|Webcast: Wireless Trends and Directions- Planning for 2010
Aug. 13, 2009. Archived Version Available!
CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment
Oct.7-9, San Diego
Moderating Mobile Apps Panel
Open Mobile Summit
Nov. 4-5, San Fran.
Operator fireside chat
Crystal Ball Conference
April 7, 2010, Montreal
Speech on wireless
|A busy Lens this month. First, is a discussion of an important area of potential opex savings: device-based self-service. Operators have been successful in automating key elements of the account management lifecycle. It started with increasing functionality on their Web sites, but now the device is becoming an important medium. Below are the highlights of our recent White Paper on the evolution of device based self-service. Please e-mail me if you would like a complimentary copy.
Second, I have been spending some time thinking about what's next for T-Mobile. They have had a couple of disappointing quarters and seem to be "caught in the middle". Plus, there are rumors about Deutsche Telekom's plans for the U.S. market. How might T-Mobile differentiate going forward? Click here to see my opinion column in Fierce Wireless.
I will be at CTIA in a couple of weeks, moderating a panel on Mobile Applications, among other activities. Please e-mail me if you would like to schedule a meeting.
Finally, I'd like to draw your attention to the Open Mobile Summit, which will be held November 4-5 in San Francisco. This is an important topic, as we debate new and alternative business models for a more open ecosystem. All of the major players in this debate will be represented. I'll be leading a fireside chat with representatives of mobile operators. Use VIP code: LENS for a $100 discount.
|The Evolution of Device Based Self-Service
|With a challenging economy
and continued high cost of handset subsidies, advertising, and network capex,
wireless operators are continuing to search for ways to save on operational expenditures. Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to do some research
in the area of customer service, and particularly the implementation of
device-based solutions, as one of the ways in which operators are
saving cost without compromising the customer experience. This column presents a summary of the key findings of this research. If
you would like a complimentary copy of the full White Paper, please email me and we will send it to you.
Self-service - defined as the
ability of the customer to activate, manage, and troubleshoot their service
without human intervention, is now being used across three broad categories of
More recently, the mobile
device - with its ubiquity, improved functionality, and usability - has emerged
as an important, and complementary tool in the self-service arsenal.
- Service enrollment and activation
- Account management and maintenance
- Customer care
In addition to successful
implementations of Web-based self-service solutions, operators are deploying
device-based service solutions as well. Properly implemented, these solutions
reduce the number of calls or length of call to customer care, while also
reducing fulfillment costs, and optimizing service/feature plan selection. Business
cases presented in the report demonstrate cost savings of 40-70% for
device-based activation and service enrollment functions, with more than 90% of
activations/programming now automated in some implementations. For self-care
functions, cost savings of 20-50% have been realized, and we are seeing 50%
reduction in calls to care centers.
customer experience and demonstrated ROI with initial self-service
implementations, combined with improvements in device interface, memory, and speed
are leading to an aggressive roadmap for implementation of new capabilities in
the account management area, such as viewing data usage consumption, changing
price plans, and replenishing minutes for pre-paid accounts. We also see some
potential revenue-enhancing opportunities, such as promotion/up selling of
services and the creation of loyalty programs and greater tie-ins to
advertising. Device-based self-service will also play a critical role in
helping operators work with the growing number of third-party retailers selling
wireless devices and services.
We also spend some time in
the report discussing a successful go-to-market approach. A good user
experience, which includes ease of navigation, simple presentation of
information, and completion/confirmation of transactions, is one important
element. I have also found that many go-to-market solutions fall apart without
proper training in the channel, including retail sales and customer support
representatives. We have also found cross-promotion with Web-based account
management solutions to be effective.
Over the years, I have
written about how wireless is unique in providing free customer care across a breadth
of issues, many of which have little to do with the core service operators are
providing. As devices and services become more complex, I believe one of the
more effective ways to "resource" for high-touch interactions on complex
issues is to implement a flexible, and user-friendly suite of self-service
solutions for the more commonplace elements of activation, account management,
and entry-level care, across the Web and device channels.
|What's Next for T-Mobile?
T-Mobile USA has been a consistent performer for several years, with its reputation as the "value" operator, success in the youth market, and innovative MyFaves plan. But the company has had a couple of difficult quarters, and seems to be "caught in the middle" - between Verizon and AT&T, who have pulled away from the pack - and Metro/Leap/Virgin/Boost/Tracfone at the low end, who are nibbling away at T-Mobile's young, urban customer base with attractive pricing, and a more mainstream combination of handsets, coverage, and data services. As the other operator in the "middle", I would argue that Sprint has done a more effective job of late, with its support of "flank brands" (Virgin, Boost), open-ness to new business models (Kindle, Clearwire), and experimentation on pricing. So the question is, how can T-Mobile differentiate? Read more from my recent Fierce Wireless column.
|Webcast: Wireless Trends and Directions: Planning for 2010
Still available for listening and viewing!
We had a very successful Webcast on August 13. The archived version is still available. Mobile Dashboard: Wireless Trends and Directions, presented in partnership with Fierce Wireless. This fast-paced, metric and analysis packed presentation will help
you start planning for 2010. Many reports and events focus on specific
topics, but this Webcast will cover the breadth of the mobile value
I'll be joined by top-ranked Wireless Services analyst David
Barden, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who will present the Street's outlook for wireless in 2010, and John Jackson, a leading device analyst with CCS Insights and a former Yankee Group VP.
- Operator strategies
- Network evolution
- Key device trends
- Business model shifts
- Developments in key product areas
- VC and M&A trends
- Our "hot list" of exciting companies and technologies
CLICK HERE for more information and to register.