SingTel should appeal to OTT players, not regulators
- Pursue OTT players as network co-investors. In the age of the customer, high-level customer experiences lead to profitability; telcos need to scrupulously pursue OTT players to exploit the opportunity. The recent Netflix/Comcast deal points the way forward: It’s an example of an OTT player recognizing an opportunity to fund its customers’ experience and work with a telecom provider like Comcast to achieve that business outcome. SingTel should be encouraged by this example to do the same.
- Become a big data service provider. The data and analytics from mobile devices and systems that telcos now have access to can help them change the game — as a big data service provider. By offering data analytics services to businesses to improve the customer experience, SingTel could help them grow. One such value-add is the sponsored data model. This is where companies underwrite specific content for a mobile operator; the operator’s customers can access this data for free, without affecting their monthly data plan allowance. AT&T, for instance, already offers this service in the US. Big data could offer new insights to sponsored data that improves targeted user advertisements and calls to action.
- Differentiate with localized, contextual information. SingTel had 468 million mobile users across Asia last year, to whom a localized, contextualized play is highly relevant. SingTel’s advantage is in localizing contextual information, either in-country or through its investments in other mobile operators — something OTT players tend not to do very well. Given that advantage, SingTel should work at combining local data, integrating mapping information, and linking users to highly relevant goods and services to improve the stickiness of its services.
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