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The Debate: CSP to DSP Transformation.

The trend for Communication Service Providers towards Digital Service Providers (CSPs to DSPs)

This article was first published on as a linked in article on 14th December.

Last week I attended the rather excellent & unique Great Telco Debate event, organised and orchestrated by TelecomTV and Lewis Insight , the premise of the event being a set of motions that are presented, discussed by a panel of experts and then voted on by the audience in attendance. Not a single corporate PowerPoint presentation in sight, the interaction is therefore lively and the debate is engaging. 

Read more: The Debate: CSP to DSP Transformation.

The first of these motions was the Telco to DSP migration is still a pipe dream, (I won’t disclose how the motion was voted on, you can watch that for yourself on TelecomTV website), which prompted discussion and soul searching from the industry to decide whether this is really happening or not or indeed whether telcos can be successful in the migration.  The key drivers towards becoming a DSP are basically

  1. to move up the value chain away from just connectivity services towards the traditional telco enterprise customers,
  2. the need to improve at delivering services to the enterprise customer and,
  3. help in customers automation and digitalisation journeys. 

As a new greenfield “telco” on the block, ConnectiviTree (CTree) is somewhat bucking the trend of this laboured and honestly to date less than successful move away from pure connectivity to digital services. Instead focussing on creating value within the connectivity layer, specifically international, cross border high capacity, low latency and secure data transport for the telco industry. This value is created through automating that process and delivery, making it simple to consume and providing global scale, allowing Telcos to focus on enhancing their service offering to the enterprise market and enabling that transition to a DSP. 

During the discussion in London, it was noted that in order to succeed in this migration to becoming a DSP, the CSP needs to be omnipresent, whereas at present, telco is fixed to a geography with their product and service offerings and providing the global scale for their enterprise customers is challenging and time consuming, far from automated and often a manual bespoke process. Our focus at CTree is purely on that international data transport, we are intentionally keeping the service offering to the telco & partner sector simple and focused at that connectivity layer to address the pain points in that journey from CSP to DSP. 

As Chris Lewis quipped during the debate, maybe the right term is not DSP but ESP, Enabling Service Provider, I do like to think of us at CTree as enabling the telco, carrier, CSP or DSP, (however they wish to identify) to make that journey of providing to their enterprise customers the “as a service” experience that they need.

Thanks to Chris Lewis & Graham Wilde for positioning the motions of the day, to Ray Le Maistre & Guy Daniels who led the discussions and panels.

Congratulations to the TelecomTV team for an excellent day of conversation and engagement.

Keys to implementing Enterprise 5G

November continues to be a busy month for speaking engagements. Last week I participated in the Enterprise 5G Show with FierceWireless.

I spoke on a panel session with Dr Lov Kher from Verizon and Dr Claudius Noack from Lufthansa Industry Solutions moderated by Prakash Sangam from Tantra Analysis.

The session focused on the real world of enterprise 5G deployments where we tackled questions such as making the business case.

To access this presentation and the other sessions on demand, please visit and register for free for the online content.

Been waiting for a while to talk about this…

Today my company announced in a joint press release with our other consortium partners a piece of news that we have been working on for a long time.

This continues to be an excellent piece of work as we build a ‘living lab’ for testing out not just the technology but also the business case for Private cellular, 4G & 5G in enterprise use cases.

The full press release is below.

Continue reading “Been waiting for a while to talk about this…”

5G & Immersive Technologies

For the Telecoms Europe 5G Event I gave a presentation on 5G & immersive Technologies, speaking in particular on the use of private cellular for industry verticals that are emerging for the use of cellular technologies.

This is the exciting area of 5G where cellular technology is able to be used to make a difference in other industries and not just in providing mobile connection to the internet for browsing, videos etc.

And yes I avoided any reference to Metaverse and remote surgery….. I was glad to see that this was appreciated by at least one follower …..

If the video of the presentation becomes available on-demand I will post the link and how to access it here.

Starting off a busy month of conference speaking

This week the first of several speaking engagements for me across November went live. As part of the Next Generation Optical Networking World conference I was invited to speak on a panel discussing Optical networking for Mobile networks. The initial question is optical networking necessary was quickly answered and we were able to move on to discuss how this is the case.

The panel is available on demand as well as all of the other sessions.

Spotlight on 5G Week

Last week I participated in two of the four sessions of Telecom TV’s Spotlight on 5G week on 5G Edge and 5G Cloud. The format included a pre-recorded discussion that i is published in the morning with then a live after show discussion at the end of each day.

The discussions were hosted by Guy Daniels and Ray Le Maistre. In the 5G Edge discussion, we looked whether 5G applications have been overhyped, the skillset in telco and synergies between the Cloud Service Providers and Telco.

I was a last minute fill in for my colleague Francesca Serrevalle on the Thursday after show session where we discussed in more detail the big news of the day AT&T selling their 5G cloud to Microsoft Azure. Also shared my first memories of MWC….

For a little behind the scenes image though, this is how I filmed the after show on Wednesday, from our campervan ‘Deets’ in the Peak District, testing a new 4G/5G capable antenna with a ruggedized wifi router fitted to my van.

Spotlight on 5G – TelecomTV

Next week I was hoping to be travelling to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2021. With a number of big players pulling out from the physical event and Colt continuing to take a wise precautionary approach to international travel I shall be participating remotely.

As part of the week I will also be involved in Telecom TV’s Spotlight on 5G series each day. I am part of a panel on Wednesday 30th June discussing the 5G & Edge opportunity and will be part of the live after show Q&A in the evening.

Roundtable: 5G Edge: A Winning Combination for Operators?

What are the strategic choices facing telcos as they look to realise the commercial opportunities of 5G and Edge? What are the optimum Edge scenarios available to them? Is the combination of 5G and Edge the formula for success?

  • Beth Cohen, SDN, Product Strategies, Verizon
  • Mark Gilmour, Mobile Connectivity Solutions, Colt Technology Services
  • Renu Navale, Vice President, Data Platforms Group, General Manager, Edge Computing and Ecosystem Enabling Division, Intel
  • Rolf Eberhardt, Head of Orchestration, Communications Technology Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Terje Jensen, Senior Vice President/Head of Global Network Architecture, Director 5G Readiness Strategic Program, Technologies and Services, Telenor

Details here: Strategy Outlook 5G Edge | TelecomTV

Telecom Blitz Week 9th June

LONDON, UK, 2 June, 2021 – Colt Technology Services, a leading provider of world-class network and voice connectivity to businesses in Europe, Asia and the US, today announced that Head of Mobile Connectivity Solutions, Mark Gilmour will speak at FierceTelecom’s “Telecom Blitz Week, Summer Edition,” taking place from 7 – 9 June, 2021.

Gilmour will address attendees on Wednesday 9 June 2021, between 11:00-12:00 pm ET, as one of three speakers in a session titled, “2021 Fiber Technologies and Strategies: Everything You Need to Know.”

The session abstract reads: “A couple of factors are driving momentum behind fiber build-outs in the United States in 2021. One is the deployment of 5G and the necessity of fiber for backhaul, and the other is motivation to close the digital divide, which became more urgent because of Covid. There’s real money on the table in both cases. The wireless carriers are spending capex to deploy fiber backhaul, and the fed is spending money via the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) to close the digital divide. What are the most current fiber technologies that telcos need to understand for 5G backhaul? What issues must be considered for rural deployments of fiber? And what’s the status of next-gen optical such as 400G and beyond?”

Gilmour, an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, is charged with leading and expanding Colt’s mobile connectivity proposition and plays a pivotal role in driving the company’s mobile strategy. His contribution to the session will center on 5G transport.

The virtual event is free to interested parties, who can learn more and pre-register here.

Telecom Blitz Week: Summer Edition | Fierce Digital Tech Events

How Enterprises will benefit from 5G

Earlier this month I sat down with Richard Piasentin CSO & CMO at Accedian to discuss enterprises and 5G. It was supposed to be a 5 minute interview but we got talking…….. here is the full conversation, I don’t think we stopped enough for the editors to find a natural edit point… enjoy.

Join Richard Piasentin, Chief Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer at Accedian, and Mark Gilmour, VP Mobile Connectivity Solutions at Colt Technology Services, in conversation on the eve of signing a 10-year strategic partnership between the two companies as they discuss:

  • The potential of 5G in supporting enterprise customers
  • The innovations that can already be harnessed
  • Lowering barriers to entry and opportunities for new entrants
  • Hyper local connectivity and edge compute at hyperscaler flexibility
  • Supporting the growth of the connectivity ecosystem
  • The critical importance of visibility and assurance
  • The benefits yielded by the close partnership between Accedian and Colt