Operators are already spending billions on beefing up capacity to handle the tremendous increase in video and data traffic, but Google and Facebook are walking away with all the revenue.
Despite their best efforts, operators are still perceived by many subscribers and content providers as being a mere data pipe.
As it stands, carriers are exploring ways to secure a place in the value chain and they are beginning to achieve this. They have the advantage that they know where subscribers are searching, what they are buying, and what content they like to consume. All this information flows from their handsets through the carrier’s network. Using this data, operators can alert subscribers, for example, that they are about to exceed their quota if they watch a video, or that there is a product available for a lower price similar to the one they’re searching for. This data enables operators to provide the right information at the time it brings the most value to the user. This is most evident with coupons, for example; while a subscriber is looking for a movie schedule a coupon for a nearby coffee shop can appear at the same time.
The demand for these types of revenue generating services has increased in 2013 and we expect to see this demand grow in 2014. Therefore, the biggest challenge facing the telecoms marketing ecosystem is the ability to marry local content with knowledge of shopping & browsing behaviour, and continue to provide an enjoyable user experience, while ultimately ensuring the service they provide can generate revenues.
Once all the pieces are in place, it’s a win/win/win situation for everyone – subscriber, operator and content provider.
Liam Galin is the CEO of Flash Networks.