Parallel Lines: Content delivery

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Communications service providers (CSPs) have focused a significant part of their spending on upgrades to the network infrastructure. The benefits of these upgrades have often been realised in a disproportionate manner by so-called ‘over the top’ service providers, leaving just broadband access revenue to the telecom operators.

The entire communication segment has now become very competitive and at the same time active players from other industry segments are eating into the ‘prized customer base’ of CSPs. It is increasingly difficult for CSPs to hold on to the existing customer base (20 per cent of which may often provide 80 per cent of the total profits) unless there is a strong value-based differentiator.

CSPs need to become more agile and transform their image from a simple phone company to a value-added services company spanning the entire gamut of communications, utility, entertainment, and lifestyle services. This represents the next evolution for the next generation of unified communications, going from communication-based applications to customer experience enhancing applications.

This will enable CSPs to provide a 360-degree customer experience to consumers over three screens (TV at home, PC in the office and mobile in transit). This gives consumers the joy of anytime, anywhere communications and entertainment on virtually any device. Also, the ever-demanding and sophisticated ‘digital customer’ of today should be able to re-use the investment made in a plethora of downloaded apps and content as she or he moves from one device to another.

Gone are the days when services were built around technologies. Services are now being built around consumers, and technology is being refreshed to provide an immersive user experience across three screens.

As consumers see the benefits of anytime, anywhere, experience on a multitude of devices, and providers see these services as differentiators to attract new subscribers and retain existing subscribers, the demand for services that are available on three screens is expected to increase.

Full article in Mobile News issue 448 (September 21, 2009).

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