Less conversation, more action
The communications galaxy is gravitating from one orbit to another at supersonic speed. The humble mobile phone has become uber smart in the hands of subscribers during the lifetime of one generation alone. In Sweden, the mobile phone is referred to as 'nalle' because users carry it around everywhere they go, fearing they might misplace their 'teddy bear.' The irony is not lost on us on how the mobile phone has become a new life form - depending on who uses it, the smartphone is a virtual assistant / concierge, bank, retailer, learning institution or social network.
The communications service provider (CSP) is in the crosshairs of two demanding constituents: on the one hand, the millennial generation seeking unique experiences and on the other, non-traditional competitors riding the telecom bandwagon on the edges of the ecosystem. The subscriber does not care who delivers a nifty app or service that makes living and working a breeze. Most users cannot even distinguish between the network and the over-the-top service provider. Subscribers are looking for a bouquet of digital experiences that empower them, irrespective of the source.
This latent need of the digital generation presents opportunities as well as challenges. From a business standpoint, telcos need to upgrade network infrastructure to deliver superior service. However, every successive capex cycle does not translate to higher average revenue per user. In an industry landscape where - all factors being equal - there is no direct correlation between a technology shift and incremental revenue, CSPs need to reinvent themselves as genuine experience providers. The smartphone gives CSPs a gateway to become embedded in the lives of subscribers.
The CSP can enhance the lifestyle of the digital subscriber at home, on the go as well as at work. The subscriber's network can morph into a catalyst for seamless convenience and all-round productivity. The Internet of Things (IoT) enables CSPs to harness automation and machine intelligence so that subscribers can control events and navigate situations at home or the workplace with precision and finesse. It presents an opportunity for CSPs to appropriate the high ground of experiential services across touch points, thereby altering the relationship dynamic between the CSP and subscribers.
Elvis Presley sounds prescient when he crooned, "A little less conversation, a little more action please;
little more bite... and a little more spark..." It is precisely what the
millennial user yearns for from CSPs. Inevitably, opportunities do not knock,
they ring across the telecom ecosystem. If the CSP is not omnipresent at every
milestone event and at every life stage of a subscriber, the online retailer,
banker or social network may well disrupt the dynamics of the telecom industry