In 2014, the roll-out of LTE has been a major focus for communications service providers (CSPs), with over 300 LTE networks now in operation globally. But super-fast data speeds and data hungry consumers have brought their share of challenges for CSPs and simply offering fast data access is not enough. As data usage increases on their networks, CSPs are trying figure out a way to monetise their data assets, and provide a quality-rich, personalised experience for customers accessing their services. The industry has come to the realisation that an evolution of traditional telecoms networks and business models is required to stay ahead of the curve.
As more CSPs continue to optimise their networks and business operations for LTE, some of the trends that we can look forward to in the year ahead include:
The Digital Service Provider (DSP) trend will gain strong momentum
Rolling out LTE is simply the first stage of delivering on the promise of a fully-digital mobile experience. In order to capitalise on their LTE investments, CSPs will be plotting a path towards becoming Digital Service Providers (DSPs). These businesses will focus on delivering personalised customer services, migrating customer interactions online, and providing advanced self-care through digital channels.
In 2015, the concept of the DSP will move beyond a few early adopters to become more main stream. More CSPs will take the lead from successful brands like Telstra, which is constantly engaging with its customers and adding value to evolve their digital lifestyles.
Non CSPs will start retailing data connectivity
In 2015, we can expect to see successful partnerships between non-telecoms brands and CSPs, as more businesses look to launch data services alongside their traditional offerings. Think travel companies offering roaming deals as part of holiday packages, for example.
This new marketplace will be enabled by CSPs modernising their enabling systems and moving to a real-time environment. In undertaking this transition, they can launch new propositions with their 'digital partners' through an application programming interface (API) model. We will likely start seeing 'mash-up' data models emerging that have become commonplace in online retailing and other industries.
MVNOs setting the pace on data innovation
2015 will be the year of the digital mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) as these providers evolve from predominantly offering voice services, to becoming data-centric innovators.
Traditionally, MVNOs have differentiated their offerings through exclusive content, or basement level pricing. However, these strategies will continue to evolve to service a more sophisticated customer base that demands data services. MVNOs will begin to realign their business strategies to meet increasing demand from consumers for control over their mobile experience. They can achieve this by profiling different customer groups, and offering appropriate brand-based and OTT services based on subscriber behaviour.
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