Here are 101 ways to boost your (telco) business: #innovation

Written by on November 7, 2017 in Opinion with 1 Comment

By Iaroslav Neliubov / Shutterstock.com

It is safe to say that policy control has grown up. In its early iterations, it was used to control customers. Customers would reach their data limit, and find that their speed had been reduced or they had been blocked, or they were suddenly liable to overage charges.

Then telcos realised that they could reverse this thinking and instead of controlling customers they could communicate with them. So, as customers approached their limit, they would be warned. Then telcos realised that they could possibly sell add-ons of data for a small, fixed price.

Now the realisation is that policy systems, and BSS generally, can enable a whole range of innovation in charging. And in all sorts of ways. 101 ways, according to a new guide book from real-time specialists Openet.

The book, entitled ‘101 ways to boost your business’ is interesting for a number of reasons (101 to be precise). The book is split into sections. Each section covers – with very concise descriptions – different ways that you can use BSS to optimise network traffic, or cross sell or upsell products and services, and ends up with some future looking ideas which, in themselves, will fill books very soon.

We chose our favourite examples from the early sections.

  1. Why not reward your customers for paying on time? Pay on time and get extra data is an example that not only improves cash flow but also enhances the customer experience.
  2. Why not use data as a gift? T-Mobile in the Netherlands gave all their customers 4GB of data to celebrate the launch of their 4G service and, if you didn’t want it, you could give it to a friend.
  3. Why should you pay for what you don’t use? Australians who were surveyed by Virgin almost unanimously said they thought the practice was unfair and now there are several examples of rolling over unused data to the next month. Conversely, and cleverly, KT in South Korea began to offer customers the ability to ‘borrow’ data from the following month, in a ‘roll under’ type service.
  4. Why can’t you buy and share data among devices? In the States, you can. Verizon, for example, has increased devices per account from 2.4 to 2.8 since launching the service, and has increased the number of devices to include cameras and games consoles.
  5. We have always struggled to communicate what a megabyte is to customers. Jokes abounded about elderly ladies not understanding the concept and simply ‘wanting their data back’. Now several operators are offering time based services, mainly TV viewing, in blocks from 10 minutes a day to 24 hours.

These are just five of the concrete examples in the book. Others range from lifestyle services; bite size data plans; credit instead of change; zero rating; social media service passes; in-app charging; MVNO offers, right through to the as yet unexplored realms of soft SIMs, advanced mobile wallets and the vast potential of the IoT.

The book is as concise a read as can be, and well worth it. As a telco, you should download it and use it as a source of good ideas. As an industry observer, you should download and use it as proof that telcos are beginning to innovate with charging. And if they are not yet, then this will show them how to begin.

The guidebook is available here, is free in return for a short, simple registration.

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Alex Leslie

About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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  1. Bob Machin says:

    An excellent read indeed, lots of applied thinking and real-world examples. A fine example of ‘the wisdom of the crowd’ – in this case a crowd of the world’s operators and service providers, whose collective imagination fuels a pretty good playbook for telcos seeking inspiration.

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