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A Tale of Two Competitors ....

This is a tale of two competitors. These two people compete each year in the classic “Tour” bicycle road races.  Both of these riders have similar styles and records.  The winner of these races receive cash, prestige, and of course endorsements.  The others are mostly forgotten.

 

Each year these competitors get new bikes; the most obvious and singularly most costly part being the frame.  One year both of these riders decide to use the same frame from the same company.  One of the riders takes the bike as offered with the gears, wheels, and other pieces thrown in for free.  The company for the bike frame assures him these parts are good and at no added cost, what can you lose?

 

The other rider makes a strategic and knowledgeable decision to accept the frame, but to purchase “Best-of-Breed gears, wheels, etc from another company that specializes in all those moving parts.  (Their motto is “We don’t make frames, but we can help you get the most out of those expensive frames”).

 

Finally it is the day of the big race.  As we said, both riders are equal in their abilities; the only difference is the “other stuff besides the frame” on their bicycles.   As you might well guess, the “Free” rider stays in the pack with the other competitors, while the “Strategic” rider pulls away quickly and stays ahead of the pack and … wins the race.  To this winner go the fame, glory and riches.  This "Strategic" rider clearly differentiated himself by making a conscious strategic decision that “Free was not the better deal”.

 

bikers.jpg

Today, as they evolve to 4G LTE, Mobile Operators need to make a knowledge-based strategic decision and not just take the “other parts” that are bundled into the radio deals.  4G is a different environment; it is All-IP; it is multimedia; it is broadband; and it is more complex than ever before.  And even while the mobile networks evolve to this next generation they still need to support the radio network already in place – they need one network for any and all generations.  Additionally, the competitive landscape has changed and continues to change.  No longer is the competitor the other mobile company.  Now the competition includes Cable/MNVO’s, Content Providers, Over-the-top, and others. Operators need to address all these challenges to make their networks profitable while delivering the best quality experience to their subscribers.

 

Yes the radio is important.  And yes, the radio is expensive.  But you need to get the most out of the massive investment.  You do that by breaking with the old ways and by making a strategic decision to get your IP Network from the IP Network experts.  This may not be free, but in the end you will pull away from the pack and be the winner.  And to the winner go the fame, the glory, and the riches.

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More Stories By Deborah Strickland

The articles presented here are blog posts from members of our Service Provider Mobility community. Deborah Strickland is a Web and Social Media Program Manager at Cisco. Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPMobility.