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Moving beyond the ‘Dumb Pipe’ with Big Data

Louis Brun, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific - Guavus | April 29, 2014
The challenge facing mobile operators is adapting their business models to better understand how data can be used and applied within the business for more efficient operations, and how deploying new technology will enable them to extract timely insights from this data deluge for increased revenue.

With voice profits stagnating, operators need to determine how to best generate new revenue from the potentially lucrative data boom. Mobile carriers have access to vast amounts of data, though have never positioned themselves as value creators. Historically, carriers have assumed the roles of enablers for information flow, with surprisingly little visibility into data content. With the explosion of mobile data across networks, operators are now uniquely positioned to gain valuable insights into customer behaviours and demographics, which can help them market more effectively, create more profitable pricing plans, upsell services and determine how to best target their advertising activities for a greater ROI. 

The challenge facing mobile operators is adapting their business models to better understand how data can be used and applied within the business for more efficient operations, and how deploying new technology will enable them to extract timely insights from this data deluge for increased revenue.

Going where the money is

Using analytics, operators can identify their most profitable customers and segment them according to where they live, their favourite devices and their most consumed services. This information gives operators a complete picture of who they should be targeting and which specific campaign to use. By knowing more about their customers, carriers can create highly targeted marketing campaigns to ensure their messages reach the right people, at the right time and in the right context: the holy grail of marketing.

This information is not only useful for internal customer acquisition and upsell opportunities, but can also help to open completely new revenue streams, by allowing operators to partner with third parties to create value-added services for customers. For example, if a CSP is launching a new service, such as accelerating adoption of a new mobile TV service. By identifying users with the right devices and segmenting these users according to their content interest, the CSP could analyse past behaviour and usage to determine which channels and messages would work best.

Unearthing the ultimate upsell opportunity

With the increasing use of OTT services and heavy volumes of data on networks, operators need to be sure that they are optimising their pricing plans to ensure that revenues do not stagnate. Understanding usage is critical to identifying upsell opportunities and introducing more profitable tiered pricing. Once again, analytics come into play. Using the segmenting techniques outlined above, operators can identify complimentary offerings relevant to individual customers, and create pricing plans that ensure tariffs are aligned with usage, without cannibalising existing services.

For example, if someone has a 4G-enabled phone, they may be interested in upgrading to a 4G network. Or, if someone is a heavy data user, or a less profitable customer, the operator can offer different rates that either move users onto network connections that are more in line with what they're paying for, or charge them an adjusted price premium to use faster connections. Alternatively, if someone is on a pre-paid plan, CSPs can assess usage to create incentive packages to help move them onto post-paid contracts.

 

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