The real-time opportunity is right now

Written by on November 12, 2014 in BillingViews, Opinion with 0 Comments

There are surveys and there are surveys. Some immedlately command respect and the new one from Openet, supplier of real-time business support systems certainly does that. A survey by the company among 87 mobile operators concludes that there is a $47 billion opportunity waiting for those who can crack the real-time, context based puzzle.

The study reveals that the vast majority of operator respondents expect ‘real-time contextual offers sent to subscribers, that can be immediately activated and purchased from the device,’ to increase global data revenues by 15 per cent, which equates to this multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Right now, more than three-quarters of the operators surveyed (77 percent) believe that the majority of potential new revenue is wasted as a result of slow time to market for new offers. A similar percentage of operators (74 per cent) believe the solution lies in creating, managing and updating offers from one central place – a move that is estimated to reduce current time to market by half.

When it comes to discussing increasing data revenues you tend to get immediate attention. With churn increasing as the networks remain slow and congested, the opportunities from partnerships with OTT players (DSPs), Direct Operator Billing and the Internet of (Silly) Things all as yet undefined, a focus on real-time offers provides an immediate solution. According to the survey, half of the respondents felt that ‘enabling real-time contextual offers to be sent, purchased and activated on the customer device to be ‘very important,’ with a further 39 percent feeling it was ‘important.’ Approximately 70 percent of operators think that it will also reduce churn.

At the moment, operators tend to send upsell offers on a planned basis or based on historical activity. Indeed only 34 percent have the capability to send real-time offers. The good news is that real-time offers are set to increase dramatically as another 32 percent plan to introduce the functionality next year and a further 16 percent will be on board by the end of 2016. This is good news as the current uptake rate when upselling offers directly to a customer device is estimated to be 8% versus 14% with real-time contextual offers.

The majority of offers that are immediately compelling, and available in some places, are offering additional data volumes, for instance ‘day passes’ to Facebook if there is no data left. Roaming offers are also very high on the list with extra speed, specific content and applications being almost as popular – the 60 percent range.

The bottom line is that operators believe that real-time offerings will increase data revenues, usage and users by between 13 and 16 percent and reduce customer care and sales cost – and churn – by significant amounts.

There is much more detail in the report itself but the overall conclusion is that real-time functionality is no longer something that is ‘nice to have,’ it will have a serious, positive impact on revenues and costs in the short term. Which might give us time to work out how to make money out of the other, partnership based offerings.

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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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