Mobile World Congress 2013: Qtel Rebranding

Posted: February 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Here in Barcelona, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend an exclusive Qtel event in which the company unveiled its new brand: Ooredoo. This translates to ‘I want’ in Arabic, which reflects the telco’s new focus on customer centricity and catering to end users’ desires. Examples of this vision include statements like: “I want a service that reflects who I am”, “I want the world to smile with me”, and “I want to fly higher”.

QTel new brand launched at MWC13

There were an amazing number of people who spoke at the launch, including Cherie Blair on her charity for women, the general of the International Telecommunication Union, the director general of the GSMA, Qatar’s Olympic medallist from the summer 2013 games, and the CEOs of Qtel Qatar and its subsidiary, Indosat. It was also announced that football star Lionel Messi is the operator’s new global brand ambassador, although he was unable to attend due to an important match.

Ooredoo strides to enrich people’s lives by understanding every single person’s wishes and dreams, and looking at how they can be fulfilled regardless of income or demographic. With this thinking, mobile services and Internet will be more broadly distributed in order to evolve the mobile economy, for prosperity, equality and beyond.

It was clear that the operator is really committed to people’s needs, as both connecting and challenging customers was stressed. It’s leading a Millennium initiative with the GSMA to help alleviate the burdens of poverty, simplifying broadband access so more people have the opportunity to educate themselves.  The CEO of Indosat, Alex Rusli, explained that island people previously had to travel up to four hours for the closest services. After access was made available where they lived, they started to grow and develop. The moral of this story is that rural communities should have the same opportunities as those in the city – everyone deserves an opportunity to grow.

Adding to this is a particular emphasis on women. For instance, the company is rolling out a special program in Iraq specifically for women where the tariff decreases after three minutes of a voice call. Since women tend to talk for longer periods over the phone, they can now enjoy less expensive calls. There are also going to be more female staff serving women at various points of sale and an initiative to help women establish businesses – checking the price of fabric, for example, to ensure they are not overpaying.

Every person wants to grow, and Ooredoo is providing the opportunity to do so by contributing to social business, enriching people’s lives and connecting the world. What do you think of Qtel’s new brand? Leave your comments here or email us at comptel.marketing@comptel and share your thoughts about the 2013 Mobile World Congress!


Reflections on MEA

Posted: August 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Reflections on MEA

A few months ago, a friend made me aware of the Afrinnovator website displaying the tagline: “Putting Africa on the map,” with the goal of “telling the stories of African startups, African innovation, African-made technology, African tech entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.”

As somebody who likes to visit technology blog sites like Engadget, GigaOM, Mashable and the slightly more quirky The Register, this was an eye opener – even for somebody living in Africa.

Two things stood out.

First, this publication is focused on technology really changing lives. We’re living in a world where seemingly everything is mobile, where there’s an “M-something” for everything. For instance, there is mobile banking, education, agriculture, trading, health, security and government. Additionally, it’s about mobile meeting the daily needs of the consumer — not just a mobile “entertain -and -share-everything” mentality as I am more accustomed to reading about.

Second, these services are not only being delivered by “sexy” data bandwidth hungry smartphone apps, but are also using low-tech solutions that will work with even the least technical phone. For example, there is mobile banking using USSD, mobile medical diagnosis using MMS to send pictures, and even mobile vehicle licensing and resume submissions for jobs using SMS.

So, you may now be asking what the OSS angle is for an OSS blog.

Well, the point is the differences I noted between the mobile service innovation in developed vs. developing countries is an example of how markets naturally work to allocate resources at an aggregate level to meet their needs. However, while most people will tolerate my generalisations of developed vs. developing markets, it is fair to say that generalised services are no longer good enough for individual subscribers within markets.

Essentially, what is needed at an aggregate level is not necessarily what is needed at an individual level within those markets. This is what Comptel’s Customer Engagement Solutions can do to ensure an operator that the appropriate services and customer experience is delivered for individual subscribers, given their personal context.

Now, as a consumer of services I am the first to admit that I don’t always know what I want until after I have experienced it – or it is taken away. So, am I suggesting empowering operators with mind-reading abilities? You bet I am…


Around the World

Posted: March 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RCR Wireless News…
Latin America Counts 32 HSPA+, 5 LTE Networks
According to a 4G Americas report, Latin America is increasingly deploying HSPA technology and rolling out LTE. Currently, the region has 72 commercial deployments of HSPA technology in 31 countries, with five commercial LTE networks and 300,000 LTE connections expected by the end of 2012.

Along the same lines, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) recently published a report showing that 300 operators worldwide have committed to commercial LTE network deployments or are engaged in trials, technology testing or studies. This is a significant increase—50 percent, in fact—over the previous year.

The LTE evolution is clearly catching on in Latin America, just in time for the region’s networks to be ready for the data boom expected during the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

TelecomsEurope…
CEE Operators on the Ball in OTT and Connected TV
Over the past year, there has been an explosion of activity in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) online video sector, with operators jumping head first into new market opportunities by offering a variety of new services.

Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that online video Internet traffic in the region will account for 27 percent of total Internet traffic by 2015. Additionally, the number of connected devices is set to dramatically increase, and the growth of such devices will continue to fuel over-the-top (OTT) service launches. However, operators are increasingly adapting when it comes to OTT services by investing in the development of full multi-screen services to attract subscribers and, in some cases, by teaming up with OTT providers.

The boom in OTT offerings provides an opportunity for operators to embrace innovation and introduce new value-added services. Do you think operators are able to effectively collaborate with OTT players to create mutually beneficial offerings that will appeal to customers?

CommsMEA…
A Busy Agenda
In 2011, the telecom industry came to terms with two major global shocks—the global economic downturn and the disruption caused by mass digitisation. The downturn accelerated the commoditisation of traditional telecom services, pushing operators to cut costs and increase efficiency. The digital boom encouraged operators to boost network capacity and connectivity, and introduce new services that take advantage of mobile payment platforms and cloud computing.

Due to these global changes, the telecom ecosystem is becoming much more competitive as new players from adjacent industries and technological innovation challenge operators. This year, operators will spend more on infrastructure as 4G/ LTE goes mainstream, and make strategic choices by leveraging existing capabilities and building new ones.

With the unprecedented choice of services and devices, customers will likely emerge as the winners of the drastically changing telecom landscape—do you agree with this prediction?


Around the World

Posted: February 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Microsperience…
First Touch, Last Touch, Every Touch
Analyst Teresa Cottam explains why every interaction that takes place between a communications service provider (CSP) and a customer is important. The CSP often perceives the first touch, or first customer engagement to be a sales transaction where it signs up a customer to receive a service. However, customers believe that their relationship with a CSP doesn’t just begin with a simple sale—it takes a longer period of time to cultivate.

Teresa uses a personal experience with an old broadband operator to explain how CSPs should build better relationships with customers. After mishandling her service transfer process, the operator made her wait 30 minutes on the phone, and a support assistant accused her of signing up for the wrong package and dismissed her concerns.

Teresa says this example emphasises issues that currently exist in the market, and proves that CSPs need the ability to analyse data in real time to get a better understanding of and retain their customers. CSPs need to focus on not just the first touch but any and every touch in order to build loyalty. She also notes that in today’s competitive market, even forgetting that ex-customers could be future customers is a missed revenue opportunity and could hinder CSPs’ success.

telecomasia.net…
APAC Telcos Concentrate on Quality
Joseph Waring gives an overview of a recent Telecom Asia-Ovum survey of telecom executives in 19 countries across Asia Pacific. The results revealed quality of service (QoS) to be the key distinguishing feature for operators in the region.

Interestingly, the survey also found that fewer respondents (38% compared to 54% two years ago) viewed unlimited data rates as the most effective way to charge for mobile broadband services. But Ovum analysts believe that the percentage of people who agree with this method is still too high, and urges operators to steer away from flat rates, which can over-burden networks and negatively impact QoS.

Additionally, survey respondents indicated that they believe video will be the key driver of continued mobile broadband traffic growth in Asia Pacific. Like Comptel, Ovum believes that operators must look to balancing the management of resources like bandwidth, while controlling customers’ data services, in order to maximise the customer experience and monetise their offerings.

CommsMEA…
Right Path for Roaming?
Industry experts wonder if recent Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regulations could potentially cause more harm than good. These called for telecom operators to slash mobile phone roaming charges to consumers by at least 50 percent beginning 1 February in a bid to bring costs in line with those in Europe. Roaming revenues account for a significant proportion of overall profits for many CSPs, and a sudden forced reduction in tariffs may, unfortunately, lead to price increases, less investment in other areas and other unintended consequences.

But, there is evidence that Gulf operators are already moving in the right direction towards decreasing roaming tariffs without the regulations. Peter Lyons, director of spectrum policy, Africa & Middle East for the GSM Association (GSMA), says that operators responding to the competition are driving roaming costs down and that they are making an effort to increase the transparency of roaming rates. On the other hand, some point out that regulation is needed to protect against distortions in the market that can be created by dominant players. What do you think is the right path for the Gulf in terms of roaming?