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"Efficent Pipe+" versus "Services and Apps"

Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

I spoke at last weeks IDATE Digiworld Summit and was fortunate enough to sit through Antoine Pradayrol's plenary session on "Open Mobile" - Antoine is head of Telco research at Exane-Paribas and you can view his presentation here:

His hypothesis for mobile operators... "Focus on Access, Not Services"

... reasoning that since the service pie is so diverse, has a range of business models and many different competitors, that it simply isn't worth it.

What do you think?

- Mark

2 Replies 2

Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

I would agree with Antonie. I think he has hit all the items on his slide#8 in the prezo - the challenges for operators to be application provider. Not explicitly mentioned, I will highlight that the application space is innovation driven - facebook, tweeter, wikipedia etc. A "Me-Too" approach of walled-garden by service providers is huge cost with not a strong RoI.

Further I think the following other things will happen in the content space:

  • There will be "Content and Application Aggregators" who will be bridge between content and application providers and operators. They will provide services like customization of the service for each operator, potentially content optimization and other services like billing etc. They will leverage Economies of Scale.
  • There are other opportunities for operators to make revenues by Personalization. A simple example is Ads - some people may want to reduce bill and are okay with Ads, while others may pay more with no ads. Thats an example where the operator can build capabilities around that.


Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

I very much agree with this statement in Antoine's slide 9: "Opportunity to become 'enabler' of 3rd party services & applications". This is truly the monetization opportunity available to operators in the mobile application open ecosystem. The operators who can best enhance value in the delivery of popular 3rd party applications will be the most successful in increasing ARPUs beyond mobile data access plans.

I do think Antoine sells operators a little short when discussing what these “enablers” might be.  He cites Billing and CRM as significant operator assets to be leveraged.  In fact, operators can leverage other unique network-based assets as the basis for increased services monetization, such as policy control systems to provide the flexibility to offer user personalization of the applications and services they consume (e.g., by type, time of day, application, usage quantity, roaming, etc.), network-enabled targeted advertising (while ensuring subscriber privacy), content filtering to provide protective services for minor subscribers or preservation of cultural norms, enhanced user experience by ensuring quality of service for bandwidth-intensive applications, and more.  These network assets can even enable sustainable business partnerships with 3rd party application providers, at least for those operators who move quickly with a true value proposition.

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