T-Mobile -- Growing Revenue by Helping Parents

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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T-Mobile -- Growing Revenue by Helping Parents

Mobile carriers are so in the driver seat. They really are. There is a good deal of money to be made in this space for a reason that may not be obvious. It is kids. You see, one of the most powerful tools in the game of leverage over kids is the phone.

You might even argue that it is really the only leverage some parents have over their kids.

It is for this reason T-Mobile has a Family Allowances plan allowing parents to keep a lid on the phone costs of their kids and spouses. T-Mobile has extended the plan to not just minutes but through a simple interface you can take control of downloads, games, ring tones and more.

In my opinion, this sort of plan is a great idea in an electronic world and there should be controls like this on video game consoles and the like. I would envision tying the use of these gadgets and gizmos to getting good grades, not skipping class, staying sober, not smoking or whatever family metric fits the bill (pun intended) .

If you remember, I discussed this exact sort of application in a recent article on Sonus over a month ago. It is extremely rewarding for me to see advanced services like this deployed and more importantly it is great to write about the potential for a service to be successful -- only to see it rolled out a short time later.

I just reached out to John Nye, VP of Application Services at Sonus Networks. and this is what he had to say about this T-Mobile news, "This announcement is validation for the services we're offering through our IMX Multimedia Platform, which enables carriers to build differentiating applications quickly and cost-effectively. With platforms of this nature, carriers can develop a host of applications ranging from parental controls to video sessions to call blasts, all of which allow them to meet the evolving needs of their customers and generate new revenue streams."

Now I am not 100% sure this service will be the chart topper T-Mobile hopes it will be but what is great is that it is out there, customers will try and there is a chance it could be a game changer for the industry. It could also morph into something better or go away.

As technology evolves, no one knows what the hot application of tomorrow will be and by rolling lots of services out inexpensively you get a chance to see what works and what doesn't and in the end this drives up ARPU and hopefully reduces churn.

If you are interested in this space be sure to to check out Sonus CTO Vikram Saksena at his keynote speech at ITEXPO in Los Angeles, CA September 16th, 2008.



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