LTE Networks Expand in the Philippines, But Do They Address the Real Issues?

Posted: April 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

LTE use has been following an almost frighteningly fast growth curve. Global LTE traffic is expected to increase by 207% this year, and LTE customers are supposed to double in 2013, surpassing 100 million. Around the world, communications service providers (CSPs) are building new infrastructure to keep up with consumers’ demand for faster data speeds.

The Philippines is no exception – mobile subscribers grew from 6 million in 2000 to 92 million in 2011. By 2016, mobile subscription is expected to reach 117 million people, with a penetration rate of 114 percent.

Since August 2012, LTE has been slowly rolled out across the country, too, covering major cities like Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Boracay. Major CSPs are spearheading the trend. An operator in the Philippines recently announced that it built LTE cell sites to service regions across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. And other operators have made similar moves into the LTE space.

Yet offering LTE service and having the right strategy in place to monetise it are sometimes two very different things.

A Demand for Personalisation

Whenever a CSP deploys a new service, the next step is to get people to use it. In the Philippines, we need to consider four big findings among Filipino subscribers who participated in our recent Vanson Bourne survey:

  • 84 percent would download more files if they had a better mobile data plan.
  • 67 percent top up their phone plans at least once a week.
  • 72 percent want personal service when experiencing poor connections.
  • 70 percent are likely to pay for a temporary bandwidth upgrade.
  • 64 percent have two or more SIM cards

This data shows that there’s not just a demand for the faster data speeds LTE offers, there’s a demand for better, more personalised interaction with CSPs.

Sure, it’s possible to offer customers the same bundled package, but as competition increases, so, too, will innovative pricing packages. In a country like the Philippines, where so many people are topping up every week, it may mean that they’d be open to a new data plan, but they can’t find one that’s suitable.

Yet we see that nearly three-quarters of customers would consider paying for a temporary upgrade. That indicates that if personalised upsells were offered, CSPs could potentially realise greater revenues, because consumers would be willing to take advantage of these special deals.

Adapting for a Country’s Changing Needs

The smartphone phenomenon will change a lot of things, too. Last year, there was a 400 percent increase in demand for smartphones in the Philippines, with penetration expected to grow from 18 percent to 50 percent in the next three years. This trend is going to enable more internet and data use than ever before.  One survey showed that more than 80 percent of Filipinos have two or more personal devices, and among that number, 85 percent bring those devices to work.

LTE deployments and a growing acceptance of personal devices at the workplace are going usher in a lot of new changes for CSPs. In short, it’s going to be more important than ever for them to find a way to use the data at their disposal to their advantage.

With predictive analytics, for example, CSPs can analyse their customers, networks and other information, to determine which sets of customers would really benefit from full LTE use and which would most likely only want to use LTE sparingly. This way, promotions can be tailored accordingly, everyone will get the package they want and need, and CSPs can improve relationships in a way that builds loyalty and business performance.

The True Value of Big Data

Posted: October 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

There’s no denying that one of the biggest trends in IT right now is Big Data. While there are many different ways to describe it, perhaps the most commonly agreed upon, and my personal favorite, is that it must encompass the three “Vs”: volume, velocity and variety. How organisations understand and embrace these concepts varies—but I think we can all agree on one thing – there is a lot of data being generated quickly from various sources. I’ve found that one of the biggest questions organisations are asking though (which adds a fourth “V” to the equation) is: How do we derive value from Big Data?

Real-time (or near real-time) predictive analytics are gaining in popularity, and may hold the key to realising Big Data’s true value. In his keynote presentation at OpenWorld, Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC Corporation, stated that: “Real-time predictive analytics will be the killer app for this cloud era.” Personally, I could not agree more and think that this points in precisely the right direction, not just for cloud but for all businesses dealing with data.

One of the main benefits is gaining a strategic understanding of customers and the overall business ecosystem. But the key is going beyond simply collecting information, or even the ability to store and process it. The way organisations can truly realise Big Data’s potential is by leveraging it to predict behaviours and market changes, and make smarter business decisions based on that knowledge.

What exactly those actions are will depends a bit on the case—for communications service providers, it may be policy management activities or real-time, location-based marketing campaigns. And as many are already noticing, decision-making with predictive modeling can have huge benefits.

In short, I believe we must indeed look at Big Data not as a thing that happens, but as a process we act upon – through contextual predictive analytics-driven actions. Enabling these insights is important to Comptel and something we’re continually working towards by combining analytics with our high-performance mediation and fulfillment platform. If I must confess, I am really excited about what we are seeing and doing here, and the benefits we can offer to our customers!