Mobile internet is top-of-mind for the world’s telcos – no surprise there - but their biggest priority is the very 20th century concern of customer satisfaction.
Improving user satisfaction ranks ahead of cutting operating cost and finding new revenue streams in the list of operator priorities, according to the second annual Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) survey of carrier execs.
The prevailing view of the 42 industry honchos interviewed is that the industry is undergoing a disruptive transition to the mobile internet, dominated by open platforms and devices and new rivals like Apple and Google.
They think the way to stay ahead is to focus on the end-user experience, and that means transforming their backend systems – service portfolio, pricing, billing and customer care.
The backend also figures high in the “what’s missing” category – namely, more insight into customers, plus the IT skills to help support that. Innovation is also sorely missing, the survey found.
Yet while carriers are usually faulted as network-centric, the executives surveyed told NSN that “network performance and evolution” is the biggest pain point as data becomes a central part of their business.
Naturally, everyone wants to graduate from being a mere bit-pipe. Some 78% said they want to go into “intelligent distribution”, while 69% are looking at content bundling.