Big Noise for Telecommunications Companies

Industry Marketing Manager - Communications, IBM

I recently returned from Las Vegas where IBM hosted its annual Information On Demand conference with over 12,000 attendees. The theme for the conference was “Think Big,” and the bulk of sessions centered on the way different industries are using big data to improve business results in their organizations.

Big data is top of the mind for telecommunications (telco) executives, especially considering the massive data volumes, velocity and variety they deal with every day. Here are just a few examples:

  • Billions of call details records (CDRs) – If you are a teleco executive, you know that every call or text message generates a CDR. It captures information about who made the call, who received it, how long was the call, etc. With the proliferation of smartphones, we have a new category of transaction records, called XDRs, which capture other transactions such as the purchase and download of a ring tone, song or a movie/video clip. Telecommunication companies must process this growing volume and variety of transactions; store and process these transactions for correct billing; then analyze them to identify fraudulent or unauthorized usage.
  • A social media data tsunami – With Twitter alone generating 20-30 terabytes of data daily, the data challenge is daunting. I was talking to a senior executive from a large telco at the conference, and something he said really brought this point home: “Telcos can’t expect a subscriber to come to their website to engage them in a dialogue. We (telcos) must go to where the subscriber is and engage him/her in a conversation to understand their needs.” This means that telcos must go to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to engage with subscribers to better understand their needs and act on them. To do this effectively, a telco must analyze volumes and volumes of social media data. Processing this data to find relevant insights about the brand, products, services and responses to media/advertising campaigns requires a big data analytics solution tailored for this task.
  • Terabytes of location data generated every day – The global positioning (GPS) applications in those smartphones we were just talking about adds another dimension to the challenge. A mobile communications service provider records location to provide useful services such as turn-by-turn navigation, directory look-up for a nearby grocery store or coffee shop, etc. Service providers need to manage the flood of location data stored on their servers to provide location services to their customers. At the same time, this offers information for new marketing opportunities such as couponing.

Big Data Analytics for Service Providers - telco white paper_Page_01.pngSo you see, we at IBM have been thinking through these issues, but we are not doing this alone. We have been conducting hundreds of workshops with our clients to design and implement big data analytics solutions. My colleague, Dr. Arvind Sathi, and I have captured several insights from these workshops into this white paper – “Big Data Analytics for Communications Service Providers.”

We’d like to hear your thoughts, invite you to converse with us to improve our understanding of big data. Our goal is to improve our solutions that can help you improve business results to increase revenue, reduce customer churn, lower costs and drive higher productivity.

Think Big, and good luck with your journey to leverage big data in your organization! We look forward to talking with you.

Download "Big Data Analytics for Communications Service Providers"