Presented by fonYou
While we are in the midst of one of the most exciting times in telecommunications history — driven by things like 5G, Wi-Fi 6, virtualization, and transformation of networks – it’s easy to focus on what the future might bring, as opposed to what operator networks are already capable of doing today. The reality is that mobile carriers don’t have to wait for the future to arrive because they are already sitting on top of a veritable goldmine.
The “goldmine” is made up of massive amounts of data that traverse telecom networks. Today’s core networks are made of expensive, heavy-duty equipment optimized for transporting this data. They weren’t designed with data analytics in mind. As a result, most operators haven’t yet developed effective strategies to transform user data flows into actionable customer insights. Let alone take it to the next stage to become analytics-driven, digital businesses that can compete with OTTs on customer intelligence.
For this to happen, operators need to disrupt the existing model and apply machine-learning algorithms to the real-time data which is flowing through their networks today. That would allow them to decode complex event combinations, traffic patterns and smartphone interactions to infer the tribes and behaviors that define each individual customer. Raw data carried over the mobile network could then be transformed into user behavioral data to generate actionable insights for real-time and predictive responses to their customers’ needs and desires.
Mobile carriers to become data-powered businesses
So, where are we today? Mobile carriers typically have access to many different sources of customer information, including standard commercial systems such as CRMs as well as more advanced OSS/BSS platforms designed for carriers. These data sources can include static or near real-time information about customers. The challenge is that with these systems, it’s difficult to assess the current customer context and understand the underlying patterns that drive customer behavior.
However, what if they could “see” that a customer is online and streaming? What if they could see that they are using an app to search travel destinations? Or what if they could discern that a customer’s device is being infected by malware? Understanding the context gives operators boundless opportunities to become a more useful partner or resource for their customers.
Operators are typically well aware that they have to develop into data-driven businesses in order to stay relevant. The good news is that the majority of operators globally have already started on their digital transformation journey. Our only caution to operators is that they need to ensure that people — their customers — are central to any digital transformation project.
Harnessing massive mobile data to understand each customer
The fact is that carriers already have everything they need in their core networks to better understand and serve their customers. The challenge of course is to turn these petabytes of information from users’ interactions with their mobile devices into a real and authentic view of the customer, their behavior, and their needs. Creating something more useful and manageable, something like a self-organized data lake, requires some heavy processing power and speed which almost inevitably leads us to the cloud and AI.
Powered by cloud and AI, this massive, real-time data could be harnessed and transformed into new, valuable knowledge about mobile users. With the right technology in place, this data would be extracted directly from the telecom network, and by applying machine learning algorithms, operators could understand, detect, and predict with a high degree of accuracy what they want or need.
The commercial applications are limitless. An obvious first step would be to present highly targeted offerings for customers, according to their real-time context and profile. Take the example of a customer who regularly uses HBO’s video streaming application, who owns a new 4K smartphone, and is currently connected. If you could discern that they are apparently addicted to whatever the next big thing after Game of Thrones may be, what are the chances that they would pay a sensible price for an early screening of the next episode, ahead of the masses? What about that customer searching an app for vacation destinations? What sort of offers might they be receptive to? And what about that customer whose device is being infected by malware. Maybe you could build some extreme loyalty with a free, pro-active monitoring and malware-isolation service?
Secondly, operators could also improve their commercial efficiency, by acting smarter on the design of their offer portfolio, which could be generated to match real customer consumption habits.
And finally, operators could also better predict future revenue — or Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) — for each customer, which would help with better business planning and strategic targeting of all existing and prospective customer segments. With real-time insights, operators can distinguish between profitable, nearly profitable and unprofitable customer segments, and tailor their marketing and sales strategies accordingly — including unique pricing strategies based on individual customer behavior.
Mobile carriers are sitting on top of a goldmine
Without question, carriers should be excited about the future revenue potential their networks will generate, especially as they deploy 5G networks. However, they should not ignore the wealth of data that is cycling through their networks, which could unleash new customer insights and commercial applications when harnessed by cloud and AI applications.
For too long, operators have been feeling the heat from currently dominant pure digital players. But there is nothing stopping smart carriers from becoming competitive, agile, and fully digital businesses that can thrive. They only need to build it, today.
Fernando Nunez Mendoza is Founder & CEO of fonYou.
fonYou’s iCarrier platform creates new customer knowledge by extracting mobile data usage directly from the carrier network. By applying AI and Machine Learning techniques the iCarrier predicts what customers will need, creating a whole new world of commercial applications. fonYou is building the mobile carrier of the future with AI, today. Ready to join us? visit www.fonyou.com.
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