Moving with the rising mobile Internet demandBy Frances Mangosing
In Asia, where some of the world’s most competitive economies are, mobile phones are the dominant access to the Internet for a lot of people.
John Giere, Products and Marketing Senior Vice President of Open Wave Systems, said that if mobile operators want to value above and beyond data access and transport, they must “take a page out of the Web playbook while still focusing on their core strengths.”
“A perfect starting point is pricing. With the right solutions, and more importantly the right mind-set, mobile operators can emulate their Web partners/competitors to quickly build, test, launch and monitor creative pricing plans that empower the end-user and deliver value to all their different user segments,” Giere said.
Giere also said that operators should offer prepaid subscribers something that would enable them to monitor their own use of mobile data such as “pay-as-you-go plans which include a variety of time-based options, such as hour-, day- and week-long plans.”
“Operators could also provide subscribers with custom speed access to their frequently visited websites,” Giere said, adding that as the mobile ecosystem matures, “we will get better at figuring out what content and services consumers are willing to pay for.”
Giere emphasized that “transparency is also as important as flexibility.” Subscribers look to operators when they need a data plan because “there are no other options.”
But instead of competing in terms of price, Giere said that operators should compete based on “value and customer service.”
For instance, Giere said an operator could partner with an iTunes competitor to offer a premium long-form video for a set monthly plan. Then an operator may set itself apart from iTunes through “easy billing clear service level agreement and proactive user engagement when network conditions change.”
He also said that operators around the world today are now testing and implanting new pricing strategies in an effort “to support the market need for even more segmented data traffic plans against the declining voice-based average revenue per users.”
Operators shouldn’t miss the opportunity to gain market shares by offering these service tiers as a way of providing choices to consumers instead of a “complex minefield of hidden chargers,” Giere said.
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