Mobile operators need to learn a lesson from the huge disappointment of 3G, and be careful not to devalue their 4G services from the start.
CSL CMO Mark Liversidge, the keynote speaker at the TM Forum's Management World Asia event in Singapore yesterday, said his biggest fear is that the industry will fall into the same trap as with 3G -- launching new services at the same or lower price than existing services.
Operators were forced to market 3G services on price, due in part to the over-hyped speed and coverage, he said.
This is why the company hasn't rushed to the market to promote its LTE services launched in December, which the company says covers half of Hong Kong. If you've been in Hong Kong in the past 10 weeks, you wouldn't have seen any above-the-line advertising or any offers or pricing, he said.
"This isn't because the products aren't ready. They are. Frankly, we're very nervous about our services, which required major capital expenditure, being devalued before given a chance to take off."
With new technology, he pointed out that telcos have struggled to give consumers a strong value proposition that makes them part with additional cash.
He also insisted that the technology needs to be invisible. "It's not about the technology and it's not about the network infrastructure. It's about making the interaction between the network and the device as smooth and intuitive as possible." Link to video