CTIA Special Conference examines big data analytics for communication carriers


The rapidly growing field of data analysis tools and platforms designed for telecom and mobile carriers was the focus of the Telecom Analytics Conerence, a partner event held at CTIA Wireless 2013 Convention and Expo. The event, presented by RCR Wireless News in collaboration with Interwork Media,  featured the leading minds at work in the telecom analytics community representing carriers, analytics solutions providers, investment experts, handset manufacturers and more.

Topics of dialogue covered a wide range of analytics subsets as well, and featured information exchange focused on network and operational data, insights from subscriber data, challenges to the carrier enterprise in mining data from internal silos, and more. Audience members were able to hear a cross-section of industry analytics experts, including data scientist Dr. Mikael Weigelt of T-Mobile; Bill Eldredge of Nokia; Kevin SooHoo of Sprint as well as leading solutions providers from SAP Mobile, Link Analytics, comScore, Deloitte, InfoBright and Neustar.

On one point, all speakers from the event agreed: big data is not the issue; mobile carriers understand the goldmine of network and subscriber data that runs across their networks. Analytics is the value, and what is most required are the people, processes, solutions, toolsets to derive new value for carriers and ecosystem partners alike.

The theme of the event was summed up best by Dr. Will Hakes, CEO of Link Analytics, who asserted that Telecom Analytics is not just another activity that takes place within the carrier enterprise. Analytics requires an entirely new strategy, new thinking, new toolsets and finally a new management focus that allows carriers to mine the data from across all sections of the company.

Session Highlights in Order of Appearance:

comScore’s SVP of Global Telecom Solutions Brian Jurutka kicked off the conference by discussing how his company, one of the leaders in web analytics measurement, has leveraged its experience and tools to derive new insights from mobile subscriber data to add value to the Mobile Network Operator in its mission to improve the customer experience.

Link Analytics Co-founder and CEO Dr. Will Hakes presents what is arguably the most comprehensive portrait of where the telecom industry exists today in the field of big data and telecom analytics. Analytics, Dr. Hakes asserts, will emerge as a business unit as influential and important as the IT department did decades ago.

The challenges in developing a Customer Analytics Modernization program and the role data science plays in shaping a new horizon of business requirements is the subject of this Executive Interview between Frank J. Bernhard, Director, Strategy & Analytics Practice at Deloitte Consulting, LLP and Dr. Mikael Weigelt, Director of Operational Insights at T-Mobile USA.

Don DeLoach, CEO of Infobright, shifts the telecom analytics conversation in this session to mining operational data. Mr. DeLoach made clear that whether analyzing CDR trends, call-quality data, traffic patterns, network performance, capacity planning or fraud detection, telecom companies need an efficient way to analyze this data in order to improve QoS, uncover unseen revenue streams and reduce churn.

SAP Mobile CEO John Sims unveils an entirely new service, making it possible for research companies, media companies and brands to utilize the rich trove of consumer behavior, insights and market intelligence made available from mobile network operators and SAP Mobile.

A highly practical and insightful discussion of how marketers and partners can actually access and make actionable mobile data is the subject of this session. Lisa Peterson of Neustar is joined by Dr. Weigelt of T-Mobile, representing the internal hurdles of the carrier enterprise, along with Sean Groer of Link Analytics and Jack Philbin of Vibes, a leading mobile marketing solutions firm. The panel focused not on visionary statements and projections, but instead a realistic assessment of how to begin pilot programs with carriers to establish value for improved marketing and commerce from subscriber data.

A revealing look into the practices of big data and telecom analytics in the laboratory environment is supplied in this presentation by Kevin SooHoo of Sprint’s Analytics Labs. Kevin’s work reiterates to carriers and partners alike: what is required for a fully effective telecom analytics strategy is more than just a move to Hadoop or another data platform.

Nokia’s senior manager of data assets Bill Eldredge illuminates the path and experience Nokia faced in deploying big data technologies whose mission is to enable the subscribers to benefit from many contextually rich mobile experiences.

Wrapping up the conference and focusing on telecom analytics vendors and their growth and role in the industry as a whole, James Henry of Bank Street Capital Partners is joined by Dave Barford of Gilead Group and Michael Morgenstern of CSMG Global. The panel discussed latest analytics acquisitions, as well as the likely outcome of investments in the sector in a short-term and mid-term window.

About Author

Jeff Mucci

CEO and Editorial Director
Jeff Mucci is CEO and Editorial Director of RCR Wireless News. He is also the Managing Partner, Arden Operating Company, owner of RCR Wireless News, which was acquired from Crain Communications in 2009, and Telecomcareers, a leading industry job board founded in 1999.Over the past 20 years Jeff has been involved in many facets of running day-to-day operations for telecom, wireless, commercial real estate and energy services companies. He has raised over $300 million of debt and equity for companies in which he has been involved. Previous roles include Chairman and CEO of ConnectSouth, a regional DSL company: President of a facilities based CLEC; SVP Sales and Marketing for Clearwire; and Director of a nationwide BLEC representing over 100 million square feet of commercial real estate,Contact Jeff by email jmucci@rcrwireless.com or by phone at 512 431 8912.