Editor’s Note: Welcome to our weekly Reality Check column. We’ve gathered a group of visionaries and veterans in the mobile industry to give their insights into the marketplace.
For anybody involved in the communications market in Latin America, the excitement and buzz is hard to miss. The FIFA World Cup Games will dominate Brazil in 2014. In addition to the tremendous excitement they will generate, they will serve as a warm-up to the Summer Olympics in Brazil two years later.
So the obvious question is: what can Brazilian service providers do to not only maximize their own revenues and profits from these events on the global stage but also deliver an unequaled customer experience that exploits the full potential of today’s converged mobile technologies? The answer can be summed up in just two words: data experience.
Within a few years, 4G networks will enable a better customer experience and will grow dramatically in Brazil—resulting from this year’s wireless spectrum auctions as well as growing consumer demand for mobile services. The rapid growth of carrier Wi-Fi will also undoubtedly be part of the mix, making it easier for consumers to dial into high-speed networks.
From a global consumer perspective, we’re seeing one thing shining above all others—customers aren’t buying data plans anymore. They are buying a data experience. They want a plan that will feed their sports addiction or enable them to handle all of their work email without worrying about going over on data. They don’t want to spend R$50 a month on data plans for every connected device they have—they want these plans to be smarter.
Service providers can now take advantage of sophisticated systems that can bridge policy management and real-time charging to enhance the user’s data experience dramatically. How? Well, think of policy as the bridge between the core network and IT systems such as billing. Policy can enable dynamic in-service promotions; for example:
- IF Ricardo is an entertainment service plan customer,
- AND Ricardo is accessing a video on YouTube,
- AND the 3G network is congested,
- THEN the provider can prompt Ricardo with a 1 Time Turbo Boost for R$3 to improve his data experience immediately.
Ricardo comes out ahead because he gets the high-quality mobile video he wants. The service provider comes out ahead because it gets a revenue shot it wouldn’t otherwise have. Smart. Very smart.
An Amdocs-sponsored survey last year found that key functions such as product catalog, policy management, online charging, real-time mediation and subscriber data management need to work together seamlessly to provide a great customer data experience. Service providers can’t get away with keeping these capabilities siloed in their respective IT or network domains, or they risk missing out on key opportunities.
The data explosion will continue unabated, and now the challenge for service providers is to ride the wave and monetize the phenomenon. They can now deploy fully productized systems—as opposed to one-off custom applications—that are preconfigured to deliver multiple solutions such as bill shock prevention, “pay per use ” plans, shared wallet (one data plan supporting multiple devices or multiple family members) and more. Pre-integration means these solutions can be deployed in months, not years. Smart, no?
Brazilian service providers who think strategically about offering a data experience instead of simply another plan will reap the profits—while delighting their customers.
And that’s an Olympic gold medal for all involved.
Nelson Wang is vice president at Amdocs Latin America.