By Joakim Knutar, Vice President, North Asia Region, Comptel
The Comptel team was excited to share our vision for the future of telecommunications with the 40,000 attendees who turned up for this year’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai. This year’s event was abuzz with talk of innovations in mobile and digital technology.
Asian markets are rapidly adopting mobile and digital services, and there’s a chance to grow these markets further. Idea Cellular managing director Himanshu Kapania spoke of the opportunity to connect more of India’s 1 billion mobile voice users to the Internet. Only about a quarter of the country’s telecom subscribers have Internet access, but new initiatives to extend connectivity have contributed to 37-percent annual growth in the number of Indian Internet users.
China is experiencing a similar trend with 4G. Since December 2013, China Mobile has added 190 million 4G connections, according to its executive vice president, Li Huidi. As a result, 21 percent of the company’s mobile user base runs on 4G, and that population of subscribers delivers 3.8 times more average revenue per user (ARPU) than non-data users.
Overall, 46 percent of the nearly 4 billion Asia-Pacific consumers are mobile subscribers, of which 62 percent – about 1.3 billion individuals – are also mobile broadband subscribers.
As mobile and digital penetration continues to grow in these markets, operators in the region should not only innovate to win over customers but also do everything in their power to maximise even the smallest digital moment. As we’ve written about in our book, Operation Nexterday, operators will be able to drive more revenue by giving customers exactly the service they need at exactly the right moment and on the right platform.
Data is the key to finding and enhancing these digital moments, but only if it can offer immediate visibility, deliver context in-stream and enable instant action. That’s Intelligent Fast Data at work.
Certain operators in emerging markets are leveraging consumers’ data to drive revenue by overcoming cultural or regional obstacles that limit information access. Tadashi Onodera, chairman of KDDI, explained that his company has been able to address cultural privacy concerns through a direct billing approach. Because nearly all Japanese mobile customers are on a postpaid agreement that requires a national ID and credit card, they trust their operator with their data, according to Onodera. As a result, KDDI has access to data it can use to learn about customers, deliver unique services and add value.
We’ve seen direct carrier billing work successfully in places like Indonesia, where Indosat has been able to deliver a modern and convenient mobile purchasing experience to its customers, while simultaneously unlocking new monetisation opportunities. It’s a powerful example of how digital and communications services providers are thinking creatively to overcome obstacles, move past current ways of doing business and embrace Nexterday.
Having spent time with the heavy hitters in Shanghai, we’re more confident than ever that the future of mobile and digital services in APAC and beyond will depend on this type of creativity and focus.
In November, the antiseminar you’ve been waiting for hits Helsinki. Nexterday North will bring together the brightest minds in digital and communications services to think ahead to examine our collective blindspot, think again to challenge the status quo and think beyond to find new digital disruptions. Register now to reserve your exclusive spot.