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With the final entry in the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series, Alcatel-Lucent’s
Rich Crowe (@rhcrowe) looks at how mobile operators can use (and are already using) the six degrees of mobile data plan innovation to capture and deliver more value.
The Value of a Gigabyte
What does a gigabyte mean to you? Is it just a unit of data or something concrete, like a movie or 250 songs? Maybe it’s a means to share news and pictures and stay connected. These are things with value. If you’ve got a mobile device, a gigabyte offers the freedom to take your movies, songs or connections with you anywhere you go. A mobile gigabyte can even deliver peace of mind by supporting applications that tell you where you are and how to get where you’re going at any given moment. This flexibility is also valuable.
Are some gigabytes worth more than others? Are gigabytes delivered in a fast and uninterrupted stream worth more than those that come slower with pauses and buffering? What about gigabytes that can be shared with others?
Yes, gigabytes have value. How much value depends on their quality and the way each individual uses them. It takes innovation to deliver and capture that value!
Every mobile network operator wants to get more value from mobile data. But today’s unlimited and basic tiered data plans ignore the value that mobile data offers to subscribers. By offering a set amount of data for a set price, operators make mobile data a commodity and encourage consumers to shop for the lowest price per gigabyte. To capture the true value of mobile data, operators need to change the way they think about – and define business models for – mobile data services.
For mobile operators, success– both in terms of customer satisfaction and profitability – means recognizing that mobile data delivers tangible value to customers. Just as important, it means understanding that individual customers value mobile data based on their own interests and the way they use their services. Traditional mobile data plans can’t deliver success on these terms. Operators need new and compelling plans that can reinforce the value of mobile data and better meet the unique needs of each customer.
The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series introduced six different ways for mobile operators to build highly personalized pricing options and showcase the value of mobile data. These innovations will help operators offer differentiated service levels and present more value-based options to subscribers and businesses. The six innovations are:
- Service level-based plans: Offer premium services that deliver a higher speed or QoS.
- Shared data plans: Let several users or devices connect to and share a common pool of mobile data.
- Application-based plans: For a monthly fee, allow users to consume data with selected applications without having the usage count against their monthly data plans.
- Third party pays plans: Offer toll-free access to specific content, with the content provider or another business paying for the data subscribers use to consume the content.
- Loyalty-based plans: Reward loyal customers with mobile data and partner with retailers to include mobile data in their loyalty plans.
- Capacity-based plans: Shift traffic to off peak, create services to consume off-peak capacity, and monetize peak data traffic.
By Cassidy Shield, Head of Global Solutions Marketing for Content, Cloud, and Communications, Alcatel-Lucent
When consumers start buying data where they use it, the possibilities for consumption multiply.
Mobile is the growth engine of the communications industry, yet the way consumers purchase, discover, and engage with their data plan is in a store, on a website, or, even more archaically, via calling a call center. This is fundamentally backward, but it's also a clear wireless operator opportunity.
The opportunity lies in moving the point of sale (POS) to the smartphone or tablet itself, and it starts with a mobile application. With mobile data growing by leaps and bounds, operators have been grappling with how to manage and monetize the influx. Their conversations so far have centered on real-time charging, policy control, and personalization to transform how they bill, but there's been very little action on how to make these complex processes simple for consumers.