Convergence, a move into energy
services and the need for networks to have real time actionable intelligence
about customers are key themes for discussion at the Mobile World Congress in
two weeks time, according to Patrick Bossert, director of strategy at global
billing services expert Convergys.
‘There has been a lot of concern
among our customers about where future revenue growth is going to come from in
the mobile and cable market,’ said Bossert. ‘It is clear that the steady
decline in revenue growth is going to continue. It is not just the recession,
it is a structural problem. By 2013 growth in mobile services will be pretty
much nil. Our tier one and two customers are looking at their models and systems
and seeking to change them to find revenue growth.’
Convergence is a key area where
providers are looking to find revenue to offset the decline in voice and text,
according to Bossert, and not just service convergence, such as fixed line,
mobile and broadband, but payment and multi-media convergence.
‘We may see telcos moving into
utilities and energy. They are very good at bundling different tariffs with
varying payment rates depending on the time of day and providing billing
systems to handle that. Traditional energy companies are not good at that,’
He argued that the opportunities for
mobile networks go beyond using a Sim-enabled metering device to collect the
energy use data. Telcos could add energy products and services to enhance their
existing mobile retail operations to provide new lines of business.
On the enterprise side, Convergys
customers are asking for better business billing systems that allow for hybrid
accounts such as pre- and post-pay and separate personal and business billing
within the same account structure.
‘We’ve had the capability to do that
for some time, but it’s too complex a service proposition for most networks.
But the pressure to make new revenues means they are having to re-evaluate
that,’ said Bossert.
He also argues that the networks
need to be looking at real time actionable intelligence. ‘Most telcos don’t
know how profitable their services are, particularly at customer level. There
is a lot more demand now to expose the profitability of each customer.
‘The networks need to start to look
at the profitability mix of their customer base at a very granular level,’ said
Bossert. ‘If they can identify what services customers are using the most and
which make the networks the best profit, they can start pushing specific offers
to them as real time promotions.’
Bossert points out that the networks
need real time intelligence to make personalised services actionable. At the
moment networks can capture data, but it can take up to six months to analyse
it and then produce the service offerings.