SDP Asia was held in Singapore 26th-29th November 2007. It’s the 2nd such event Informa has run, and presented a chance to test out some of the ideas I’ve been developing within the US and European markets around the Application Network Interface and its role within the SDP (Service Delivery Platform). SDP is a broad and overused term, it covers both communications and content based service creation and delivery, the BOSS (Back Office and Operational Support Systems) for service definition and integration, and the Application Network Interface i.e. how network capabilities are exposed to internal, 3rd party and internet-based applications. Within the conference all aspects of the SDP were covered.
The main take-away is diversity amongst operators; diversity in implementation and in market situation which leads to diversity in approach. Examining a few cases:
Bharti Airtel has taken a hosted approach with IBM. What impressed me was both the depth and breath of their vision: covering quad play, a unique internet strategy, and mining opportunities specific to the Indian market, that is they are well down the road on how to use the ANI to expose capabilities to other businesses in India.
SingTel focused upon its efforts in creating an Asia-wide developer ecosystem, with applications that work on all terminals, whether PC, mobile, or IPTV STB (Set Top Box); and leveraging Web / Voice 2.0 principles.
Globe of the Philippines has taken a pragmatic approach focused upon revenue leakage for prepaid content services, putting in place components that can grow into a broader SDP.
AIS in Thailand, has a relatively unique position, SMS charges are roughly twice that of calling, so most people call not text. As a result they’ve focused upon GPRS traffic; generally customers access the free content on their portal, so most of the revenue is for data traffic not content. ODP has improved traffic revenues by about 15%. But where they are making significant gains is in content provider direct marketed content, it not only makes up the majority of their data revenue, but is also the most rapidly growing segment. Hence they focus upon marketing content with content providers rather than service delivery.
For most operators I talked with at the event there is general agreement that the SDP is interesting, it definitely does not receive the negative reaction of IMS, but there is a lack of a clear business case. Hence the focus is upon incremental services and the silos required to support those services. I’ve addressed this dichotomy in previous postings to this weblog. The thing that Bharti Airtel and SingTel have on their side is scale and also a multi-year view on how the customers’ experiences will evolve. This enables them to firstly prioritize which bits of the SDP are important and as a result create a structured yet agile path to the deployment of an SDP.
Nice overview of SDP in Asia. I have noticed operators look at SDP on another dimension- Core Network SDP and Value Added Service (VAS)SDP. VAS SDP has come to include triple play services for sure and quad play going forward.