Why Tel­cos Must Make Con­ver­gent Charg­ing the New En­gine for Growth

The prime driv­ers to adopt con­ver­gent charg­ing in­clude cost re­duc­tion, cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and com­pe­ti­tion. Each of th­ese driv­ers needs to be ex­plored and un­der­stood be­fore im­ple­ment­ing a con­ver­gent charg­ing model.

Voice&Data - - FRONT PAGE -

For the first time in the his­tory of the tele­com in­dus­try an­a­lysts are fore­cast­ing that by 2018 mo­bile rev­enues will con­tract. The prime chal­lenges Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ser­vice Providers (CSP) face in­clude mar­gin pres­sures due to slow­ing rev­enue, in­creased cus­tomer churn, com­pe­ti­tion from Over the Top (OTT) providers and a lack of in­no­va­tion around new ser­vices to boost rev­enues. On the other hand, CAPEX doesn’t ap­pear to be shrink­ing. CSPs con­tinue to in­vest 15%-20% of to­tal costs in net­work and IT in­fra­struc­ture to ex­tract the best out of their ex­ist­ing es­tate and im­prove cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

The prob­lem is that most CSPs func­tion in mul­ti­ple charg­ing si­los, lim­it­ing the launch of new, in­no­va­tive and per­son­al­ized ser­vices with users in con­trol of con­sump­tion. This pa­per looks at the op­por­tu­ni­ties and con­straints around a con­ver­gent charg­ing sys­tem that can free CSPs from their cur­rent chal­lenges and help roll out new ser­vices ir­re­spec­tive of them be­ing pre-paid or post-paid.

The prime driv­ers to adopt con­ver­gent charg­ing in­clude cost re­duc­tion, cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and com­pe­ti­tion. Each of th­ese driv­ers needs to be ex­plored and un­der­stood be­fore im­ple­ment­ing a con­ver­gent charg­ing model.

Cost Re­duc­tion

Most CSPs, with a few green field ex­cep­tions, have im­ple­mented pre-paid and post-paid as dis­parate sys­tems and as dif­fer­ent busi­nesses. When prod­ucts and ser­vices of­fered to cus­tomers are priced and charged in dif­fer­ent sys­tems, main­te­nance of both sys­tems be­comes com­plex and ex­pen­sive. Con­ver­gence can en­able sig­nif­i­cant cost re­duc­tions through con­sol­i­da­tion of soft­ware li­censes, ven­dors, con­tracts and di­verse skills run­ning the billing op­er­a­tion. In ad­di­tion, CSPs will dra­mat­i­cally im­prove time-to-mar­ket for new prod­ucts/ ser­vices. The fi­nan­cial and busi­ness ben­e­fits de­liv­ered in the long term will out­weigh the tran­si­tion cost to a con­ver­gent charg­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence

It has be­come im­por­tant to re­main cus­tomer cen­tric by com­bin­ing in­no­va­tive ser­vices with at­trac­tive pric­ing and a great ex­pe­ri­ence. This means em­pow­er­ing cus­tomers to per­son­al­ize and con­trol ser­vices plus get re­warded through of­fers and dis­counts. The goal must be to seal their loy­alty and in­flu­ence them to in­crease their us­age of voice, mes­sag­ing and data.

Cus­tomers – in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, busi­nesses -- have a strong urge to con­trol the cost of ser­vices con­sumed by them. Con­verged pre-paid and post-paid charg­ing will un­lock a huge po­ten­tial for CSPs and help tap the ben­e­fits of this urge. Con­ver­gent charg­ing will fa­cil­i­tate hy­brid of­fers with a mix of pre-paid and post-paid ser­vices, giv­ing the cus­tomer greater flex­i­bil­ity and choice. Some of the typ­i­cal hy­brid variant sce­nar­iosare

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