Saturday, April 30, 2005

Triatel moves toward video services?

Triatel, the cdma-450 operator, may be moving toward offering video services. That would represent an expansion of the brand's strategy from a rather narrow focus on the corporate and government sector.
This blogger has been told by the company that some sort of videophone broadcast will be demonstrated the week of May 2. While it is hard to imagine a corporate video conference with executives balancing their Triatel phones on the their knees, there are plenty of recreational and entertainments services that can use video in a 3G environment. Indeed, most premium services on both GSM and 3G networks around the world are entertainment related.
My middle son (18) who lives in Sweden told me of the increasing number of 3 phones at his high school. Many of them were being used for such seemingly bizarre purposes as beaming live video of lunch from the school cafeteria to a friend in the classroom. Then it occured to me that for some people this is fun.
What Triatel will probably do is try to launch some mass market services ahead of the similar 3G services of incumbents Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) and Tele2, as well as beat Bite GSM to the punch. Having been the first to introduce de-facto 3G data services on a limited scale, it might as well be the first to launch commercial, mass-market services. The way things look now, Triatel either does this or risks being cornered in a relatively low-revenue niche (compared to say, a customer-base of 100 000 sending MMS and downloading video clips for fun) by the other two and (later three) operators.

The wacko story spiked?

Looks like the paper won't be putting out the somewhat crackpot story about a forecast that Lattelekom could loose 60 % of its SME customers once number portability (not necessary in order to take revenue away from the incumbent, carrier pre-selection will do fine..) is introduced. Somebody came to their senses, just a shame that I had to work with a number of people at Lattelekom, analysts in London and a PR company doing a corporate reputation survey to get refutations of this rather far-out-on-a-limb theory.
Maybe it is time to start blogging Latvian journalism in addition to telecoms and bizarre near-traffic accidents. But who has time...?


Rihards Gailums said...

Interesting statistics in Estonia after number potability were introduced on last year. 20 000 ported numbers in just first 3 months ...

Juris Kaža said...

Unfortunately, that Estonian report doesn't differentiate fixed and mobile. Experience elsewhere shows that number portability is mostly used by mobile phone users. I think I saw some figure of 25 % in Norway (a compilation from the Latvian Telecommunications Association, I haven't seen the original data).

Rihards Gailums said...

actually yes. In nordic countries since 2001-2002 over 20-28% mobile numbers are ported
indeed there are mostly data of mobile porting and hard to find exact data of fixed part.
nevertheless I think that in Latvia fixed porting at the end of year really could change competitive enviroment

Juris Kaža said...

On a pure cost optimization basis, you can do operator preselection for the best rates on foreign calls and nothing happens to your number. To truly "port" a number, you have to assign it to a new physical/virtual network who then charges you for last mile access (i.e. the monthly fee). In any case, at best you will see the new local loop operators simply buying lines in bulk from Lattelekom, sort of like Amigo buys capacity in bulk from LMT. At the end of the day, Lattelekom will still make a few santims from everyone.
Certainly, there may be some porting to, say, Baltkom, Tele2, Latvenergo and the Railroad to the extent they can install last mile lines themselves in some place.

rihards gailums said...

Of course I mean ported number, when the access physical network is changed. I do not met carrier preselection bul****t and other staff, where incumbent operator holds largest profit on their costs. The alternative operators in lot of cases could choose between different access network providers, where LTK is only one from players. In this case last mile costs for alternative operator is driven by scale and scope economy principles. Other aspect is that LTK incomes/profits as incumbent should be divided on access network operator and service provider, which are often cross-subsidization each other. Just imagine what could happen in one state organization (i.e. State revenue service) announces tender for best total communication providing. Now LTK sells minutes between different located offices for the price considerable higher than access infrastructure expenditure + logical profit. By my opinions the main argument for state organizations not to change operator to more efficient is network reliability (trust me some alter operators could provide more than LTK) and "old numbers" (change costs are unpredictable). So generally I think that after nr. portability there is no reasons for state org to hold on LTK if on the same number range other, alter operator could provide communications with the same or higher reliability, but considerable lower costs (because of their efficiency).