Asian cellcos trump benefit of data analytics

Nicole McCormick/Ovum
09 Oct 2012

At the recent LTE Asia conference in Singapore, Asian mobile operators claimed that they have one thing that over-the-top (OTT) players do not – local consumer data analytics.

According to operators such as SK Telecom (SKT), Vodafone, and StarHub, this will continue to make operators relevant in the new telecom value chain.

Collaborations between mobile operators and OTT players will be vital to the survival of the mobile industry. While mobile operators hold user data analytics as their last bastion against OTT providers, vendors and browsing companies, such as Google, also possess a wealth of consumer data.

Customer data analytics will be valuable to operators when negotiating with large OTT players as it will offer an alternative view to the OTT player’s own data, and therefore provide leverage for operators.

Without their own in-depth customer analytics, operators will find it more difficult to negotiate favorable deals with OTT players. In addition, it will mean that operators will have no way of verifying OTT players’ claims that their analytics are valuable.

SKT “strongly believes” that its user intelligence has OTT value

Asian mobile operators believe that their consumer data metrics will be crucial for partnering with OTT players.

South Korea’s largest mobile operator, SKT, told attendees at the LTE Asia conference that it was making significant efforts to put more intelligence into its network. The operator “strongly believes” that its user behavior analytics will be valuable to OTT players. Alongside its strategy to cooperate with OTT players, SKT is continuing to compete with the OTT community.

The operator stated that it was losing “some level of customer ownership” to OTT players. As a result, it is devising richer services and application suites to directly compete with these companies. This “compete and collaborate” strategy to defend against OTT competition is also being adopted by mobile operators in Japan, which have the cash flow to spend on service and content innovation. For more information on this strategy, see Ovum’s report Mobile Operator Strategies for Defending Against OTT Competition.

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