Australian telcos 'all affected' by Queensland floods: Ovum

Disaster recovery, behind scenes work key to minimal service delays

The Queensland floods crisis has kicked off a rocky year for the telecommunications industry, with analysts saying that while Australian telcos have managed to generally maintain a high level of service, there will be a number of challenges in the months ahead.

Ovum analyst, Craig Skinner, told Computerworld Australia that all telcos have been affected by the floods, with carriers appearing to have been affected equally.

“All of the telcos operating in the Queensland market obviously have been affected by it,” he said.

“You might see some have different market shares in the Queensland market compared to the national level and they could be affected more, but they’ve all been evenly affected by it and they have been working hard behind the scenes to fix any problems.”

As well as working hard behind the scenes, Skinner said the hard work put months in advance into creating an effective disaster recovery plan has paid off for the telecommunications industry.

“The telcos have been hit pretty hard by the floods,” Skinner said. “But in terms of seeing how they have been able to get their services up and running and how well they have been able to maintain the level of services during the floods, they [have had] quite good disaster plans in place.”

Skinner said such disaster plans have enabled telcos to move equipment from exchanges and use a backup power supply without causing extended delays to customers.

“The telco sector has really demonstrated how you plan ahead for these sorts of disasters,” he said. “Whether it’s fire or floods, this issue comes up.

“I think this is a good lesson that could be applied to other businesses around how they could apply that business continuity in the event of these disasters.”

Skinner’s insights follow Ovum’s prediction today what 2011 will have in store for the telecommunications industry over the next 12 months, with a shift away from Apple devices and the favouring of Android and Windows phone 7 devices set to increase.

The predictions echo yesterday’s predictions from independent telecoms research company, Telsyte, which found that Android will be the fastest growing platform of the industry over the next year.

Skinner said other issues set to dominate include the proliferation of tablets as a compliment to smartphone devices, but said that smartphones won’t be replaced by their tablet counterparts.

“They probably won’t replace them directly, simply because of the size of them,” he said. “It’s very easy to slip a phone into your pocket, whereas with a tablet you really need something to carry it with - it’s not something that you can take with you everywhere.”

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

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