Telecoms move into IP services; you can’t ignore the importance, even if you wanted to

Telecoms move into IP services; you can’t ignore the importance, even if you wanted to

Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) was used to route multiple transmissions over a single transmission line at the same time, and even though it was initially developed in telecommunications to be used in telegraphy systems in the late 19th century, it found its most common application in digital telephony much later, more specifically, in the second half of the 20th century. Having that in mind, it might seem strange why lately telecoms are engaging in the thought to to move away from TDM services and switch to Internet Protocol (IP) based services. But, is it really?

Moving on to IP services for telecoms could in fact be characterized as inevitable if you take under consideration the high cost of maintenance and the lack of new features in TDM services. Still, this step seems to find quite a few telecom companies reluctant to jump right into it. Why?

First let us think about the cost, in terms of money and end-result, when moving from one type of service to another. This is not an overnight procedure and telecoms seem to be aware of that. Building a new service means implementing the features and characteristics of the old one, then test it and see whether the “transition” has been a successful one. Taking into consideration that this cannot be performed gradually, it is natural for telecoms to hesitate to adapt it.

On top of the risk, telecoms need to think about the revenue generation from legacy services, which even though it is slowly but steadily dropping, it’s still there. So, if it works, why break it?

Last but not least, telecoms themselves like to play it safe. Technology and progress is great but how about waiting to see if the new idea really works and then adopt it? Being the pioneer in such big changes is not necessarily at the heart of the company’s philosophy. In some cases, it’s better to follow than lead.

Taking baby steps in big matters is considered by many as an excellent strategy. The problem arises when time seems to be running faster than expected and the fear of being obsolete starts to make itself more and more visible. So, despite the fact that moving from a TDM logic to an IP way of dealing with things might not seem as the most attractive business decision, telecoms will have to admit that in the end, following the lead of the time is crucial if not for their time to leave them behind.