& cplSiteName &

The Three Steps to Digital Dominance

Jennifer Kyriakakis
5/27/2015
50%
50%

Plenty of communications service providers (CSPs) are talking about making the transition to offer digital services. However, there's a spectrum of different strategies out there based on individual technology, business and customer requirements that must be considered.

So what are the main strategies we can expect to see emerging in today's fast-paced environment? And who are today's nascent digital leaders?

Broadly speaking, the CSPs that are leading the transformation to digital are those that are addressing unsustainable revenue streams, have listened to and are empowering their customers, and are launching digital services at a lightning-fast pace. In these changing times, it's these three qualities that will decide how well CSPs can compete on the digital playing field.

The three steps to digital dominance
Firstly, CSPs must have the ability to replace bad revenue with good, by creating a business model based on income from consumers' consented spend. This needs to replace the "bad revenue" that has historically been generated from overages and other unexpected costs, which commonly end in bill shock and negative press. (See T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages.)

Although not totally disruptive, Google Fi took a step in the right direction by offering to refund consumers' unused data at the end of the month. However, while a refund enables consumers to pay only for the data they use, it forces them to constantly keep track of money owed to them each month and ensure they receive it. One wonders what limitations underlie Google's infrastructure to make this "after the fact" model preferable to giving customers real-time control over spending. (See Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here.)

The recent launch of the Dixons Carphone Warehouse 4G MVNO, iD Mobile, in the UK is more innovative because it promises to give instant account spend visibility and data usage control directly to customers from a mobile device. (See Introducing iD: The new mobile phone network built around customers and Dixons Carphone Strikes MVNO Deal With 3.)

Here, the uncertainty for consumers surrounding the monthly bill is replaced by proactive decision-making, where customers can decide in advance about purchases. Consumers know at any given moment what they're buying and can be confident of an accurate, up-to-the-second view of what they've used.

The second aspect of digital transformation is empowering consumers with convenience and choice. This focus is gaining momentum, as demonstrated by Salt Mobile SA (previously Orange Switzerland), which has rolled out different "flavored" plans based on customer "personas," and offers device, accessory, service and price options. Interestingly, each Salt Pack offers controllable service parameters that add a unique personalization twist to encourage further customer loyalty and spending, yet they are still simple to buy online with a few clicks.

The third quality that marks out a digital leader is the ability to unleash and roll out creative propositions in real-time. CSPs must deploy technology that enables them to rapidly offer personalized data packages that fit with different consumer lifestyles, rather than internal CSP accounting buckets. Subsequently, CSPs can capture share of market and wallet by reacting to consumers' demands. From the historical "inward" focus of protecting the network from usage that was tough to effectively monetize, digital leaders are now looking "outward" as they actively encourage more usage that can be closely monetized in real-time for both consumer and CSP benefit.

An excellent example of a CSP that has successfully addressed all the three strategies required to become a digital brand is Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) in Australia. Telstra has upgraded its systems and is offering real-time data usage alerts and controls. This move has greatly reduced call center complaint traffic for data billing and has substantially reduced costs. Furthermore, it also clearly shows that customers will spend more when they are satisfied with their usage and charges and have real-time visibility and control over them; Telstra announced in its recent annual report that data service revenue is growing significantly, due in no small part to catering to individual customers, rather than assuming one size fits every data consumption requirement.

A technological evolution to enable digital services
So what does this mean for traditional, legacy BSS systems that have been in charge of customer offers, billing and service?

These technologies now need to be placed directly in the path of service delivery so that customers are intimately exposed to systems that only a short while ago would sit in the back office and perform batch-oriented bean counting, offline and out of the view of the customer. Now, these systems are on the frontline, handling the monetization of LTE and today's explosion in traffic, service design and pricing complexity, enabling instant transactions that affect customer experience and CSP revenues in a heartbeat. In order to compete, CSPs are reassessing their existing investments and seeking a cost-justifiable pathway to digital that gets the biggest bang for the buck.

There's nothing new about the concept of becoming a digital brand, of course, but many CSPs are choosing to launch standalone brands using the MVNO model, where sunk costs and reliance on existing systems is minimized. Some are finding that offering a personalized retail experience to customers is faster and cheaper if it is not driven at the parent MNO level.

Legacy BSS technologies are now being left behind with old businesses. Launching standalone digital brands on streamlined, real-time, self-service-based BSS will shed costs, customer service inefficiencies and time-to-market issues and will no longer be a "grand experiment." MVNOs and MVNO-like operations are capturing the digital market and in order to keep pace, MNOs are realizing that launching these self-sufficient, streamlined brands is a better way to compete than spending a lot of time and money trying to retrain their legacy assets. Watch for more of them in the near future.

— Jennifer Kyriakakis, Founder and VP of Marketing, Matrixx Software Inc.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
Time is your biggest asset if you use it to get you where you want to go.
The use of drone technology is changing the game for wireless operators, argues AUVSI's Brian Wynne.
Sometimes your day job has to come before championing the women in tech cause, but that can be equally as beneficial, inspirational and productive.
As a month-long, multi-city, 12-hour/day, multi-time zone, multi-device extravaganza, the NCAA basketball tournament poses unique streaming video challenges.
As the 3GPP agrees on plan to accelerate 5G NR -- the global 5G standard -- for 2019 deployments, a Qualcomm VP walks us through the reasons why.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
What Is MACOM's Role in Enabling the Upgrade From 100G to 400G Optical Connectivity?

3|30|17   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's Vivek Rajgarhia, vice president and GM of Lightwave Networking Components, discusses MACOM's complete solution of innovative technologies and products that have achieved success in the PON access market, as well as in Long Haul, Metro and DCI networks with 100G to 400G technology.
LRTV Custom TV
Affirmed Networks Is Setting Up New Standards for IoT

3|30|17   |     |   (0) comments


As a market leader helping mobile operators embrace the benefits of virtualized networks, Affirmed Networks is seeing significant interest by service providers worldwide to deploy NFV-based networks as the foundation for IoT service delivery. This video interview between Heavy Reading analyst Steve Bell and Angela Whiteford, Affirmed Networks' vice president of ...
LRTV Documentaries
MLBAM: Live Sports Streaming Will Be Big

3|30|17   |     |   (0) comments


MLB Advanced Media EVP and CTO Joe Inzerillo explains why live sports streaming will take off over the next few years despite major technical challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
Xilinx Disruptive Technology Breakthrough for 5G Wireless

3|30|17   |     |   (0) comments


Xilinx has integrated multi-giga-sample RF data converters into its 16nm MPSoCs devices for the industry's first All Programmable RFSoC, eliminating the need for discrete ADCs and DACs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Turkcell Challenges Turkey's Current TV Market

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Baris Zavaroglu, TV and rntertainment business director of Turkcell, explains Turkcell's strategy in elevating the small and uncertain TV market in Turkey.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Altibox’s Infrastructure Synergy Strategy Reduces Deployment Costs

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Thomas Skjelbred, CEO of Altibox, on how to improve efficiency and reduce deployment coast through infrastructure synergy in Norway.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ismail Butun on the Changing Role of Turkcell

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ismail Butun, chief marketing officer of Turkcell, explains the importance of video and mobile services for the future of the company.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IDC's Emir Halilovic on Trends of Cloudification

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Emir Halilovic of IDC CEMA discusses the future and direction of cloudification. Also, the all-cloud approach taken by Huawei and others in the industry.
LRTV Custom TV
How Intel Is Powering the 5G Era

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading tours a series of 5G "super demos" so see how Intel envisions the 5G-connected future. We take a look at a prototype connected BMW, a light pole with environmental sensors that provides 5G wireless to a smart home and a fully untethered virtual reality experience.
LRTV Custom TV
Source Photonics CEO Doug Wright Talks About the Future of Source Photonics

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Source Photonics' CEO, Doug Wright, talks to Light Reading about how the company is continuously investing in its operations to meet not only its customers' current technology demands but also to deliver their next-generation technology needs.
LRTV Custom TV
Live Demo: DevOps in Service Chains & 5G Network Slices PoC

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Executives from PoC collaborating companies – Patrick Waldemar, VP and Head of Technology at Telenor Research, John Healy, VP of the Datacenter Network Solutions Group at Intel, Vincent Spinelli, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at RIFT.io, Mats Eriksson, CEO and co-founder of Arctos Labs, and Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds – review ...
LRTV Documentaries
The Year of Fat & Skinny Bundles

3|29|17   |   21:06   |   (0) comments


In this fireside chat, Roku's Andrew Ferrone predicts that 2017 will be the year of multichannel OTT video bundles and spells out other trends in the OTT and pay-TV markets.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Unlocking China's $194B Telecom Market
Robert Clark, 3/27/2017
About That Broadband Privacy Vote
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 3/29/2017
Ericsson Tightens Focus, Warns of $1.7B Q1 Hit
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/28/2017
WiCipedia: Supergirls, No More Excuses & Media Monitoring
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Working From Home Doesn't Work for Everyone Click Here
You shouldn't nap on your keyboard, for instance.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.