CSPs, lose the bundle, next generation customers do not want it

Written by on May 6, 2016 in Guest Blog with 2 Comments

world in which lives loveCommunications service providers (CSPs) have a mantra: bundle as much as possible to maximise revenues. In the past this may have worked. Quad play, text, voice and data – add as many services as you can to boost your price point and increase customer loyalty. Except this no longer works. Today it’s losing you customers and losing you revenue.

Let me explain why. Bundled services you don’t use or value are just an added expense, an added irritation. “Why do I have to pay for a phone just to get a broadband line?” is a question many younger people are now asking. “I don’t need a phone – I have a mobile.”

Their answer is to go fully mobile and to substitute fixed line broadband services  with mobile broadband, or use public WiFi instead. Public WiFi is pretty much everywhere we go – in coffee shops desperate for our custom, and on our college campuses – and it’s all free, no fuss, no contracts and no bundle.

Another example is texts or voice calls – many of us Generation Z members never or rarely text. I don’t want 10,000 texts in my bundle as I don’t need them. I’m using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, SnapChat and so on. When you give me 10,000 texts what I understand from that is you could be offering me the service more cheaply, but instead you prefer to ‘justify’ your price by offering me things you know I don’t want and won’t use. I feel ripped off not rewarded.

Unbundle me. Let me choose what I need, and if I need more then tell me and I’ll buy more. Letting me make my own deal and my own decisions will set me free but it’s also more likely to make me come back for more.

And there are things I do value and may even pay for which you currently don’t exploit. Such as easier, cheaper roaming (like the Feel At Home tariff from Three UK), easier and more realtime ways to control my package and usage from my phone. And storage – our generation needs an enormous amount of storage because of the Selfie Culture. Give us cheap, easy to access back-up and storage and we’d pay for that. Because we need to know it will be there, safe in one place. By all means charge me a set fee every month, but let the unused allowance rollover and let me spend it on whatever I want – including additional data, content and games.

Remember there is no ‘typical’ customer and no ‘typical’ usage. Everyone is different and every week is different in terms of how I use my phone. And every service I use needs different things in terms of network quality. It’s not all about the fanciest phone or the biggest data package or the funkiest content. Each user values something different. And what we need changes rapidly.

I pretty much don’t use mobile games any more. I prefer to play them on my tablet – friends use a laptop. Partly this is the form factor but the other reason is that I need every ounce of storage on my phone for music and selfies. No room for games. And ‘NB’ service providers, the reason I don’t constantly stream music is the cost when I’m away from WiFi but also the poor network coverage and quality. It’s easier to store the music on my phone.

So don’t try and second guess us – let us choose for ourselves and meet our desire to create the package we want by enabling us to self-bundle and keep changing that bundle as we change.

This article was written by Morgan ap Darran, a Generation Z analyst at Telesperience.

First published as part of BossFest16 on Telesperience.

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About the Author

About the Author: Tracy is an Analyst with UK-based analyst firm Telesperience. She has 20 years’ experience working with communications service providers, infrastructure providers and systems integrators. ( See www.telesperience.com for more details.) .


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  1. Michael Elling says:

    Tracy, spot on! You might appreciate this article about unbundling in general written by one of the strategists at Uber: https://medium.com/art-marketing/unbundled-7ac9f593ebce#.2wdmthn4l

  2. Jebb Lewis says:

    Hi Tracy, let’s hope the CSPs heed your call and let us (even us Gen Xers from the age of Aquarius) decided how much of what we want.

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