Can Service Providers Position Themselves So They Do Not Become Dumb Pipe Providers?

Chuck Rutledge : Now Market It
Chuck Rutledge
Sr. Mktg & Biz.Development Executive who excels at identifying, and capitalizing, on opportunities that drive revenues & growth. Introduced new products and services, and opened up new markets for Fortune 500 companies & start ups.

Can Service Providers Position Themselves So They Do Not Become Dumb Pipe Providers?

 Service providers face a challenging problem as they compete for differentiation.  The service providers are deploying and promoting innovative high speed 4G wireless networks that provide high speed internet connectivity to smarter more capable endpoint devices - both for mobile and fixed services (such as Verizon Hub).  The result is further commoditization of voice and text messaging.  With more bandwidth comes the ability to further bypass the service provider by taking applications "over the top" on an all IP network.    The service providers will be challenged to create new applications in a world of Internet based content and applications - so the question arises - where are the opportunities for the service provider to add revenue-generating value in a world of mobile high bandwidth access?

The service providers certainly are in the position to collect and mine lots of information about their customers.  Can this be packaged and provide to content providers allowing them to better target and access their target markets?  Are they able to use the information to enable the creation of unique services and applications that could generate additional revenue?

Service providers have always been key partners for enterprise and business customers that have complex communications needs.  As advanced communications is providing improved productivity tools, is there an opportunity for the role of the service provider to become an even more important partner - with more systems integration to bring together voice, data, mobile, and existing internal networks?  Will the complexity of the new communications networks with capabilities such as Unified Communication provide a greater opportunity for hosting solutions for businesses that do not want to manage the internal networks required?

Will they be able to leverage the ability to bundle communications services together - creating offers for video based services, internet and phone - both fixed and mobile?  Perhaps the value is in the customer experience rather than the content or applications?  Can the service providers create an ability to manage and interface with the variety of communications services in such a way that makes the experience easier and even fun - thus creating a unified experience that adds value that consumers and businesses are willing to pay for?      

Perhaps the most likely outcome is that we will see some of all of the above.  What scenarios do you think will dominate? 

What areas do you see as an opportunity for the service provider to generate additional revenue?                                                    

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