The Offer-Driven Operator

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1 THOUGHT LEADERSHIP The Offer-Driven Operator MAY 2016 Rich Karpinski, Principal Analyst, Mobile Operator Strategies Today s mobile services environment is a challenging one. Voice and SMS revenues have shrunk, while data monetization has moved to the forefront yet ARPU continues to shrink. To get back on a growth trajectory, mobile operators need to better use what they know about their customers and their behavior online and off and deliver more targeted, real-time offers pitching everything from core services such as data access and roaming to new over-the-top content and apps. In search of elusive incremental ARPU: Enter the offer-driven operator RESEARCH, LLC

2 ABOUT 451 RESEARCH 451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to over 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group Research, LLC and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication, in whole or in part, in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The terms of use regarding distribution, both internally and externally, shall be governed by the terms laid out in your Service Agreement with 451 Research and/or its Affiliates. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. 451 Research disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although 451 Research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, 451 Research does not provide legal advice or services and their research should not be construed or used as such. 451 Research shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The reader assumes sole responsibility for the selection of these materials to achieve its intended results. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. NEW YORK SAN FRANCISCO LONDON BOSTON 20 West 37th Street 3rd Floor New York, NY P F Geary Street 9th Floor San Francisco, CA P F Gower Street London, UK WC1E 6HH P +44 (0) F +44 (0) Liberty Square, 5th Floor Boston, MA P F ABOUT THE AUTHOR RICH KARPINSKI PRINCIPAL ANALYST, MOBILE OPERATOR STRATEGIES Rich Karpinski is a Principal Analyst, Mobile Operator Strategies working as part of 451 Research s Mobile Telecom team. In this role, he focuses heavily on mobile operator business models, service delivery strategies and the overall dynamics of the mobile ecosystem, working closely with 451 Research s operator customers to help them understand market trends and plot future strategies. His recent focus has included new service delivery strategies, including telecom data as a service (TDaaS), offer-driven business models and digital service strategies, including coverage of vendors enabling the carrier evolution from communications to full-scale digital service providers. II

3 Key Findings Mobile data usage is exploding growing globally from just 0.2GB per month per user to 1.5GB in 2016 and 4.3GB in But industry revenues are flat or falling, with revenue across 40 of the largest global mobile operators falling 2.5% in the past few years. Operators need a new and better way to monetize their networks and service usage. More dynamic and real-time offers represent a key opportunity for operators in both emerging (mostly prepaid) markets where ARPUs are low and in premium (postpaid) areas where ARPUs are higher, but are still flat or falling. In prepaid markets, offers should focus on micro-bundles of incremental service access, such as a data day pass or short-term social network access. In more mature markets, operators have the ability to deliver their own and partner content and media services. In both cases, sponsored data approaches which underwrite user costs via advertising can drive new revenue streams. At the center of this more dynamic approach to service monetization lies a new construct made up of familiar parts: the offer engine, consisting of a real-time service creation environment/catalog; campaign management; network delivery, enforcement and charging capabilities; and big data-driven analytics to close the offer loop. Ideally, operators also need to place a mobile app on the customer device to receive offers e.g., Trojan-horse style via a customer service app or providing valuable services, such as coupons/ deals or mobile content. III

4 Executive Summary INTRODUCTION Mobile operators are entering a new phase of enabling a more transaction-oriented relationship with subscribers. Gone are the days of relying on simple bundles of voice, SMS and data (or even more complex data pricing structures like shared data plans) to drive revenue and satisfy customers. Instead, today s offer-driven operator leverages its core assets and capabilities subscriber relationships; data insights into all those subscribers do and desire; and the ability to deliver highly targeted, just-in-time offers in a way no over-the-top (OTT) competitor can to reinvent how it does business. Such a sea change won t happen overnight, but we are beginning to see early, successful examples of this transformation today in operators large and small, in mobile markets both emerging and mature. Helping those operators with their offerdriven efforts is an emerging category of vendors some altogether new and others evolving products in categories such as billing, policy and analytics to meet the more real-time, data-driven demands of this new offer-driven service environment. In this report, we discuss the rapidly evolving mobile services landscape and the monetization challenges it has created; review the strategic importance of reinventing the operator business around timely, targeted offers; detail examples of operators having early success with this approach; describe the components required to build an effective offer engine; and deliver a breakdown of a range of enabling vendors in this important but as-yet-undefined sector. METHODOLOGY This report represents the next step in 451 Research s ongoing research into operator monetization strategies. To explain market trends, we rely on data from 451 Market Monitors, Forecasts and Surveys, providing insights into operator business and operational trends and subscriber behavior and interests. The global operator market remains in a period of great transition, with traditional revenues under great pressure and new market opportunities emerging to be captured or lost to a range of new competitors. In addition to taking a quantitative look at these changes, we evaluate offer-driven service approaches and strategies from a range of operators and examine vendors delivering platforms to expedite this new, more agile style of service delivery. Reports such as this one represent a holistic perspective on key emerging markets in the enterprise IT space. These markets evolve quickly, though, so 451 Research offers additional services that provide critical marketplace updates. These updated reports and perspectives are presented on a daily basis via the company s core intelligence service, 451 Research Market Insight. Forward-looking M&A analysis and perspectives on strategic acquisitions and the liquidity environment for technology companies are also updated regularly via Market Insight, which is backed by the industry-leading 451 Research M&A KnowledgeBase. Emerging technologies and markets are covered in 451 Research channels including Business Applications; Cloud Transformation; Data Platforms and Analytics; Datacenter Technologies; Development, DevOps and IT Ops; Enterprise Mobility; European Services; Information Security; Internet of Things; Mobile Telecom; Multi-Tenant Datacenters; Networking; Service Providers; Storage; and Systems and Software Infrastructure. Beyond that, 451 Research has a robust set of quantitative insights covered in products such as ChangeWave, Voice of the Enterprise, Market Monitor, the M&A KnowledgeBase and the Datacenter KnowledgeBase. All of these 451 Research services, which are accessible via the web, provide critical and timely analysis specifically focused on the business of enterprise IT innovation. For more information about 451 Research, please go to: IV

5 Table of Contents 1. THE EVOLVING MOBILE SERVICES ENVIRONMENT 1 LIVING IN A MOBILE DATA WORLD Figure 1: Global Mobile Data Consumption Is on the Rise THE MOBILE SERVICES MONETIZATION CHALLENGE Figure 2: Global ARPUs Flat, Mobile Data Monetization Key to Mobile Services Growth Figure 3: Disruption and Innovation Are Required for Mobile Services Growth MOBILE SUBSCRIBER BEHAVIORS ARE EVOLVING TOO Figure 4: Mobile Subscribers Respond to Mobile Offers THE OFFER-DRIVEN OPPORTUNITY 5 OPERATOR OFFERS: DYNAMIC, DATA-DRIVEN, JUST-IN-TIME AND AT POINT OF INTEREST Figure 5: CSPs Have Unique Data to Drive Offers WHAT TYPES OF OFFERS MAKE SENSE? Figure 6: New Product or Service Upsell Offers Figure 7: Video Content as Fodder for Operator Offers Figure 8: Mobile Advertising Is a Key Part of an Offer-Driven Opportunity THE COMPONENTS OF AN OPERATOR OFFER ENGINE 10 COMPONENTS OF AN OPERATOR OFFER ENGINE OFFER-DRIVEN OPERATOR ENABLERS VENDORS, PLATFORMS AND SERVICES 12 ALLOT AMDOCS ASIAINFO ERICSSON FLASH NETWORKS ITSON V

6 THE OFFER-DRIVEN OPERATOR MATRIXX SOFTWARE OPENET SANDVINE SMITH MICRO CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE/RELATIONSHIP/ VALUE MANAGEMENT (CEM/CRM/CVM) VENDORS SPONSORED-DATA VENDORS CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FURTHER READING INDEX OF COMPANIES 18 VI

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