BARCELONA, Spain--Wireless operators suffering from sluggish revenues and increasing threats from the likes of Facebook and Amazon should invest in customer-friendly cloud services to win the hearts of consumers, explained Rene Obermann, the chairman and CEO of Deutsche Telekom during a keynote presentation here at the Mobile World Congress trade show.
Obermann bemoaned increasing threats from so-called "over the top" players, like Google, Amazon and Netflix, noting that such companies don't pay to use operators' infrastructure but still are able to make revenues from sales to consumers. Obermann said one such OTT player explained the situation to him in stark terms: "'You make the investments and I take the profits.' And I didn't like that," Obermann said.
Thus, to combat falling revenues and a diminished position in the minds of shoppers, Obermann said operators should invest in cloud services.
"The cloud is a new opportunity for operators," he said, noting that "cloud computing is just more efficient and cheaper" than the alternatives.
Obermann argued that network operators are in a prime position to offer cloud services to consumers and businesses since they can manage every part of the service, from the device to the network to the database itself. Moreover, if operators innovate, he said they can ensure seamless cloud connectivity through a combination of wide area wireless and wired networks, Wi-Fi, small cells, femtocells and other access points. Operators can also provide useful and simple billing services for cloud offerings, including machine-to-machine cloud services.
Already, Obermann said, DT has generated $500 million in revenues from the sale of cloud services, though he did not provide further specifics.
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