Hugo Pinto

Innovation, Strategy, Technology, Data

Direct to bill, open data as a service and personal data stores: TELCO digital opportunities

 

There’s still a lot of open fields for TELCO’s to play, but there needs to be a clear understanding of what markets are growing, and which ones there’s still an advantage to be leveraged. Here are a few initiatives that not only make sense, but also are also very viable for any major global MNO.

Direct to bill “one-click” payments

 

Pay for anything with your phone bill, without having to set up a 6 step app that asks for the colour of your underwear. Just creating a widget and get it on m-commerce sites like you have a PayPal logo. Users pay with one click, maybe the phone’s pin code – the key is use the authentication they already HAVE to remember, and remove the fuss of one more password or memorising your credit card details.

Advantages:

The user experience – one click, use the data you have from the client, no need to fill in data nor share credit card or other information.

Leverage partnerships and get key m-commerce sites to adopt your widget  – grow reach and usage rapidly.

Learn transactional behaviour of your clients – more data to grow the [media] value of your clients, and understand how they make decisions or identify tipping points.

With this piece of the and to end user journey, companies add the where clients spend their money to knowing who they are, live, etc., and whom they REALLY communicate with – the real social graph and customer profiles.

Conclusion:

This means TELCO’s can begin to understand how to create smarter products, or improve the ones they have, reverse the tendency of a declining ARPU and reduce Churn. Oh, and they increase it by getting a chunk of mobile payments from PayPal and CO, instead of building 6 stepped mobile wallets no one uses…

Personal data stores

 

credit card and mobile phoneThere’s so many different logins and passwords you use in one day on your phone, it’s becoming chaotic to manage it. And the worse part is you end up not knowing who you gave permission to do what with that and other personal information (you should read those 51 page T&Cs on mobile apps).

DS are going to be the concept under every connected device you own. It exists on your company systems and it’s known as Single Sign On, but we’re all connected beings now, we need logins in everything we do online, regardless of the device, and we expect those devices to communicate and know who you are!

Advantages:

TELCO’s already have details from customer’s activities over the network – they can understand the needs (the real ones) and anticipate them.

They can pre-install software/apps on the phones they sell, so minimum user effort and guaranteed adoption (if it’s done right, of course).

They can (still) leverage relations with utility providers, governments and other key institutions in a person’s life to add more relevant information to our profile to make our lives easier, and ultimately create something that you will use everyday, to shop, to pay the bills, to pay for the subway!

Conclusion:

This might be the only way for TELCO’s to keep track of what the user does online, since most of the e-commerce and digital businesses know the value of that information and will close it down to protect their business and data. On another note, these PDSs will be the universal authentication systems for your connected existence, not only on your phones, but in your cars, homes and bodies.

Open Data as a Service

 

Crowd data (anonymised and aggregated mobile network data) is the only live census data can be used in any business that happens in the real world. It can be used to understand where clients come from, how did they get there and how long they stayed for, how many where male, between 20-30 and what apps they used – all without revealing any personal information, just amounts of people from each of the groups.

Advantages:

So if you open that data (using an API, for instance), and allow universities, startups and experts to access it, you’ll be giving them the information they need to create the future applications of that data: intelligent transport, supply and stocking, transportation systems, and basically anything that involves people. People you can help measure with an accuracy no other sensor can offer with such a large sample.

The phone is the sensor people already use, it has an advantage over all other wearable tech – why not allow others to innovate on top of it. If the innovators want to build a business out of the concepts, they’ll need the stream of data.  The long term, scalable model is in the data-as-a-service, not the consultancy.

By allowing the use of open data as a service you allow the users to take the innovation risk and even though you have to enforce and police the security and anonymity of the data, you don’t take on the innovation risks, and delegate that responsibility.

Again, the partnerships and relations with markets like the finance, media and transport can easily encourage these entities’ research teams to use their data, and that again, accelerates the process of finding new uses for that same data.

Conclusion:

These three things alone can be enough to have an impact on some of the most promising digital businesses TELCO’s can access, in some cases with an advantage, but bare in mind evolution is exponentially accelerating, so be quick or be slowly hanging on to a thread you know will come to an end…

 

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