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Mgmt World: StarHub's Data Experience

Ray Le Maistre
LR Mobile News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief

DUBLIN -- Management World 2011 -- For operators looking for ways to figure out their mobile data management strategies, chatting to Singapore's StarHub might provide some inspiration.

The company's CEO, Neil Montefiore, told delegates in Dublin that mobile penetration has reached nearly 150 percent and that smartphones are ubiquitous: About 80 percent of mobile users in the Asian island state of 5 million people have the new devices, with smartphone users currently consuming on average about 1 Gbyte each month.

Tellingly, the monthly average data consumption of a tablet user is Singapore is 12 Gbytes, said Montefiore.

The resulting data explosion hasn't hit the Singapore operators' networks hard, though, as they have upgraded to an all-IP backhaul infrastructure, and so aren't suffering the data transport issues that many mobile operators currently face. (See StarHub Sets Packet Precedent.)

Migrating customers away from flat-rate "all-you-can-eat" data deals, and growing ARPU (average revenue per user) levels, is a challenge StarHub has in common with many other mobile operators, though.

So Montefiore and his team are examining a number of different charging models that may include: charging for specific applications, such as social networking; introducing tiered pricing based on quality of service, though the CEO sees this as an option for corporate customers; new roaming tariff models that would encourage people to use their phones more while abroad (instead of just switching them off for much of the time); and striking content partnerships to expand the number of chargeable services and applications available to customers.

He also sees location-based advertising as a new revenue driver in the near future.

In the meantime, StarHub is pushing customer experience management (CEM) to the front line in its battle to reduce churn and attract new customers. Montefiore says his company is using CEM software from Irish specialist Arantech not only to identify ways to improve the overall experience of his customers, but also as a marketing strategy development tool. (See Mgmt World: StarHub's New Experience and Arantech Tackles Customer Experience Management.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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