• The In-House Research Stage in Developing Markets
    Charter Customer Service

    The In-House Research Stage in Developing Markets

    As mentioned in earlier articles, the market research task was not easy in some of the developed markets where I worked. Often, I was faced with minimal and outdated information. In this article, I will introduce the first market research approach we used in those markets which I call: The in-house stage.

    As the name implies, the research was based on internally developed methodology. The regular approach of systematic gathering and interpretation of information by using statistical and analytical methods and techniques reflected how our company understands the market.

    Because of our belief that mobile telecom was a necessity in those markets we did not need detailed researches. We often relied on the outdated information and updated it while benchmarking the information on the nearest market where information existed.

    Economically, we needed to gather minimal information to estimate the potential of our target customers. A This was probably the easiest task, as details were not really needed and a general idea was sufficient to let the shareholders decide whether to invest in this market or not.

    Geographical information was also needed. Detailed mapping was needed to decide where and how to place our towers, microwaves, and antennas to ensure adequate coverage. Although a harder task than the economical research, we were able to conclude it with field visits.

    Demographic information was the hardest to get as there were no updated data. We often operated in developing countries that suffered from civil wars causing major population dislocation turning some heavily populated areas to practically a no man’s land.

    The reliability of the minimal information we collected was dependent on the knowledge and the knowhow of the people who were on the field. In most cases that information did not affect us negatively and we succeeded in most of the …

  • The Place of VoIP Within the Telecom Industry
    Session Initiation Protocol

    The Place of VoIP Within the Telecom Industry

    VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, is considered a growth market for 2009 and beyond. The very recent technology has grown exponentially and according to a report in 2008, 50% of the world’s telecom traffic is over the Internet. Furthermore, sales from the VoIP equipment alone topped the $3 million mark. Needless to say the place of VoIP within the telecom industry is well and truthfully secure with a forecast of 135 million subscribers by 2011.

    Competition for this market share is now almost inevitably frantic and the top six most powerful leaders are:

    • Charter Communications (Cable Company)
    • Cablevision (Cable Company)
    • Time Warner Cable, Inc (Cable Company)
    • Comcast (Cable Company)
    • Skype (Pure VoIP)
    • Vonage (Pure VoIP)

    It can be seen in America at least that the cable Companies have integrated VoIP within their total package and it is evident that here in the UK the traditional telecom Companies such as BT are introducing VoIP technology as a choice or addition for new telephone subscribers. This has led to the pure VoIP services like Skype and Vonage take a tumble in the market share. Whereas initially, they had a 75% total share in the industry, this has now reversed to approximately a 25% share. Users are no longer tied to their computer. Phone calls can be made in the traditional manner using VoIP without the need to log on.

    As with all new technologies the tale-tell signs of a market changing forever are in place, and it won’t be long before this system will completely dominate the old technology. Almost every home in the world has a regular line installed. The cable and internet services providers have the ability now to disconnect these and install an internet phone line via web. By utilizing special hardware with battery backup and …