Posted by: kenwbudd | April 22, 2011

Thought Leader Interview: Didier Lombard

A formidable transformation is taking place in the global telecommunications industry. Over the past few years, the operating margins for many telecom companies have shrunk rapidly, as mobile phone service has overtaken fixed-line service, data traffic has outpaced voice traffic, and the old bread-and-butter phone service has become commoditized.

Meanwhile, global demand for data services has increased massively, especially with the emergence of video streaming and downloading on the Internet. This “data tsunami,” as it’s been called, has grown in intensity with the proliferation of data-enabled smartphones.

Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that the total volume of data circulating on mobile networks will grow from 0.09 exabytes (97 million gigabytes) per month in 2009 to 3.6 exabytes (3.9 billion gigabytes) in 2014, roughly doubling every year.

Even with new technologies for compressing data, the ability of mobile networks to absorb this traffic remains limited. The net result is a major challenge for telecommunications companies: finding the capital to build all the networks needed to handle this data while still maintaining the loyalty of customers and the goodwill of regulators, and fending off new Internet-based competitors such as Google, Skype, and Facebook.

The Thought Leader Interview: Didier Lombard

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