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Ovum has a team of senior analysts attending this year’s Broadband World Forum (BBWF 2016), on October 18–20, VR & AR World on October 19–20, and Apps World on October 19–20, all at ExCeL, London. We are chairing and moderating a number of sessions across the three days and will be discussing the latest industry trends, market challenges, and opportunities. Ovum’s industry insights are founded on our extensive portfolio of five-year forecasts, including those for wearables, smart home, and VR and combined forecasts for fixed, mobile, and pay-TV services. Contact us to find out more.

Service providers will increasingly rely on partners for IP transformation

Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Components

Fixed network upgrades and IP transformation have been key themes at BBWF 2016. Although every service provider has its own broadband network and IP transformation path, the underlying goals are the same: support premium high-quality services, make them faster, and lower overall network costs.

But service providers continue to face numerous network transformation challenges, such as choosing the best technology strategy and understanding its impact on future upgrades. Meeting rollout targets and network optimization goals remains hard to achieve. However, many of the challenges can be mitigated through the use of third party–vendor tools and solutions.

Service providers expect to increasingly rely on partners such as network equipment vendors and IT services vendors. Third-party vendors enable service providers to focus on innovative services and improving the customer experience. Nokia, a major player in fixed network transformation services, led a session on the three steps to transforming fixed networks.

The home has become a key focus for ensuring QoE

Michael Philpott, Practice Leader, Consumer Services

Quality of experience (QoE) is a hot topic throughout the telecoms industry, as evidenced at BBWF 2016. Delivering the best QoE will be key to service providers in differentiating against direct and indirect (i.e. OTT) competition alike. This year's forum has seen a significant increase in focus on the home network in helping to achieve the best QoE. Interestingly, this is not restricted to high-speed media streaming, but smart home devices and applications also.

From selecting the right wireless network standards to choosing device middleware, the key message from vendors is that it is essential for service providers to invest in the home network if they are to remain relevant to their customers and be able to compete in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market place.

It was heartening to see some real innovation at this year’s forum which will enable service providers to deliver top-quality products to consumers.

Standardizing video user experience measurements

Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Components

Being able to watch high-quality content on the home TV continues to grow in importance. Linear TV viewing is not going away, and OTT content is joining traditional pay-TV content services. Although content is king, QoE is a key service differentiator when home-based viewers choose their service provider.

QoE is gaining importance as a differentiator among wireline communications service providers – both telco and cable. Service providers are seeking a standard approach to measuring QoE across their wireline networks. They want to be able to test QoE over time, without relying on qualitative feedback from customers. Huawei is an example of a communications and IT equipment, software, and services vendor meeting this growing need by developing QoE measurement technology – the User, Unified, Ubiquitous-Mean Opinion Score for Video (U-vMOS) benchmark.

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