By Pathmal Gunawardana, Vice President of Sales, Americas Region, Tata Communications

The emergence of new communications platforms like SMS and VoIP has enabled constant, global connectivity. However, the rise of these platforms is also impacting revenues for the traditional voice market, as traditional voice revenues are not being offset by the increase in IP Voice. In fact, IDC predicts that spending on fixed voice services will experience a six percent decline in 2018 and will represent less than 10 percent of the total telecom market by 2021.

In order to change this economic model, many companies in the telecom wholesale space have turned to third-party management models. Roaming clearing houses and hubs have managed the inter-operator roaming process for many years, while colocation and hosting facilities have been managing infrastructure. Applying managed service models to inter-operator telecoms wholesale systems and processes creates opportunities to improve cost performance and drive business growth.

Another way to grow your voice business and keep costs down is through applying the principles of network function virtualization (NFV). This approach makes it possible to build a profitable voice business through measures of efficiency, rather than top-line revenue generation. Instead of focussing on building margin through incremental revenues, it allows instead for a focus on the cost element associated with investing in next generation network, services and systems.

A Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) approach enables migration to IP service delivery without the need for heavy capital expenditure and without the need to tie service delivery to long-term investment cycles. While this creates a dependency on the NaaS provider, the dual sourcing approach can ensure redundancy and business continuity, as well as the opportunity to work with service providers with complementary physical network assets for better regional coverage as needed.

Putting It All Together

Tata Communications offers a managed service model that employs a combination of applications in the cloud, network virtualization and service virtualization. Our world-class IP network provides predictable performance and service-level agreement (SLA), and we also offer a routing engine and fraud protection mechanism. Our model provides several opportunities for telecom providers to grow their businesses.

  • Productivity and efficiency
    This type of model aims to minimize capital expenditure and reduce cost. This creates a more flexible usage-based approach to service consumption and eliminates capital investment. The model delivers quick access to Network-as-a-Service and Virtual PoP solutions, supporting growth of next-generation IP networking.
  • Borderless growth with control
    With an interest in expanding global routes, a virtual service approach delivers borderless growth options, based on regional targets. New services, applications and tools can be brought on stream as needed to support a company’s business objectives. The dynamic nature of the model protects legacy investment, while being able to access new services, with a predictable cost outcome.
  • Performance
    Communication services can be matched with the appropriate types of complementary tools and features. For example, voice services can be matched with fraud protection as well as routing optimiz Reporting and analytics can be harnessed to add an extra dimension to network efficiency. With third-party KPIs being applied to monitor performance, a more predictable approach to performance also becomes possible. When connecting routes, you are also ensured that QoS and QoE are optimised and delivered on an end-to-end basis.

Pursuing the managed services approach also opens doors to knowledge and expertise in areas such as managed voice termination services, customer and supplier aggregation, optimal routing or fraud protection. This ensures that a leaner wholesale service operation can be run, with a focus on trading efficiency, while other services are provided to supplement the core trading function. Such an approach can of course be extended to accessing applications in the cloud. Under this model a wholesale team can be retained in-house, while the back-office systems required to manage the wholesale business are maintained and supported by a third party. This can extend to applications, including voice trading tools and cost analysis applications. The idea extends to a range of OSS/BSS functions such as provisioning, mediation, billing or bilateral management.

The growth and continued adoption of IP communications across the mobile and telecom ecosystem provides global connectivity for businesses, but also a challenge for telecom providers. A third-party managed service provider is the key to continuing to expand borders and revenue in this ever changing space.


About the Author

Pathmal Gunawardana is Vice President of Sales, Americas Region, at Tata Communications. In this role, Pathmal is responsible for driving the development and long-term territory and go-to-market strategy and overall direct sales to service provider and enterprise segments in the region. Pathmal manages the execution of sales programs encompassing sell-to and sell-with strategies for the company’s full suite of services in Data, Voice, Media, UCC and Mobility. In addition, he defines and executes the go-to-market portfolio and owns the overall P&L for the region. Pathmal reports to the President of Americas Region.

Prior to joining Tata Communications, Pathmal was Vice President of the Global Mobility Vertical Team at Juniper Networks. In this capacity, Pathmal defined the global mobile strategy, cross-functionality leading marketing, partner and product teams enabling global field sales teams covering wireless operators.

Pathmal previously worked at Nokia Siemens Networks, where he held various senior executive roles in sales, solutions management, and business development. He held a dual role as Vice President/Head of North America Sales Development and Head of the Global Softbank/Sprint customer business team. Pathmal has also worked at Alcatel Lucent Technologies, and he began his career as a systems engineer at Bell Labs.

Pathmal has a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Denver. He also holds a master’s degree in International Management from the Josef Korbel Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Pathmal received an Executive Education degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York City.