Mobile operators 'must focus on innovation'
Dubai, November 3, 2013
By Avinash Saxena
Mobile network operators must focus on innovation, if they don't want to end up with mere utility status, said the chief executive of a leading telecom compaany in Bahrain.
VIVA Bahrain chief executive Ulaiyan Al Wetaid told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, that key challenges for all major global operators today are the saturated market in voice, very high demand on capacities driven by growth in smartdevices and over-the-top (OTT) content.
OTT refers to delivery of video and audio over the Internet without an operator being involved in the control or distribution of the content.
The provider may be aware of the content but is not responsible for, nor able to control, the viewing abilities, copyrights, and/or other redistribution of the content.
Al Wetaid was speaking on the sidelines of the Telecoms World Middle East 2013, that was held in Dubai.
The chief executive also spoke in a panel discussion on strategies for revenue growth, recent growth in long-term evolution, customer retention and future investment in the industry.
More than 600 telecom professionals representing 90 operators attended the event.
"Network operators are facing disintermediation of customer relationships and commoditisation of voice and data services, while they are called upon to invest significantly in deploying new network technologies to meet exploding bandwidth demands and quality of service requirements," he said.
"Yet they also must carefully balance capital expenditure (capex) investment and traffic revenues," he noted.
According to him another significant challenge is to identify, develop and deploy new 'value-added' services.
"Operators have to leverage network infrastructures, customer relationships and servicing capabilities into new business opportunities."
Al Wetaid added that some of the ways in which operators can deal with the challenges are microsegmented approach of development of products and services, use of analytics and tools to better understand customer behaviour and provide products and services that address their needs, introduce more experiential kind of content in a customised manner, rather than one size fits all sorts of products.
Experts have assessed that analytics will generate almost $9 billion of savings and incremental revenues worldwide for mobile operators by 2018.-TradeArabia News Service