The Heart of the Mobile World Must be the Data Centre




Equinix UK managing director, Russell Poole, looks at the mobile landscape and offers some insights on how to capitalise on macro-trends by enlisting the help of the ecosystem inside your data centre.

In this blog post, I wanted to share some insights I’ve picked up in the last few weeks about the changing nature of the mobile landscape. Mobile World Congress piqued my interest in the first instance with so many of the product launches, keynote presentations and on-stand conversations centred on data deluge, big data and collaboration. Since the event, my conversations with prospects and customers alike have confirmed for me that these themes will dominate the mobile landscape and drive the industry forward over the next 12 months and beyond.

One of the most ubiquitous macro trends across the IT industry over recent years has been the increase of data. The GSMA predicts data will grow by 66% per year through to 2017 to 11.2 Exabytes per month. That’s equivalent to more than 5 billion hours of HD video.

Whether you call it an ‘explosion’, a ‘deluge’, or simply ‘big’, its impact is inescapable. This additional transition of information means that big data is transforming business models and has the potential to create new revenue opportunities for mobile network operators, reducing churn and increasing customer lifetime value.

Faced with this tidal wave of data, it is clear that to monetise it, whether you are an MNO, a wireless service provider or a content company delivering streaming media live over the mobile internet, you cannot over-emphasise the importance of truly global collaboration and interconnectivity across the mobile ecosystem. Those that do collaborate in order to add value at every stage of the mobile value chain will harness and monetise the transformation being wrought by the mobile internet. They will be the ones who build adaptability and flexibility into the DNA of their businesses and it is they who will convert the data into insights and revenue streams on a global scale.

Those companies face one of the biggest opportunities since the dawn of the internet itself. Whilst moderating one of the MWC keynotes, Rajeev Chand of Rutberg & Co. commented that: “The next 10 years will ‘dwarf’ the last 10 in terms of disruption.” Change is fast and relentless.

What lies at the heart of this change and disruption is collaboration. The mobile ecosystem is one that is interconnected by vast networks of often-complex alliances, strategic partnerships and groups. Mobile operators are developing new models – both with other parts of the mobile ecosystem and with each other – to seek out win-win opportunities to deliver innovation for the customer.

This infographic shows how data usage and collaboration will form this year’s mobile landscape. Over half the respondents to a recent survey carried out by SAP said that operator revenue will be driven by data usage and new services such as RCS, 4G and LTE. LTE/4E networks will account for 1 in 5 mobile broadband subscriptions by 2017 (versus 1 in 25 in 2012), according to GSMA.

To fully reap the rewards of this new mobile market maturity, providers and enablers must come together more effectively. The common thread running through much of this – which will underpin future mobile ambitions – is the data centre. For service providers and enablers to expand in this mobile landscape, they must work together using the data centre to fuel collaboration, innovation and new revenue.

Another key consideration is proximity in relation to the data centre. There are major benefits for mobile players who choose to collaborate within the data centre environment. Ecosystem partners reach customers and business partners faster than ever by deploying infrastructure in close proximity to target markets – wherever they are, and low latency improves user experience and app performance, and is thus key to improving customer experience and retention.

Proximity in the data centre also means minimal network costs to connect suppliers, partners and the end user, all of which underline the commercial and business value of investing in a collaborative relationship.

To quote Rajeev Chand, change is “fast and huge”. And to quote me, you need to be ready!


View our Mobile World Landscape infographic here.