TELEFÓNICA Digital UK is focusing on retail innovation, over the top messaging and new smart metering technology to ‘amaze’ O2 customers.
The digital arm of O2 has been headed up by David Plumb since February and he said he wants the business to be ‘disruptive’ and to create ‘brilliant experiences for customers’. He told Mobile: ‘Machine to machine is a global priority to us, and smart metering is just one of the different ways for us to grow in that respect. Once we’ve brought this platform into people’s homes there’ll be an opportunity for us to launch other digital services on top.
‘I think it’s got to be about providing our O2 customers with brilliant digital experiences that does amazing things for their lives.’
The company signed a £1.5 billion contract with the government for the UK Smart Meter Implementation Programme earlier this year. The 15-year deal is working towards the installation of 53 million gas and electricity meters nationwide by 2020. He said smart metering work was the priority for the UK business. The operator was named as the preferred bidder for the southern and central regions in the smart meter auction in August before confi rming its involvement with ‘the critical national infrastructure project’ a month later.
Plumb said Telefónica won two out of its three submitted bids. He said: ‘There’s still a lot of work to do. At the moment we’re in the pre-integration stage, which involves completing the design and carrying out solution tests. The second phase is about m2m integration. We’re working with people who have been successful like Capita and CGI while working with other parts of the ecosystem like the DECC. The final phase will be about national rollout, which should take place between 2015-2020.
‘Once the infrastructure is complete we’ll start to look at security in the home and automation, but there’s lots of ways we can go with this. It’s one of the largest telecoms contracts in the UK and we’re excited.’
Plumb said its footfall metrics tracker, Smart Steps, was also gaining traction among enterprise businesses. He said: ‘It’s an amazing tool which helps organisations make better decisions by understanding the movements of crowds and measuring footfall. It’s generating quite a lot of excitement from our enterprise and business customers.’
He added that he had been impressed with the operator’s over the top messaging service, TU go. He said: ‘It allows them to set their number free across multiple devices so they can get text messages on your tablet and voicemails on your computer. They can even use Wi-Fi to make a call if the network is down… TU go is a great example of a digital product that has benefited our customers.’