Taking on OTT players

Tony Poulos
18 Aug 2011

Those of you who have been regular readers of Inside Revenue Management over the last four years will be acutely aware of my concerns that the telecom industry is missing opportunities to protect and enhance revenues by utilizing or exposing its assets to the outside world.

I have gone blue in the face presenting on the subject at conferences around the globe and have even authored Quick Insights research reports within the Forum targeting the ways and means to do this.

Some of the more enterprising, and dare I say it, adventurous CSPs have made tremendous strides in taking on the dreaded over-the-top (OTT) players, and even working with them to minimize any potential revenue loss. So it should come as no surprise that, at long last, the analyst community has picked up the cause.

Total Telecom reports that in an interview with Nielsen’s European managing director David Gosen, he stated that operators have been preoccupied with keeping up with the latest OTT services rather than concentrating on making the most of the unique assets already at their disposal.

Gosen called on mobile operators to focus on enhancing their CRM (customer relationship management) and billing services in order to stem the tide of revenues flowing away from operators towards OTT players. He also added his voice to the argument that operators can make their offers stickier by enabling customers to pay for more than just basic voice and data services via their phone bill.

“Research has shown across a number of companies that if you can get consumers to subscribe to more than one service through a single billing platform they are much less likely to churn,” he said. Sounds like Gosen has also been reading TM Forum publications because these issues have been stressed 'ad nauseum' for years, and without the need for research - it should be just plain common sense.

He went on to point out his disbelief over operators dragging their heels when it comes to adding value by leveraging their customers’ data. “It’s a six billion dollar question; operators are sitting on a fantastic asset of customer data,” he said.

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