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.

5G and edge computing: Why these complementary technologies will optimize enterprise businesses

5G deployments are starting to expand beyond the few city-wide showcases of the last couple of years. And new use cases for consumer and enterprises are being developed all the time. But it will take the parallel implementation of edge computing in the next few months for 5G to truly reach its potential.

What is the edge? Where is the edge? How does it benefit 5G? What is the sum of these parts? Can we have one without the other?

These are valid questions as we move from initial limited implementations of 5G towards a future where it becomes essential not just for consumers and lifestyles, but businesses chasing market opportunities. As we move into that future, the defining characteristics

Continue reading “5G and edge computing: Why these complementary technologies will optimize enterprise businesses”

Looking back in order to look forward; what does this new decade hold for the wireless industry?

This blog post was originally published on on January 7th 2020.

The end of one year and start of another often sees people look back and reflect upon the last 12 months as well as start to think about the year ahead.

This year though, I find myself not only reflecting on last year but the decade that has now come to an end. The last decade saw the way we communicate dramatically change and mobile technology and handsets played a huge role in that. The wide-spread roll out of 5G that is said to come in this new decade will drive further reinvention – so what are the parallels between the last decade and where we are today?

As the ‘Naughties’ drew to a close, we were just a couple of years into the smartphone revolution, with the real growth still yet to come. The latest handset on the market was the iPhone 3G S, which was launched in the Summer of 2009 and ran on the 3G network with a top speed of 7.2Mbps download and only 384Kbps upload.

Continue reading “Looking back in order to look forward; what does this new decade hold for the wireless industry?”

5G backhaul requires more symmetry than previous wireless generations

This interview originally appeared in FierceWireless author – Linda Hardesty October 10th 2019.

Backhaul requirements within current wireless networks are largely asymmetrical with most traffic flowing from the core to the handset, according to Mark Gilmour, VP of mobile connectivity solutions at Colt Technology Service. But 5G networks will require more symmetrical backhaul capability.

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The 5G revolution begins

This blog post was first published on June 2019.

It’s been a whirlwind few months since I joined Colt, particularly in the last month with speaking assignments at three big events on the future of 5G and mobile connectivity.

First I attended the Big 5G event in Denver, where I was part of a panel on ‘Virtualization & the 5G Cloud’. It was clear from the discussions that the route to full virtualization is underway but there are a number of unresolved questions on how the mobile & cellular network will be fully impacted and the timeline to get there.

Continue reading “The 5G revolution begins”