"For service providers, it's really about [aspiring] to become the next cloud providers," said Wendy Koh, Juniper Networks senior vice president APAC.
"We are partnering with service providers to automate, scale and create new services for them, so they are able to be very different in the marketplace" and acquire "more customers through the new services that they have launched."
A recent report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that the mobile market has reached a saturation point, with the number of mobile services declining for the first time in 2013-14. The ACMA also noted the rise in popularity of OTT services, which ride on telecom networks without paying any toll to the network operator.
Telcos see over-the-top providers as "just taking a free ride" on all their hard work building communications networks, Skingsley said. "They want to get in on that, and are looking for ways to do that."
In response, Juniper's service provider customers in Australia are "looking at how they move their connectivity platforms more towards a high-value services platform," said Skingsley.
"That's a challenge for them."
Shaw highlighted the same trend. "Providing connectivity services for enterprise customers is extremely profitable, but at the end of the day it's a pipe."
Compared with other global service providers, Telstra "is really out in front," said Marcellin. Telstra is working with Juniper to deploy software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), he said.
"They're not doing it just for technology's sake," he said. "They're actually doing it for real business value."
In owning the network and already having an established relationship with the customer, telcos should have a major advantage over OTT companies, he said.
"These over-the-top guys have to essentially earn their customers every single day," he said. "The more forward-thinking service providers are trying to figure out how they can provide a set of capabilities that are just going to be really compelling and sticky to their customers."
Doing NFV and SDN is a "matter of survival" for telcos, said Shaw. However, it won't happen overnight, he said.
"To really get there, it's probably a couple years, honestly. I don't think it's 10 years, but we've got a ways to go."
NFV will likely come before SDN for many service providers, he said. "They're looking to virtualize functions, but then that whole singing-and-dancing, fully automated system where I have SDN and get all that connectivity ... It's going to take a long time to build all those connections."
Adam Bender travelled to Singapore as a guest of Juniper Networks.
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