TelecomAsia interviews Terry McCabe at Mobile World Congress 2016

By the Experts at Mitel

 

Video Transcript

 

Tony Poulos:

I'm Tony Poulos, and I'm at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Today, I'm with Terry McCabe, the CTO of the mobile division at Mitel. Terry, great to catch up at last. I'm really interested to hear what news you have because everybody has news around Mobile World Congress time. What's yours?

 

Terry McCabe:

Well, we've been very fortunate. We have a customer who's just launched their voice over LTE service, and they launched last Friday. Couldn't be better timing for us, absolutely perfect. So, Smartfriend in Indonesia. They're a nationwide LTE operator, previously CDMA, moving very rapidly to LTE. And now they've launched voice over LTE nationwide. And we're really excited about this because it's our first launch in that region. And also, because we've gone from contract to launch within 13 months. And we think that is a remarkable time to launch for a complete IMS network, complete VoLTE solution, and it's all virtualized.

 

Tony Poulos:

You mentioned voice over LTE. What's the difference, and what's so important about voice over LTE?

 

Terry McCabe:

Well, voice over LTE gives us better quality, gives us a more friendly experience for the subscriber and a better calling experience for the subscriber on an LTE device. Anytime that you fall back to 3G or 2G for calling on an LTE device, it really ruins the user experience. There's delays, it's just not a good experience. And also, it's expensive in terms of battery. It's expensive in terms of device resources.

 

Tony Poulos:

 And, of course, we hear about everybody moving towards the Cloud. What's Mitel's story about the Cloud?

 

Terry McCabe:

The Cloud is central to our business. And from the Enterprise side of what Mitel does, we've been building out Cloud solutions for quite some time. We have almost 2 million subscribers for Cloud unified communications. And now, what we're doing is taking our mobile carrier solutions and making them available in the Cloud. And we believe this is a way in which we can allow tier two and tier three carriers to have a tier one experience and a tier one infrastructure without the costs, or perhaps the infrastructural build-out that they would otherwise need. We think that's a game changer.

 

Tony Poulos:

 And, of course, the other hot topic at this event in particular is 5G. What is Mitel doing about 5G, and how are you looking at it and what are you doing about it to set you apart from the others?

 

Terry McCabe:

Well, I think our focus in 5G is what you do with 5G rather than speeds, feeds and network bandwidth So, we look at this as something which is going to fundamentally transform the way in which carriers behave, what their services are, and who procures equipment. At this show, traditionally, it's all about equipment providers selling to carriers. That's changing. We've got different market players coming into this space. And as you take a 5G network and you slice it, those slices can now be offered to other applications and to other market players. So, you are seeing now, whether be automotive manufacturers, whether it be large enterprises or corporations, or specific government organizations, people are taking the view that they will have pieces of that 5G network available to them in a secure guaranteed service level. And I think the carrier is going to be challenged because they won't be a one size fits all network anymore. They'll have to be much more flexible.

 

Tony Poulos:

And the movement, and the changes that network operators have to make, do you think they're ready for it? Are they able to cope with what's going on around them?

 

Terry McCabe

Well, they'll have to manage it because the world isn't standing still. If you look around today, you have players like, for instance, Uber. Uber has dramatically transformed the way people conceive of customer service. Now, everyone thinks of Uber as a ride sharing taxi replacement. Today, it's delivering food. What's it gonna be delivering next? You look at Amazon. People thought of Amazon as a book vendor. Okay, I buy my groceries from Amazon, now. So, you look at the carrier. They can continue to be what they are today, but they're gonna end up like Blockbuster. They're gonna end up like the video store on the corner if they don't recognize the changes that are coming. And we see, carriers are really open to that just struggling at the moment to work out what that new dynamic is going to be, what that new space is gonna look like.

 

Tony Poulos:

Terry McCabe, thanks for being with me. Great to spend time with you today and hear about Mitel's story. Thank you.

 

Terry McCabe:

Thank you.