The future of telco is knowing what customers value, says ASPIDER CEO

The CEO of ASPIDER explains how a new billing plan based on what customers value is the next step for telco. Oracle provides the real-time processing.

David Traynor wants ASPIDER Solutions to be at the forefront of customer experience in the telecommunications industry. But for that to happen, the CEO for the Americas at ASPIDER says pricing policies and the underlying technology that supports them must undergo drastic changes.

ASPIDER is a Netherlands-based telco with U.S. headquarters in Beverly, Mass. that provides services for mobile carriers, network operators and wholesale clients. Traynor said that undergoing the pricing policy transformation will more accurately reflect what it is that customers value. Traynor gave an example of the problem he sees.

I think the question is: Who will be the agent of change?

David Traynor,
CEO, ASPIDER

"There have been some studies done that, if you look at Apple, typically AT&T makes more money from the iPhone sale, from the sale on minutes and megabytes, than Apple does from the use of the phone on the app store or on iTunes," Traynor said during a recent presentation at Oracle Industry Connect in Boston. "Which is kind of crazy, because we value the iPhone and we value all the cool apps we can buy. We don't value the megabytes that are the underlying infrastructure."

What does that mean? To Traynor, it means charging according to the things people value, not the things telecommunications companies value. Instead of charging by the megabyte, he wants to see companies charging by the song download or the movie download. He thinks that is a way for telcos like ASPIDER to improve customer experience and keep customers coming back.

"It's like the Internet service providers of yesteryear," Traynor added. "You could only use a certain amount of megabytes before they charged you something extra. Whereas, now there is no limit on your Comcast or your Fios account; you can download as much as you want and you just pay based on the speed."

At Oracle Industry Connect, Traynor explained that he isn't just interested in what's happening now. ASPIDER is looking to the future of telecommunications.

"I think we're all, as consumers, told how many megabytes we use. It's on our bill. But how many megabytes is a music download or a video, a text message or a typical visit to Facebook or sending an Instagram. It doesn't translate into what the people are doing it for. That will change. I think the question is: Who will be the agent of change?"

Oracle currently provides ASPIDER with its real-time charging and billing platform, which allows ASPIDER to charge for calls as they occur. Traynor said that ASPIDER manages the provisioning and billing sides of telco, but also has its own mobile core network.

ASPIDER uses Oracle Communications Network Charging and Control (OCNCC) for call control. OCNCC is an open and secure Web 2.0 framework that allows the smooth integration of a third-party -- in this case, ASPIDER -- into the service provider's billing environment. The software handles call control by automatically redirecting calls between the carrier and the subscriber so that the calls always reach the appropriate recipient.

"Typically, the carrier wants to run their services through to the subscriber," Traynor explained. "When a call is placed, the carrier switches to interrogate our system as to how that call should be handled. We respond with block it, throttle it or route the call over here to customer care, or allow the call to go through."

While no one sees Oracle's backend for ASPIDER, it is there and provides crucial technology.

"It's great to see some of these new-generation providers like Oracle instead of the old school Alcatels and Eriksons and Nokias," Traynor said. "Oracle is much more switched on and they have a much better vision."

This was first published in April 2014

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