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10 ways operators are getting innovative with plans

By May 30, 2013 No Comments

Operators are moving away from the traditional mobile plan where you get a number of minutes, a bucket of texts and an amount of data – and a subsidized handset. Traditionally designed for post-pay customers, these plans were often rigid and didn’t enable rapid change in response to changes in customer behaviour. The good news is that this is now changing. Operators are rolling out new, flexible plans. These new plans go beyond providing heavily subsidized devices to stimulate usage, loyalty and spend. Instead, they focus on understanding customer behaviour, and providing dynamic services that anticipate and meet customer’s needs. Openet has just published a white paper, Real World Examples of Innovative Data Centric Offers, which lists 10 ways operators are using smart data plans to drive up usage and revenues, the 10 innovations outlined are: 


  1. 1. Tiered Plans : It’s all About Data

Data is now the fundamental building block for mobile plans. Voice, in many cases, is now commoditized and data is the differentiator. A typical LTE base plan is built on unlimited voice calls and texts, alongside data with volume and speed tiers.

  1. 2. Social Media Plans

Selling low cost (or even free) social media plans work to encourage data adoption and usage.

  1. 3. Shared Data Plans

We’ve seen the results from AT&T and Verizon – multi-device shared data plans work. As a result, tablets are becoming an improved revenue source for operators. They’re now being rolled out in Europe.

  1. 4. Speed Based Plans

Some operators are focussing on speed as the main differentiator in tiers – on the basis that customers may not understand the MBs or GB but they understand differences in speed.

  1. 5. OTT Partnerships in Plans

We’re seeing more OTT operator deals. Free Google services are being used by 8ta to encourage adoption, Viber is entering into revenue sharing deals, customers can get direct operator billing for Skype credit from Telus and several operators are selling low cost WhatsApp deal.

  1. 6. More Customer Confidence in Plans

The operator app that lets customers see, monitor and control usage is now widely available. Some operators are now rolling out apps that let the customer more pro-actively buy and control new dynamic services.

  1. 7. Data Roaming

For some high end plans an amount of data roaming is also provided. While many operators also now provide data roaming service passes as a one off up-sell.

  1. 8. Premium Content in Plans

Operators are partnering with content providers to provide premium content as a plan differentiator. Music streaming and video services are the most popular. Providing 3rd party premium content has been attributed to increasing loyalty by several operators.

  1. 9. VAS Upsells

High speed mobile broadband can provide the ideal base on which to upsell a wide range of VAS (e.g. parental and usage controls) to providing home automation and security services.

  1. 10. Adding in Wi-Fi

Operators are building wi-fi into their plans, whether it’s a volume of data over wi-fi for domestic usage, or an amount for consumption while travelling. AT&T offer the travelling service through their partnership with Boingo. The partnership lets AT&T customers access Boingo’s wi-fi hotspots at airports.

Mobile plans have advanced significantly in the past two years, with much more customer choice and flexibility now available. This has been driven largely by operators moving from voice centric companies to become real-time data centric digital service providers. Plans are now much more fluid and are supplemented by add-ons, and increasingly one off offers – which are gradually becoming more context specific, and made in real-time.

To read the complete White Paper, click here.