The radical advancement in communication technology transformed the soporific world into an invigorating global village. Splurge in mobile devices and the ever-increasing data speed has empowered users to groove digitally anytime-anywhere. The monopoly of the internet continues as it out-spaces the time-consuming and redundant communication services. The communication industry has had a holistic digital transformation in the last decade giving end users multiple reasons to smile.
Traditional telecom operators are facing the wrath of digitalization. Subscribers are preferring multimedia content over native methods. This demand will witness an increase in future with the increasing coverage of over- the- top (OTT) content. The communication services facilitated by these third-party OTT service providers are more credible than traditional services offered by telecom carriers. The recent app-based communication ‘playstore’ further reduces the revenue wallet of old players even more.
Even the key telecom operators are struggling to keep up with the supersonic and secure digital networks. Secondly, they fail to fulfil the rising on-demand content that customers wish to consume. OTT services have already deteriorated the revenues of the telecom operators, and now with stalwarts like Google and Apple wearing the cap of MVNO, carrier services will be more troublesome to telecom operators.
Current operator pricing on international roaming is running extremely heavy, and people’s tendency to use services like matrix sim card, or buying a temporary local sim card or switching to OTT services such as WhatsApp, Viber, etc., over Wi-Fi is further pushing revenue out from the Telco wallet to OTT. This has also led to a potential opportunity being lost and to let customers know and make them understand the benefits in international roaming.
Data Services are already touted as the emerging trend, and the likes of the Googles and the Apples are already predominantly offering a plethora of data services from the internet world. These stalwarts will have an edge in packaging these services along with carrier services with personalized bundled packs at extremely competitive prices. End users will also prefer to avail the services under one umbrella when the service experience is good and service accessibility is simple and easy.
With staunch players like Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google joining the fray, the market for Telco’s shrinks further. These players have built their respective data centres and bought or leased dark fibre i.e. unused fibre optic infrastructure. The implication is detrimental for the old players as they have no role to play in the current setup. Most experts consider Amazon as the largest cloud hosting service provider, while Facebook and Google are working hard to lure more companies into their respective hosting clouds.
Do the emergence of Wi-Fi and its growing prevalence and adoptability by the market due to its free spectrum can also become a threat to telecom operators who depend on licensed spectrum? With Hotspot 2.0, will Wi-Fi seamless roaming further hamper telecom opportunities? Even today, operator’s forte has been on infrastructure and connectivity, penetration of mobile users is still more than internet users, having control on the gold mine of subscriber data. Will Wi-Fi adoption and Hotspots allow the trend?
Operators should begin to introspect and figure out their business models and services, revamp their core business, rebuild their market stature and bring a remarkable rate of technological change and innovation. The innovative service offering at par with market leaders will aid in enticing the lost customer and be the mantra for sustenance and growth. Though competing with giant market leaders is a Herculean task, the operators may still continue to remain in the league by forming some sort of consortium. This will mostly involve leveraging their existing strong network interconnectivity, seamless roaming through agreements and expanding their horizon into many futuristic technologies. Artificial Intelligence, sponsored data or data services in collaboration with external eco-systems like Ad Networks, IoT, Mobile Payments, Marketplace to combat the OTT services and adopting NFV architectures for Enterprise services along with automation among hybrid systems have been such trends used to minimize revenue leaks and operational costs.
6d provides comprehensive solutions and platforms which will enable the operator to launch such innovative services by enabling ease of integration, faster time to market, and bringing additional source of revenues and assist operators to stay competitive and thrive in the market as leaders.