Customers in the US are more satisfied with data sharing service plans than more traditional data plans, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates.
The marketing services firm’s half yearly report on customer services in the US operator market found that overall satisfaction among customers who currently subscribe to a mobile share data plan is 778 out of 1,000. This is higher than the overall score of 750 given by those who subscribe to more traditional data plans.
“The higher levels of satisfaction with shared data plans are partially due to the profile of its customers, particularly the early adopters who changed service offerings once the mobile data share plans were offered,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.
“For example, not only are customers with shared data plans more loyal than those without a shared data plan, but they also have a more positive perception of their carrier, in addition to spending approximately $ 30 more per household overall.”
The study also found that 41 per cent of wireless customers who solved their issue online used the chat function and overall satisfaction is highest when customers use the online chat function to resolve issues. For the fourth consecutive reporting period, Verizon Wireless ranked highest in wireless customer care satisfaction among carriers, with an overall score of 766.
At LTE North America in Dallas this week, a panel featuring Wireless 2020, IBM, Allot Communications and US-based MVNO FreedomPop urged the service provider community to develop more flexible and tailored data bundles for customers.
During a discussion focused on future revenue generation opportunities, conversation moved towards the current landscape which is seeing telcos lose ground to over the top content providers. Ken Jackson from IBM Now Factory believes that moving to specific and tailored, content-based services is a feasible opportunity for operators to monetise services in new ways.
“Let’s look at the example of a service called NFL Now, a friend of mine can watch as much NFL as he wants, and doesn’t pay for the data he uses, he pays to watch football,” he said. “We have to return the value proposition to the customer, find out what it is they want to do, and offer it to them. Make everything customer centric, and orchestrate your business around what they need”
Haig Sarkissian from Wireless 2020 concurred with Jackson, and urged the service provider community to move away from basic all-you-can-eat data plans.
“5% of the heaviest users consume 40-50% of the network, and they pay the same as the majority,” he said. “That’s why unlimited data plans are unfair, because the majority are subsidising the data usage of the minority. Operators find that this is no longer scalable because if you eat more you have to invest more into capacity. I don’t see it changing any time in the future, unless there’s a fair way of using these “dumb pipe” plans. Is there hope for SP differentiation outside of these unlimited data plans?”
Allot Communications’ John Priest said service delivery is becoming far more personalised and tailored than in the past, suggesting operators should have a think about how they allow users to access the information and the content they want.
“I think we need things like VAS for the customer to make them feel in control of what they need. It’s not just the volume, it’s about the content they want and delivering that to them. Users want to know what they’re consuming, so the SP has to know what they’re consuming and how they’re consuming it, so that you can be more proactive in the customer care and guarantee a higher quality of service.”
“But here are a couple of examples of opportunities for SPs to generate revenue aside from traditional voice and data pricing models. Sponsored data solutions, for example, sees the user get free data if they’re going to certain sites, which is a partnership between the SP and the content provider. Similarly to music streaming services, SPs can strike up a partnership with advertisers.”
US MVNO FreedomPop’s Mauricio Sastre suggested there are opportunities for partnerships between carriers, app developers and content providers, help users consume new applications for reduced costs, or for free.
“In an effort to get their app out there, the app developers are considering paying for the data that their app consumes, so there can be a subsidised way for users to consume their application.”
Of course, when debating content services over service provider networks, we naturally reach the inevitable pain point of net neutrality, Wireless 2020’s Sarkissian rounded of the discussion on such a note.
“When do we get into the net neutrality debate, the big elephant in the room? Do you decide to charge more for content from Netflix, or NFL Now, or WebRTC services?” he said. “In my opinion, any resource that’s finite, and has the potential to be fully consumed, should be left alone from regulation. Otherwise you jeopardise the investment into, and the competition of, all of these services.”
Unlocking new data revenues with real-time contextual offers | Wednesday 10th December 2014 at 3pm UK time
Wednesday 10th December 2014
Time variations: 3.00pm London, 4.00pm Paris, 10.00am New York
Mobile operators can increase global data revenues by 15% by triggering upsell offers based on the real-time customer context (e.g. usage information, application access, location, profile etc). This is one of the main findings from a survey of 87 operators carried out in October 2014. This webinar discusses how operators can leverage real-time contextual offers to drive more data revenues.
Attend the webinar to discover:
• The impact of real-time contextual offers on uptake rates, loyalty and costs
• How operators can use real-time contextual offers to stimulate spend, data usage and extend the data user base
• Key requirements for operators to effectively enable real-time contextual offers
Intersec has secured $ 20m in a round of funding that the company will use to bolster the reach of its big data platform for telcos and its expansion outside of telecoms.
Telecom networks generate tons of data and many are looking to big data platforms to help them reduce churn, improve operational efficiency or create new revenue streams by using that data in clever ways.
Intersec, which was founded in 2009, offers a platform that claims to do just that: improve operational efficiency of networks by delivering insight into how customers use those networks, and generate new revenue / decrease churn by offering contextually aware services that take consumer preference and location-based data into consideration.
The platform is already being used by Orange and Telefónica among other large operators, and the company said it plans to use the funding to bolster its reach in telecoms and apply the technology outside of the sector, particularly in the US.
“Intersec has successfully transitioned over the last few years into the leading player in telco big data software, building on its leadership in Europe,” said Yann Chevalier, chief executive officer at Intersec. “The US market is key to our success and we plan to invest significantly to expand our US Headquarters in New York.”
Research and analysis firm A.T. Kearney predicts that the market for big data software and services will grow 30 per cent annually to reach $ 114bn by 2018, in part because many large firms – not just telcos – are grappling with the same core challenge: how to deliver the right offer or service to the right person at the right time.