Insights Blog

Robert Machin

Robert Machin is part of CSG International's Global Product Marketing team.

Robert Machin’s Recent Posts

MWC 2016: Is ‘Digital Transformation’ a Mirage?

Posted by Robert Machin on February 26, 2016 Topics: Mobile World Congress, Digital Transformation

So here we are again at the behemoth that is the GSMA Mobile World Congress – joining nearly 100,000 delegates and more than 2,000 other exhibitors, all packed into ten cavernous halls in Barcelona for four days in February.

During MWC, you expect – or at least hope - to hear the new insights, innovative ideas and front line intelligence that will help set your course for the next year. What’s often surprising, however, is what is not raised. No mention of ‘OTT’ at all, for example, in the Day One keynotes, traditionally the ‘marquee presentations.’ Very little talk of 'digital transformation.’ Little sign of the currently popular practise of loosely attaching 'digital' to anything telco, to indicate ‘new.’ 

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Can CSPs Still Beat Netflix?

Posted by Robert Machin on February 11, 2016 Topics: Digital Content, Customer Experience, DSP

The attraction of online video was well-established long before Netflix launched in 130 countries this January. Viewers have been buying video at an ever‐increasing rate, seduced by one-click access and easy consumption on smart devices, and by an ever-expanding range of providers and content. For subscribers and viewers, these are happy days. For Netflix’ competitors, perhaps less so.

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The Internet of Things: is the Game Worth the Candle?

Posted by Robert Machin on January 14, 2016 Topics: IoT

"Perhaps the Play is not worth the Candle" (Works, by Sir William Temple, circa 1690) 

Or to put it another way – will the cost of the game exceed any winnings that you could possibly walk away with?  Is it even worth sitting down to play?

As games go, the IoT is about as exciting a thing as we have seen in ICT since the advent of consumer mobile communications, and the industry is savouring the prospect of – at last! – a credible new source of revenue.

As with all innovations, however, it begs some questions.

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Content Will Always be King, but Context is Key 

Posted by Robert Machin on September 16, 2015 Topics: Digital Content

Profiting from digital content is about encouraging today’s always-connected consumers to see the communications service provider (CSP) as their default go-to source of entertainment (not just communications) in a market where they don’t lack for choice.

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Sketching the Industrial Landscape at Mobile World Congress

Posted by Robert Machin on March 13, 2015 Topics: Mobile World Congress, IoT

As ever, there was plenty of industry activity and opinion at Mobile World Congress – 5G? so soon? – but the trends that promise to  have  an immediate impact on the BSS were focused on the emerging  Internet of Things (IoT)  which seemed this year to be moving beyond speculation into some kind of reality, not least in a welcome evolution of its vocabulary.

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LTE - the Wholesale Angle

Posted by Robert Machin on October 16, 2014 Topics: Business Support Systems (BSS), LTE, 4G

LTE is now firmly-established as the new reality in mobile - already deeply embedded in the US and in developed Asian markets, it’s fast securing a foothold in most other regions too. Clearly, people like it – it’s a technology that enhances their personal and their business life, untethering them from PCs and laptops, while letting them take their digital activity into any location they choose, unconstrained, even by WiFi.  

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4G Monetisation– How can CSPs Boost Revenues with Low Headline Prices?

Posted by Robert Machin on August 28, 2014 Topics: LTE, 4G

Vodafone’s group chief executive Vittorio Colao has recently defended the company’s high-end 4G pricing policy in the UK (their cheapest package comes in at  almost 30% more than the next most-expensive offering, from rivals EE), arguing that customers should expect to pay more for the faster service that 4G provides.

While it’s not hard to sympathise with that point of view – operators have invested billions, and the healthy uptake of 4G suggests that customers do love their mobile broadband – but these reasons appear to be wasted on an unsympathetic UK market which continues to vote with its wallet for much cheaper offers from O2, EE and Three.

So what does this tell us? That customers won’t pay a premium for 4G and the promise that operators saw in mobile broadband was just a mirage?

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What’s a CSPs Best Policy in a Virtualised World?

Posted by Robert Machin on May 27, 2014 Topics: Business Support Systems (BSS), CSPs

Policy control and charging (PCC) is now an accepted part of the Communications Service Provider (CSP) landscape, both controlling access to services and resources and encouraging their use. But how well does PCC fit with the new trend towards Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)? Can PCC and NFV act together to give CSPs the agility they need to meet customer expectations? Or will virtualisation’s shortcomings undermine the customer responsiveness that PCC now allows?

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For CSPs, That was Then...This is Now

We left the 2014 Mobile World Congress with an unmistakable feeling that for the telecoms industry, the long-heralded future has arrived and "that was then, this is now." That was services, this is apps. That was voice, this is data. That was phones, this is smart devices, "wearables," connected vehicles and people and much more. That was stability, this is highly disruptive innovation. That was steady, assured revenue and established business models, this is…?

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