Note to telcos: Get enhanced IP... or get lost

For telcos, wnhancing IP services will be good for business. It's the smart way to capture and retain customers.

Professor Jesse's a fanatic when it comes to enhancing our careers. He pushes us to take courses to improve our skills.

Associate Editor Chris Albrecht and I gripe a bit ... but we know the learning's for our own good -- and the good of AnchorDesk.

Telcos take note. Enhancing your IP services will be good for business. It's the smart way to capture and retain customers, according to a new report by Cahners In-Stat Group.

If you don't, you run the risk of becoming a mere commodity provider of high-speed Net access that's price-sensitive and prone to high customer churn.

MAD SCRAMBLE
In-Stat anticipates a mad scramble to roll out these enhanced IP services, such as:

  • IP telephony
  • Video and movies on demand
  • Downloadable software
  • Video conferencing
  • Multiplayer gaming
  • Distance learning programs
  • Unified/integrated voice and email messaging
STRONG DEMAND
Demand is strong and revenue will grow by an average of 109% over the next four years, In-Stat forecasts. Consumers -- gamers and movie addicts in particular -- will drive much of this demand.

Businesses will also push for enhanced IP services, especially VoIP, voice over DSL and unified messaging.

Nevertheless, you'll wait awhile for enhanced IP services. Why? Banks are reluctant to back the rollout of enhanced IP services because they're focused on supporting the growth of high-speed access to as many customers as possible, In-Stat says.

That attitude is starting to change, however, and deployment of IP services will soon move at a quicker rate, says In-Stat senior research analyst Mike Lowe.

STRUGGLES LOOM
Still, telcos struggle with making enhanced IP services reliable and secure. They must also develop better ways to provision and bill for them.

Once carriers figure out these issues, here's what you can expect from the savvy ones: bundles of access and IP services that are unique and compelling. For instance, a telco offering small businesses Net access, unified voice and email messaging and video conferencing -- at one low price. Such a telco will have a big advantage over others offering only access.

According to a recent In-Stat survey, 60% of consumers say they're interested in receiving all of their communications needs from a single provider. The smart telco will offer a wide array of enhanced IP services to satisfy this demand.

And Chris and I will provide Jesse with a satisfied smile when he sees the wide range of courses we've completed