Telcos 'Asleep at the Wheel' on Big Data

Communications service providers haven't got their act together when it comes to gaining a financial edge from the data at their fingertips, says expert.

November 3, 2014

3 Min Read
Telcos 'Asleep at the Wheel' on Big Data

Communications service providers are "asleep at the wheel" when it comes to analyzing and monetizing the data they have at their fingertips, according to an industry expert who has worked at the cutting edge of telecom analytics developments.

Mike Sherman, the former head of L!ving Analytics, Group Digital Life, at Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY), told conference delegates at the recent Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam that telcos are "sitting on a goldmine," but that many have yet to figure out how best to capitalize on their information assets.

Telcos could make real gains in generating revenues from the information they hold by developing partnerships with "transaction specialists" such as credit card companies and banks, in order to source and make use of transaction data, instead of just relying on the demographics information that is their default approach, says Sherman.

Most of the data that telcos are trying to monetize is "demographics, and that is limited in its use," Sherman noted. "If I was looking for third-party data, I would be wanting to talk to transaction companies, because they are the ones who know what people buy, not just where they shop."

Need to know more about big data analytics and its impact on communications service providers? Then check out the agenda for Telecom Analytics World 2014, November 11, at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta.

Sherman added that telcos need to think about their customers and their approach to using data in a different way: "We need to get away from using data behind people's backs," he noted. "If you offer people the opportunity to have a better experience and receive the information they want," then they'll opt in to receive the information and services that drive revenues, such as ads.

Telcos are desperate to identify and develop new sources of revenues, so getting to grips with big data analytics and figuring out business strategies using new tools and systems is high on the agenda of many service providers, which have been delving into the world of data warehousing and analytics for several years already and finding ways (mostly) to cut costs. (See Telcos Warm to Big Data and Big Data Saves T-Mobile Big Bucks.)

All this month, Light Reading will be taking a close look at analytics developments as they relate to communications service providers, as our very own Sarah Reedy explains in this video blog: Defining Big Data & Telco Analytics.

For more insights into the world of big data and telecom analytics, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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