tell us about your investment plans in India and what is the workforce strength in India?
Geeta Umamaheswaran: Alepo has huge investment plans in India. With Government initiatives like Digital India and smart city to communication service providers migrating to LTE we see huge business potential in India.
Alepo’s focus is to unlock revenue streams for the service providers through its proven market ready solutions. Alepo has a strength of more than 200 right now and is growing.