It pays to be disruptive; value added services enhance ISP growth

In a recent research report leading telecoms vendor Ericsson in collaboration with consultancy firm Ernst & Young ask the question; What Makes a Successful Telco Business strategy? The study released last week clearly outlines the strategies “frontrunners” are taking in the telco space.

The study found that front-runners, those ISP’s who have rapidly growing market share in their respective regions were most likely to be ranked around third by market position.

Frontrunners are identified by using three sets of criteria:

  1.     Achieving a healthy annual revenue growth
  2.     Maturity in respect to capturing business through a higher proportion of non-voice revenue
  3.     Remaining profitable through positive EBITDA

CAGR of total revenue per group

The study shows that over the course of four years between 2010-2014, these front runners were outperforming their competitors by a margin of 6.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). That’s pretty significant!

With mobile data use on the rise, as well as traditional revenues coming under pressure, what were the types of strategies being used to produce such outstanding results?

Ericsson found that there were three strategies used by telco providers to improve growth above the market average;

  1. Offering-led transformation: Which refers to operators that differentiate by being first to market with uniquely designed offerings.
  2. Quality-led progression: Where operators differentiate through high-performing networks and high brand preference.
  3. Market-led adaptation: Includes those operators that differentiate through quick adaptation to market conditions.

Frontrunner strategies

During the period of the research, there has been a significant shift in the strategic approach frontrunners are taking. In 2012, the majority of telco’s were leveraging their size and assets to deliver superior quality and thereby achieve profitable growth. With time, we have seen that operators applying other types of strategies are also emerging as frontrunners, indicating that profitable growth can be achieved more effectively by offering consumers additional value.

Frontrunners are outpacing the market by using value-added services that differentiate them from the rest of the market. There is also a strong focus on garnering new revenue streams instead of trying to maximise old ones by voice and by challenging industry conventions to make connectivity more relevant to people, business and society.

Offering led transformation

Bypass is a Value Added Service provider for ISP’s; we provide products for ISP’s that lead to offering led transformation. We have seen our key customers win awards and grow much faster than the market average.

BNSL develops white-label products for ISP’s. We have been in successful in offering Global Mode & Buddy Guard as a point of differentiation for ISP’s which allow them to be first to market with a unique product set. Our operational model has further accelerated demand as, unlike traditional capital-intensive commercial models our products are payable monthly, based on usage.

By shifting a traditional technology cost centre into a marketing profit centre, we deliver valued added products that create value in the mind of the customer. We’ve seen our ISP’s grow exponentially. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we can improve your APRU and profitability using an Offering-led transformation strategy.

The full report can be found here!

Bypass Network Services to launch Global Mode for mobile in India

india, mobile market, geo-blocking, net neutrality

Bypass Network Services Limited (Bypass) is excited to announce an agreement has been reached with Varun Sood to represent Bypass in India. The focus of the partnership is the emerging market of geo-unblocking for mobile providers. The agreement is to provide mobile operators and fixed line Internet providers in India with local market representation for Bypass’ world first geo-unblocking product Global Mode. The relationship is already showing benefits with two prominent ISPs in India undertaking the first stages of due diligence.

Varun, an Oxford Business School MBA, joins Bypass with an extensive background in International Business Development & Strategy. Bypass selected Varun based on his professional experience and business relationships in Asia, Africa, and Europe and the understanding of Net Neutrality principles.

“Now is the perfect time for mobile operators to be considering Global Mode due to the Net Neutrality debate,” says Varun. “Bypass is a strong advocate for Net Neutrality, and deploying Global Mode enhances consumer choice to differentiate a mobile offer in a competitive market to grow revenue.”

Net Neutrality is very important for India’s future economic growth. Global Mode is designed to remove unjustified commercial barriers on the internet which restrict the customer’s right to use the Internet the way they choose. ISP’s who support Net Neutrality should be seriously considering the role they can play in removing geo-blocking at a technical level, not just as a policy statement.

Smart DNS services are estimated to be used by over 25% of global Internet users though mainly technical savvy users. Global Mode is integrated into the broadband network to automatically enable geo-blocking removal for ALL users on the network. Thus, it’s much simpler to implement and increases the value of the connection through bundling.

“Only four countries in the world have this method of geo-blocking removal in place. We’re excited to be working with Varun, helping to open up parts of The Internet in India that have until now been inaccessible. Research has shown that the more The Internet is open, the more economic benefit a country receives.” said Patrick Jordan-Smith, CEO of Bypass.

About Bypass Network Services Limited

Bypass provides PaaS products for residential Internet service providers & mobile operators to rapidly capture market share & reduce churn through differentiating their offer in a competitive market. Global Mode® is the world’s first network level managed geo-unblocking solution. Global Mode® is a PaaS and can be deployed in any size broadband network in under ½ a day.

Big Media Gang takes consumer choice to court

Sky, Mediaworks, TVNZ and Lightbox have once again given Bypass Network Services Limited (BNSL) an ultimatum. Shut down by 12pm today, or we’re taking you to court.

Last week BNSL sought further clarification from Buddle Findlay, the lawyers acting on behalf of the big media gang. BNSL received this at 3:54pm on Friday.

BNSL has just replied to them asking them to consider a declaratory judgment instead of a full blown high court case. Statements from the big media gang say they are seeking to “clarify” the law, this seems like a good way to achieve that without crushing BNSL out of existence.


World’s first ISP Geo-Unblocking company to launch European & Asia Pacific Regions with two new ISP’s

Bypass Network Services Limited (BNSL) announced today that agreements have been executed for the international expansion of Global Mode® into two new countries. Global Mode® is the world’s first wholesale geo-unblocking solution. BNSL first launched Global Mode® in 2013. The high uptake of Global Mode® is due to a differentiated commercial model, which has accelerated the company’s decision for expansion into two new territories.

“We are excited about the tremendous opportunity internationally” says Matthew Jackson, BNSL’s Co-Founder and Commercial Director. “We founded the company with hopes of opening up the Internet to give consumers a choice. We realised that there was a high demand for streaming services to be available in New Zealand and abroad – and got tired of waiting for it to become readily accessible.” We tested the business model in our market, and proved we could provision large ISP networks overnight. Now that BNSL is in a position to provide ISP’s in global markets with certainty about this world first technology, it’s the right time to expand.”

BNSL chose the new European region as their first area of expansion because of the similarity in consumer and importing legislation. In parallel, BNSL was approached by another ISP in the Asia Pacific region where the debate between piracy and consumer rights is being waged by ISPs and media lobbyists very publically. Neither ISP has launched, and as such wish to remain private at this stage.

“We don’t think the internet was designed to stop people from surfing websites globally. Global Mode® enables ISP networks to provide an open Internet experience.” says Patrick Jordan- Smith, Co-Founder and Technical Director, “We believe open Internet access drives economic growth though the digital economy.” BNSL has been a vocal proponent for Net Neutrality. It’s founding principals are based closely on the OCED goals for an open Internet.

About Bypass Network Services Limited

BNSL provides PaaS products for residential Internet service providers to rapidly capture market share & reduce churn through differentiating their offer in a competitive market. BNSL invented a new way for customers to stream online content via their ISP. Global Mode® is the world’s first wholesale geo-unblocking solution.

Netflix plays Whac-a-Mole, consider PaaS!

Netflix, PaaS, Global Mode

If you haven’t heard of Whac-A-Mole it’s a popular arcade where the object of the game is to force the individual moles back into their holes by hitting them directly on the head with the mallet. The term was used recently by Netflix as reported by Fairfax recently when they asked us about the impact of Netflix’s reported crackdown.

PaaS, it’s been a bit of a buzz word and yes we use it too, but think about it, do you really want to play ‘whac-a-mole’ with Netflix, is this your core business? As the CEO of one of our customers said me the other day over lunch, “I don’t want to invest in becoming a  DNS proxy specialist, that’s why we have you.”

We use the term PaaS because we consider Global Mode® a platform, and you can’t rent tin from us, and SaaS is more akin to a business service. The point isn’t how you define cloud services; it’s why do you use them?

Separation of Responsibilities

PaaS Global Mode Provider Resonsibilities

A quick look in our accounting system and it’s obvious, we have 161 vendors to manage to provide our service. Sure, out of that list we retain a specialist legal council, we call on our accountant for advice, and I’m sure our local micro-brewery is in that list too. Consider 25% of our contacts are overheads; that means we deal with ≈120 vendors we to run the platform.

Then you have to consider Hulu took these same measures last year to block services that circumvent geolocation restrictions. Don’t get me wrong we consider this an issue, but it’s a headache we have to manage.  Would you prefer to have one of your staff create a mitigation plan or receive a proactive call from your PaaS provider to say they’ve been planning for this, then advise you of the solution? It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but in my experience, in the SaaS/PaaS sector continuous improvement is nearly always overlooked.

Whatever the offer, you can tell a good PaaS provider by the number of updates you get in your product. If you don’t get new features, new reporting, new user interfaces then they’re not taking the money you pay them and reinvesting it into improving the product.

When Hulu announced their plans we had taken certain measures already, that’s why we created VIPER, our transparent DNS proxy. That took about three months, imagine if you had a core service used by ¼ of your customers every day, but it wasn’t operating at 100% effectiveness. What flow on impact would this have to your call centre and ultimately your brand?

Since then we’ve taken even more, we launched DELUGE, our TCP acceleration software and proxy network. This is key to the whack-a-mole game, as it’s how we manage client-side and server-side proxies and traffic to create a high-performance solution. In the ‘old days’ without DELUGE, we wouldn’t have been able to scale and support the influx of hundred’s of thousand’s of new users concurrently without any issues.

We also look at business processes, and something any organisation can consider, is process automation for deploying software. At BNSL, we use ansible to  automate new site deployments and management application configuration  – think about how fast we need to do this when we start playing whack-a-mole with Hulu & Netflix.

It’s our job to make the web a better place.  That means we need to be experts at managing the moving parts for our platform so we can win the whack-a-mole and avoid getting ‘smacked’ by the Netflix mallet.

Global Mode Commercial Director featured opinion article published by Fairfax

censorship, net neutrality, TPP, TPPA

The New Zealand government is one of the parties involved in the TransPacificPartnership Agreement (TPPA or TPP for short). The TPP is no simple “free trade agreement.” It goes further than tariffs and quotas.

According to the Fair Deal Coalition “the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will reach beyond the border, into New Zealand’s own policy-making and regulatory processes. [And] could stop future governments from making their own decisions on important issues including how long copyright lasts and how Internet Service Providers do business”.

Global Mode developer defends service

The American Motion Picture Association once tried to ban the personal VCR based on copyright principles, the VCR then became on of the largest ways for the consumer to purchase TV shows and movies for in home viewing.

Hollywood has already approached New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs to stop Kiwis accessing online content.

Radio NZ reported in July of this year that the Motion Pictures Distributors Association wanted access to the Internal Affairs child pornography filter, so they could block access to copyrighted material.

Should a US organisation with commercial interests control your ability to access websites when you are in New Zealand governed by New Zealand laws?

About 25 years ago the world wide web was invented by Timothy Berners-Lee. Last month in an interview with the Washinton Post, Berners-Lee said that US system is now in danger from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who stand to amass too much power over what was intentionally built as a decentralised network – one where no single actor could dictate outcomes to everyone else.

The TPP would indeed limit the open internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and fundamental rights if a number of proposed copyright provisions were agreed to. The TPP should lower trade barriers, not raise them.

New Zealand would be obliged under its free trade agreements with the United States, Singapore and Korea to provide a legal incentive to ISPs to cooperate with rights holders to prevent infringement on their systems and networks – based on their laws, not our own. New Zealander’s right to operate as a sovereign nation is at risk. Policies that won’t even address the root causes of internet piracy. Polices that would remove competition on the internet.

In contract, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) policy recommendations suggest that access to the internet should be promoted as fundamental to participating in 21st century society. So how can the New Zealand government fundamentally agree to lose control of our ability to provide access to online services from a fair trade agreement and say it’s in our best interests?

When you consider that last generation media monopolies have spent years ranting against piracy, while ignoring customer feedback, there has been very little done to reduce online piracy.

Rather than declaring war on frustrated customers, perhaps it would be best to focus on the problems which have driven New Zealander’s to take their business elsewhere?

Termination of internet access to a household or business would cut off occupants from education, employment, health services, government information, and social engagement.

If you dive deeper, the current issues and risks are greater as New Zealand could become subject to decisions such as a recent court decision involving Verizon vs the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in relation tonet neutrality.

Put simply, net neutrality refers to the basic principle that all data should be treated equally. That means no preferential treatment to specific kinds of content, certain users, individual companies or modes of communication.

This means big telecom companies can give an advantage to big internet companies who are willing to make deals with broadband providers, this quite obviously presents small companies with the disadvantage of operating on a slower network, lowering competition and removing consumer choice.

There’s a difference between regulating providers of broadband and the services that run on top of it, said Berners-Lee. Strong net neutrality rules would help preserve that line dividing the two and limit the incentive of ISPs to meddle in the market for services.

Netflix has said that “net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” calling out giants telecommunications providers for bad behaviour. We can only wonder what impact the TPP will have on media censorship in New Zealand. There is no point simply blocking sites that promote online illegal downloading when they can change their address in minutes.

The internet has no readily available gate that we can put a lock on to keep people from downloading illegal content because there are many alternative ways for infringers to access their favourite movies and TV shows online. Over 2.5 million if you run a Google search.

The fact remains piracy isn’t a new problem, but could you say that the current solutions and proposed solution from the sector is not working?

Content rights holders have been fighting a losing battle for years. The file sharing industry is now global, very sophisticated and mainstream. Pirating techniques have evolved, simplified and diversified over the last decade, and many options and alternative distribution models have been constructed.

The content industry has not kept up.

In New Zeland only a very few cases have ever been heard by the Copyright Tribunal, and ISP’s foot huge bills to cover the costs to compliance systems.

Under the TPP, traditional providers will begin to relentlessly lobby the New Zealand government to create restrictive policies and heavy-handed solutions, none of which take consumers interests into account or addressing the reasons why New Zealander’s illegally download movies and TV shows.

Under the TPP, the government instead seems determined to be seen as defending, at all costs, the business model of the Hollywood movie houses.

Why not, instead of threatening consumer rights – make an investment that changes quarterly forecast earnings and create a solution people demand?

Double Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey challenged TV channels to give “control” to their audiences or risk losing them at his address at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

“Netflix was the only network that believed in the new model of creating content….. The audience wants the control, they want the freedom. Through this new form of distribution we have learnt the lesson the music industry didn’t learn. Give people want they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in and at a reasonable price and they’ll more likely pay for it than steal it. Well, some will still steal it but I think we can take a bite out of piracy”

Obviously New Zelanders want the access to new content. The demand is there and consumers want to be treated with respect, not hampered by delays or excess charges.

Consumers who want access to content immediately are willing to pay for it. A government that forces costly policies onto consumers and ISPs, policies that won’t even address the root causes of internet piracy, is not the answer.

Chorus built a high speed network that provides unprecedented access to information never seen before in New Zealand. Our super highway is ready, and many, if not most people prefer to do the right thing. They want good service at a reasonable price. They want to pay for the very desirable content.

If the TPP lets governments & broadcasters lump people who are streaming overseas content into the same group as BitTorrent users, we prevent consumer choice.

Consumers will be stopped from bypassing geo-blocking, an artificial restraint on trade. Trade covered, ironically, by something called a ‘Free Trade Agreement’.

So start treating your customers as customers, not the enemy, and you might find things improve. Address the reasons why people infringe copyright in the first place rather than continually apply a band-aid to a broken bone.

The New Zealand sector is ready and willing to provide a legal framework within which rights holders, ISPs and consumer representatives can develop flexible, fair and workable approaches to reducing online copyright infringement.

Don’t ban parallel imports. Allow fair and genuine uses of copyright works in a rapidly evolving digital environment. The TPP should lower trade barriers, not raise them, and as a country we need to seriously consider removing oursleves from the TPP negotiations before it’s too late.

Matthew Jackson is Commercial Director of Bypass Network Services Limited and co-founder of Global Mode

Orcon’s new GM announces the launch Global Mode® – featured on Scoop

Orcon, global mode, technology, free movies, free movies online, streaming movies, watch movies online

Orcon unlocks the internet with launch of Global Mode

Survey results suggest broadcast TV is dying, with an overwhelming preference to stream online content. Orcon responds with Global Mode and low cost 100Mb/s UFB plans

New Orcon General Manager, Michael Shirley, today announced Orcon customers will be able to access previously blocked international websites with Global Mode, coinciding with survey results pointing to a shift from broadcast TV to online streaming.

Global Mode, now live, is a free and automatic service for Orcon customers that allows Kiwis to access global streaming websites.

Michael Shirley says, “For too long now, consumers have been limited in regards to the websites they can access and content they can watch. Our customers want a platform where they can make those decisions for themselves and it’s great to be able to offer it to them.”

The internet company has also announced a 100Mb/s Fibre plan for $105 per month for 100GB or $115 per month unlimited data, meaning households with multiple devices can really maximise the greater content options now available.

A recent survey of more than 4,000 Orcon customers shows that three out of every four customers prefer to stream content online. And only one in five customers prefer to download content with little support for watching it via traditional broadcast TV.

Mr Shirley says, “We expect this trend to continue. Broadcast TV is dying so we want to give customers access to even more online content, matched with cheaper high-spec ultra-fast broadband plans”.

In June Google awarded Orcon UFB with YouTube HD verification after passing the challenging rating criteria in Google’s new Video Quality Report. The ratings show that Orcon UFB customers stream YouTube in HD at least 90 per cent of the time.

“The Fibre 100 Unlimited plan is perfect for families or flats which consume loads of HD content on multiple devices or enjoy gaming; all while not having to worry about buffering and bill shock at the end of the month,” he adds.

“Streaming online TV shouldn’t have to mean low definition.”

One week into his role, the industry veteran with more than 20 years’ Telco experience, says the future is looking bright for Orcon and Orcon customers.

“We have the right people who are passionate about continuing to bring First World Internet to New Zealand, and we will continue to deliver it through the best, most innovative products and services”.

For more information visit

Source: Scoop Media

CNet reports New Zealand ISP’s ‘Global Mode®’ gives users access to Netflix

global mode, cnet, watch movies online, free online streaming, free movies, streaming online

As reported by CNET.

Video on demand services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go, are geoblocked — that is, people can only subscribe to them if they live in the countries in which they operate. This is, of course, due to distribution rights around TV and movies which are out of step with the current potential of global digital distribution.

For Netflix in particular, many people outside of its regions of availability use VPNs to circumvent the geoblocking and subscribe to the service. It’s been reported by The Australian that Netflix was swayed into pushing into the Australian market because of the number of people already using the service via VPN.

(Consumer watchdog Choice even advocates this practice on the basis that geoblocking is unfair and involves setting higher prices for certain regions.)

Now Slingshot, an ISP in New Zealand, is offering a free service called Global Mode, making it easier than ever for its customers to access geoblocked sites and services. Global Mode appears to be a VPN, but set up on the ISP side, rather a user’s home PC.

On Slingshot’s site, the company had the following to say about Global Mode:

 “Ever tried to go to a website, only to be told you can’t see it because you live in New Zealand? We think that’s bizarre, and it’s why we have introduced Global Mode.

“Global Mode is a brilliant service that lets you visit a range sites that are normally blocked to people from New Zealand. And it’s free for Slingshot broadband customers.”

Interestingly, as spotted by GigaOM, Slingshot’s helpdesk entry for Global Mode has a slightly different take on it:

“We don’t want your guests being treated like second-class citizens just because they are staying in New Zealand. Instead, we want them to have the same rich online experiences as they do in their own country. Global Mode lets them access their favourite international sites and services from your home broadband connection.”

While the debate rages about the legality of using a VPN in these scenarios it’s usually the case that it will violate the terms and conditions of the VOD service at the very least. Suggesting that the user will in fact be a subscriber merely attempting to access their fully legal content while travelling internationally is certainly an intriguing take on the legality of Global Mode.

We’ve contacted Slingshot requesting comment on its Global Mode service, and we’ll update when we hear back.

Updated 2.36pm AEST:

Taryn Hamilton, the general manager of Slingshot has spoken to CNET via email, offering some remarkably candid comments on its Global Mode.

It transpired that Global Mode is a software based solution provided via a third party who built and manage the software. It “allows access to a couple of dozen sites that are normally geoblocked” according to Hamilton.

Global Mode has actually been available for some time, and while it was initially pitched for overseas visitors, we were told that the information in the helpdesk entry linked to above was outdated and needed to be changed:

“We launched Global Mode a year ago and positioned it for overseas visitors. Last week we dropped that pretence, and switched it on for everyone by default,” says Hamilton.

“Like Australia, content options in New Zealand are either too limited or too expensive. We know people want to pay for content, this lets them do so. We think it will help combat piracy. In the long run, we’d like all the content providers to sell directly to New Zealanders — we know that the services would be really popular.”

Slingshot to unblock foreign web media, featured on 6 O’Clock news

Global Mode® is featured in primetime news coverage. Internet provider Slingshot has removed what’s called the geo-block.

The media landscape has changed a lot in the past week, with Sky losing the English Premier League and MediaWorks in receivership. Another announcement is also shifting the goalposts.