Network QoS makes all the difference

LTE Insights

McCormick says that the differences in answers are more likely a reflection of market differences rather than operator difference. But she agrees that all operators will chase a mix of sources, with some revenue sources (such as mobile finance, say) being bigger opportunities in some countries (e.g. emerging markets) than others.

“Also, the issue with consumer cloud video is that video also adds cost, so this might not be as profitable as lower aggregate revenue IoT services,” she adds.     

For internal use only

One area where operators won’t be seeing much new incremental revenue is big data. That’s not to say they have no interest in it - the vast majority of operators say they either have a big data plan in place or are hammering one out now, with the remainders mostly saying they’ll have a plan for big data next year. 

But when asked if they see value in big data as a sellable product, most operators said big data is far more value to them as a tool for better marketing and customer support. 

Ovum concurs with that assessment, says McCormick. “We continue to see big data fundamentally about improving the customer experience. For example, monitoring network performance in real time to assist customer service agents with network bottlenecks or fault information for customers can be a differentiator and customer relationship enhancer. Even better is using big data to fix a problem in the network before the customer notices a slowdown or adverse quality affects. Using predictive analytics for customer service alerts, customized cross-sell and upsell offers in real time, and for churn management will also remain prevalent.”

McCormick also warns that selling big data is not without risk. “The potential risk to the customer relationship of on-selling their data would also be a factor causing operators to be hesitant to pursue this.”

SIDE BAR: More spectrum, please

Additional survey findings: operators need more spectrum, mobile broadband rivals fixed, 2G still isn’t dead

We want more airwaves: Last year, our survey asked operators if they have enough spectrum to meet traffic needs in the short to medium term. In 2014, 60% of respondents said yes. One year, the same percentage said no.

This varies by market and specific operators, of course, but for both cellcos and integrated operators, the majority said they’re facing a spectrum shortage in the short to medium term.

Consequently, operators also said that if RAN capacity isn’t a restraint on mobile services now, it will be soon. Cellcos aren’t currently feeling the pinch compared to integrated operators (22% of cellcos say it’s a constraint already, compared to 38% of integrated operators) but around half say it will be within the next year.

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Asia and North America will each account for 40% of the total