By Nir Asulin, CEO, FTS
December 30, 2014
As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look at the hottest trends in telecoms for 2015.
Digital is going to be one of the biggest harbingers of change because it will force communications services providers to dramatically adjust the way they operate. Where they have been traditionally siloed and unable to talk to each other, the rise in digital goods and services mean that networks, IT and marketing now all need to learn to talk to each other in order to survive and thrive. Consumers expect the entire digital ecosystem to work seamlessly, irrespective of the provider, network, device or billing and payment method they are using. CSPs will need to integrate their ecosystems so that they can meet these demands, such as being able to offer a level of service that is the same whatever device the customer is using, enabling online transactions and rolling out new products or propositions as fast as possible.
In addition, service providers will also need to manage relationships with multiple partners such as OTT players, app developers and more. MVNOs and MVNEs will also face the same challenges, and will need to be able to offer forward-thinking branded telecom services through real-time promotions and pricing plans, loyalty programs, and more, in order to remain competitive.
M2M and the Internet of Things will also continue to grow next year. With nearly 26 billion devices expected on the Internet of Things by 2020, according to Gartner, service providers’ M2M billing platforms will have to enable offering new deals, services and pricing models quickly and easily. They will need a way of managing relationships with an ever-expanding number of business partners in complex value chains and will need to be agile enough to support a great variety of M2M verticals, each with its own business model, to ensure overall low TCO in a low-revenue, high-volume transaction environment.
Mobile money is another growth area for 2015. With more than 250 operators in almost 100 countries around the world providing these kinds of services and another 100 operators planning to deploy soon, the ability to provide a simple and effective experience in which customers can conclude a purchase, make payments, or transfer funds through a mobile device in a few simple steps will be key to their success. At the same time, operators need to be assured of increased revenues from various streams such as retail services and financial transactions. Cooperation amongst mobile network operators and with banks will be critical in maintaining and growing customer confidence.
Finally, and the trend we’re the most excited about, is the growth of partner management and smart revenue sharing, because it is the foundation that will enable operators to deliver on all the above and more. Communications, content and payment service providers must be able to integrate smoothly and seamlessly with all the partners within their ecosystem. Whatever the industry, providers need to be able to quickly onboard new partners and launch new, personalized contracts; make rapid adjustments to existing contracts; understand the specific needs and business logic of each of the different industries; and be agile enough to create revenue sharing schemes which fit each of these different segments. Regardless of whether they are subscribers, OTT providers, content aggregators, mobile money and payment service providers, utilities or banks, each and every partner and user requires a personalized relationship. Implementing a real-time partner management and billing solution that enables this complex network of partnerships and revenue-sharing relationships will grow service providers’ revenues, increase their attractiveness, improve business relationships, reduce total cost of ownership and ultimately, enable them to cope and scale with the challenges and demands presented by the telecoms industry in 2015.