Monetization of mobile broadband in India pays off


In March of this year Google estimated that
there are more than 40 million users in India accessing the Internet through
their mobile phones. Google also predicted that this number would increase to
300 million people accessing the mobile Internet by 2015. Moreover, Cisco has
forecast that mobile data traffic in India will increase by 114 fold by the
same year. Cisco also predicts that by 2015 the number of networked devices in
India will reach the 1 billion mark.


In India and across the world, new
smartphones, tablets and machine-to-machine devices are allowing people to
engage with social networks, conduct business and manage their day-to-day
activities on the move. This new and interactive mobile experience is bringing
about a revolution in mobile broadband service models as providers experiment
with innovative ways to monetize their offerings, attract and retain customers,
and efficiently manage network resources.


Four trends are driving new service models:
personalization, simplicity, open ecosystems, and casual usage. The success of
these models depends on a deep understanding of subscribers, service focused on
customers rather than devices and the ability to personalize and add value to
over-the-top (OTT) applications. Gaining this level of insight requires service
providers to make a fundamental shift from being “network providers” to “service and content enablers.”


Tiered Services: Personalized for the


Tiered services allow providers to deliver
plans that link customers’ usage and preferences with what they pay. Tiers also
provide more transparency into service usage and cost, creating opportunities
to increase revenues as usage increases. By combining network and subscriber
intelligence with sophisticated policy management tools, operators can meet the
requirements of different customer and market segments with a variety of
personalized service tiers that include:

Bandwidth tiers based on the volume of data
a customer uses. One example is charging $15 for 200MB and $25 for 2GB. When
the quota is reached, operators can offer subscribers a temporary bandwidth
boost or a promotional offer for the next tier up.

Application-based tiers where customers pay
based on application use, such as ten videos and 20 hours of gaming services
per month combined with unlimited social networking. This approach reflects how
customers use their phones, and operators can zero-rate applications to
allowfor unlimited usage.

Speed-based tiers are based on average
speeds, such as $60 for 5 GB at1.4 Mbps. Service providers can also up-sell a
speed boost for limited periods of timeto increase loyalty. Speed-based tiers
also make cheaper plans accessible to more customers. As an example, operators
can offer a prepaid plan with a low connection speed for customers on a limited
budget, or a plan for the casual user who wants occasional high-speed access.

Time-based tiers are defined by the number
of minutes the customer spends on the mobile data network. In this model,
quality of service (QoS) is essential to ensure that the user is not penalized
by slow network speeds. Operators can also use this method to manage network
congestion by applying different rates based on peak hour utilization,
time-of-day and other service tiers.

Device-based tiers apply policy rules to
prioritize service delivery on certain devices such as smartphones, which often
generate higher revenue per user.


In all of these models, providing customers
with usage monitoring solutions and notifications through messaging is
important to help them understand how their userelates to what they are being
charged and how their priority service is performing. This visibility is
critical to ensuring customer loyalty.


Shared Data Plans


Service providers also have the opportunity
to evolve from device-centric to customer-centric mobile broadband services by
providing subscribers with one plan that spans many devices. This approach
combines customer and device data management to assign multiple device
identities to one profile. It also uses performance analytics to track and
analyze individual and group usage with advanced policy management techniques
that include:

Quota pooling to share one quota across
multiple devices based on time,bandwidth, or application usage. For example, a
family of five members can share a 5 GB quota per month regardless of the
device used.

Multiple concurrent quotas across different
devices such as 20 videos, unlimited social networking and web browsing and 200
hours of voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) calls per month.

Quota top-ups and monthly roll-overs for a
group or family plan.

Enhanced notifications to the customer on
multiple device usage.


Tekelec sponsored a study from analyst firm
Infonetics Research on the rise of devices on shared data plans from 2011 to
2015.The top finding: devices sold globally on shared data plans will grow at
an average of 89 percent per year, reaching nearly 187 million in 2015.


By simplifying mobile data plans in this
way with fewer subscriptions, operators can accelerate the monetization of
mobile broadband services and provide greater transparency into group usage.
Service providers can also reduce their costs by simplifying and reducing
billing requirements.


Generate More Value from Over-The-Top


Over-the-top applications offer significant
monetization opportunities;Google estimates that Indian mobile users download
30 million applications per week. Using OTT applications, service providers can
charge subscribers for enriched applications and priority delivery of preferred
content. They can also benefit from revenue sharing by providing customer
intelligence, performance and usage analytics, and customer service to
application and content developers and mobile advertisers all while respecting
customer privacy through governance rules and opt-in policies. Realizing the
potential of OTT applications requires the following capabilities:

A consolidated, real-time view of the
customer, including profiles, preferences,location, presence, network, device,
applications, service entitlements and usage provided by a scalable SDM system.

Guaranteed QoS for OTT applications
provided by advanced policy management features such as application
prioritization; enhanced multi-service rating andzero-rating.

Enhanced performance analytics for applications
to measure usage, network performance, location and demographic trends, insight
on revenue-generating transactions, device performance and other data all of
which can improve service uptake.

Network and service application interfaces
that expose internal assets to advertisers and application providers, such as
QoS for video and subscriber data, and analytics for advertising segmentation
and application personalization.



Casual Usage and Loyalty Programs


The convenience and flexibility of
on-demand, casual mobile broadband services combined with special rewards are a
compelling way for service providers to attract new subscribers and increase
the loyalty of existing customers. Offers could include:

Service passes that provide access to
specific services and applications for a set amount of time or bandwidth usage,
such as a roaming day pass for travelers or 2 GBof video and unlimited web
browsing for the day.

Loyalty programs that make subscribers feel
special and reward targeted customer segments, like birthday and service
anniversary bonuses, speed boosts and unlimited bandwidth during off-peak

Special promotions to accelerate the
adoption of new services or encourage different mobile usage patterns. Examples
include unlimited access to anew application for three months funded by
advertisements or unlimited services at certain times or days when the network
is underutilized.


These programs require policy and
subscriber data management to meter multiple usage limits per customer and to
zero-rate services based on application, time and volume for different customer


For example, Polish operators are advocates
of the tiered service approach and use a wide variety of mechanisms that include
speed-based tiers and a broad range of usage buckets. Polish operators are
prepared to offer their subscribers a number of offers and incentives, which
include various overage options including bandwidth limits and an option to buy
out of the bandwidth limits for an additional fee. Other variations include
bonus SMS and voice minutes and free multi-application “social network
package”, providing users with free usage of Facebook, Twitter and other
social apps.

Monetizing mobile data services


Mobile operators and other service
providers have a unique opportunity to become service and content enablers.By
utilizing network and subscriber intelligence using performance, policy, and
subscriber data management capabilities, they can accelerate the monetization
of mobile broadband services. New services that are personalized, centered on
the customer rather than the device, and leverage casual usage and loyalty add
value to open application ecosystems and create a path to drive revenue growth
and greater service adoption.


By Joanne Steinberg, director of Strategic
Marketing at Tekelec
[email protected]