We really need to stop calling it a mobile phone! Yes this was the original technology behind the device but it has grown so much since the 1980’s. It is more of lifestyle device enabling you to do more and more from a singular device. However, this device has somewhat plateaued in terms of its technology and innovation. In recent years there have been some gimmicky innovations that are used to differentiate one manufacturer from another, such as voice recognition, heart rate monitoring or an extra % of megapixel to the camera.
Mobile device sales have been slowing including iPhone over the last year or so. In my opinion the main reason for this is that the difference between high-end devices to basic devices are starting to diminish. When you think about what you spend most of your time on is your emails, Facebook and YouTube for example. To use these services you don’t need the top device that you will fork out nearly $700 for.
With Mobile World Congress around the corner, how are the main players approaching it compared to previous years? Samsung have announced they are not launching their new S8 and it is unlikely that Apple will have anything new to shout about unless they are going to leverage the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone. Does this mean that there won’t be much hype at MWC; will the event still get the press coverage that it gets every year? The funny thing is that the most hype seen so far is about the Nokia 3310, the re-release of a 16 year old handset. There could still be a chance for other mobile related innovations to shine this year, we shall wait and see.
So what’s next for the telecommunication industry? The onus is on the operator now to innovate their technology and embrace contextual marketing to their customers. For years, some operators have been criticised for constant poor NPS scores especially in comparison to other industries. It’s interesting that industry reports showed in the UK that giffgaff who were the only Telco to make it into the top 10. Tesco Mobile the next best operator, what they both have in common is they are both MVNO’s. What does this tell you about the freedom that this brings an operator?
Contextual marketing is another opportunity for operators to improve their relationship with their customer base. This can be done by engaging in a timely/real-time manner with relevant offers based on usage or interactions. Operators need to invest in their analytics functionality to allow this to succeed. As content is becoming king and understanding your customers viewing behaviour puts you on the front foot. You can then target them with the relevant offers that could save money or data usage for example and ultimately make them a more stickier and loyal customer.
DevOps is the new buzz term in the industry. DevOps is a model which embraces change and automation within the network. This enables the operator to innovate and roll out more services and offers to their customer base. As new services or content providers come into your customers mind set, DevOps enables you to differentiate and be more competitive in the marketplace.
It also goes without saying that operators need to invest in the quality and speed of their network. There is no point in promoting state of the art offers if your customers are struggling to get the highest quality service. As more and more people are consuming video content on the go operators need to have congestion strategies in place to ensure during peak times customers are not going to suffer.
With 5G and IOT in the not too distant future operators that are investing in their services and offerings will succeed in this extremely fast growing industry.