Business Opportunities for ‘Structured’ Databases in Telecom

There is so much discussion about 'Unstructured' Data that some people forget about Structured Data

Data as a Service (DaaS) serves and important role in the ICT ecosystem and provides great benefits across many industry verticals.

DaaS is defined as any service offered wherein users can access vendor provided databases or host their own databases on vendor managed systems. DaaS is expected to grow significantly in the near future due to a few dominant themes including cloud-based infrastructure/services, enterprise data syndication, and the consumer services trend towards Everything as a Service (XaaS).

DaaS is expected to grow significantly over the course of the next several years based on an evaluation of the horizontal and vertical markets as well as trends in developing technologies.

There is so much discussion about “Unstructured” Data (Big Data) that some people forget about Structured Data.  Structured DB services in telecom are well established from an architecture and service model perspective and include the following:

  • Toll Free Service: A toll-free telephone number or “freephone” number is a telephone number that is billed for all arriving calls instead of incurring charges to the originating telephone subscriber.  Common numbers in the United States begin with 800, 877, 866 or some other special NPA prefix to identify them as toll-free.  The Toll Free DB provides a mapping between the toll free number, the number owner, and the network-routable number allowing for a call to connect.
  • Line Information Database (LIDB): The LIDB DB is used in the United States and Canada by traditional telephone companies to store and retrieve Caller ID records.  It is used for card verification services and other purposes.
  • Calling Name (CNAM): The CNAM DB is used to associate the phone number of a calling party with their name, allowing a called party to identify the caller.  It is used by both consumers and businesses.
  • Local Number Portability (LNP): The LNP DB allows call routing to occur post-number portability as the NPA/NXX is no longer associated with a switching area or carrier and may be ported as a customer transfers from one service provider to another and/or from wired service to wireless service.
  • Electronic Number (ENUM): The ENUM DB maps an E.164 (regular phone number) to an Internet Protocol (IP) address.  This DB has many applications ranging from messaging interoperability (MMS, IM, etc.), unified communications, carrier peering for VoIP, and more.

It is important to note that Structured Telecom DB Services offer data that is readily available and accessible via common APIs, processes, and procedures.  This data is used frequently in telecom operations and as services on a B2B basis.  However, Structured Telecom Data is also available to enterprise for a variety of purposes and can prove very useful as inclusion into mash-up applications when combined with enterprise data.

Maintaining databases on site requires that an IT team handle server installation (either physical or virtual), configures the network properly and adjusts it for any changes, that database administrators keep the databases themselves up to date and handle any problems with them, and that expansions are properly prepared for. If a company sees a rapid influx of data and is not prepared for it, they can be delayed by days to weeks while they prepare additional database storage space. Because most companies aren’t doing this on a consistent, mass production level, this adds cost and time overhead to any problems that require data.

Very large companies such as Oracle, Amazon, and Microsoft will on the whole not be offering specialized services. Their goal is to provide a platform for the largest number of users, and provide the tools to implement your own specialization as needed. Other similar vendors will emerge with slightly more specialization, perhaps focusing on certain types of structured or unstructured data.

Specialization in DaaS can be complicated, and in some ways the structure line of difference can itself be seen as a form of specialization. However, it might be best to say that there are likely to be varying degrees of specialization in the DaaS ecosystem.

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Structured and Unstructured (Big) Data in Telecom Analytics
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This report provides the reader with a broad understanding of telecom data (structured and unstructured/big data) and related analytics. The report identifies market drivers and opportunities as well as forecasts for certain key growth areas such as deep packet inspection. The report also evaluates the relationship between Big Data and emerging telecom operational areas including NFV and telecom Cloud analytics.

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