As we get ready to bid farewell to 2007 and look ahead to 2008, I posed several questions to some of the leading companies in the IP Communications space, among them Comverse (News - Alert). Erik Larsson, Vice President of Marketing for Comverse Converged IP Communications responded with a brief overview of the company’s high-points for 2007 as well as a list of what to watch for in 2008.
GG: As you look back at 2007, how would you describe Comverse's experience over the past 12 months?
EL: 2007 was a good year for us. We realized good momentum with regard to the IPTV market in all geographies; we saw IP telephony increasingly bundled with IPTV (News - Alert) to form Triple Play service offerings and we were buoyed by Triple Play essentially going mainstream across Western Europe, lead by massive deployments in France and Italy.
GG: What were some of the highlights of 2007?
The launch of Comverse’s MyCall Converged Communications, an IMS-compliant fixed and mobile communication solution for the delivery of seamless consumer telephony and messaging services over fixed broadband and mobile networks. By integrating MyCall, service providers can develop “three-screen” strategies and offer truly integrated converged communication services customized to consumer lifestyles and delivered over multiple access networks.
Several triple play wins.
One customer leveraged MyCall Converged Communications to become a quad play provider by adding mobile services to its triple play offering to several hundred thousand users, including the handover of WiFi to GSM.
Strong interest for fixed-mobile convergent solutions.
Comverse has become a successful systems integrator in the convergence realm. We have pulled together IPTV, mobility and messaging with an application set that enables IPTV providers to integrate telephony onto the TV, in the form of caller ID, user address books, presence capabilities and more, to add to a video offering.
GG: What can our readers expect to see from Comverse in 2008?
EL: Among the things people can expect to see from Comverse in 2008 is an evolution of our multi-play solutions, with stronger FMC capabilities as well as a continued emphasis on fast time-to-revenue for operators.
GG: Are you planning any new product rollouts early in the year?
EL: Yes, watch this space!
GG: What are some of the industry trends that you’ve been keeping an eye on and what effect will they have on Comverse's roadmap as we head into 2008?
EL: Among the areas we’re exploring is how to extend triple play into multi-play bundles by adding mobility. This poses the question of how to combine (personal) mobile phone services with (shared) family services such as landline phone and TV. We are looking at solutions, which combine IP communication technology with the natural usage patterns of different devices (family phone, TV, cell phone, PC); this allows operators to go beyond price discounts and create multi-play bundles which both increase ARPU and reduce churn.
We’re also looking at IMS as a foundation for profitable multi-play services, which of course includes synergy between fixed and mobile messaging and communication and service continuity across screens: cell phone, PC & TV.
Lastly, we’re exploring the effect of femtocell cellular indoor base stations on multi-play services. We are looking at new SIP-based approaches for better broadband/wireless convergence in the home.