by Bora Kizil
The telecom industry has seen tremendous advancements in the last few years, is still evolving and yet at the same time is grappled by unexpected industry forces. These are some of the most challenging times for the telcos across the globe and to ensure sustainability in the market the operators will need to necessitate changes to deal with the tough situation ahead. Consumer behavior is a strong driver for all markets and industries and telecom is no exception to it. “More for less” is the Mantra for telcos.
The biggest challenge that the industry is facing today is revenue losses and the endeavor to find newer and better revenue streams. The proliferation of OTT (Over-the-top) companies like Skype, Netflix, WhatsApp to name a few, is giving telcos more than a hard time to get enough revenue from their core services.
Along with discovering or inventing additional revenue streams, the operators are facing another major challenge with the declining income; which is keeping their operating costs low and optimizing the ARPU (Average Revenue per User). With ARPU, what also needs consideration is the category of services which have maximum users or highest revenues to understand the consumer behavior better and focus on services which have higher demand or are more paying.
The staggering competition in the industry and threats from others like OTT are pushing telecom operators to go above and beyond what they specialize in. They need to innovate and in the age of digitization and Internet of Things (IoT), telecom industry’s innovation has the power to disrupt any industry they tap. For instance, mobile wallets and IPTV have not just helped operators put a strong foot forward but also paved a path for them to collaborate with other threatening industries and change the way other industries did business.
All these challenges cannot be effectively dealt with unless the operators ensure rock solid Quality of Service (QoS) and amazing Quality of Experience (QoE). More the innovative services or competition, more pressure it puts on the telcos for regular prognosis of their network adequacies and customer satisfaction. They can’t afford to miss on these and do a retrospective analysis instead when they are struggling to keep their businesses viable.
Last of the top 5 challenges that the operators are facing, is the enormous data that is being created and to which they have access to, the Big Data. Everybody does understand the significance and caliber of Big Data and that it can be used not only for improving end-to-end operations but also to help telcos to better collaborate with other players. But taming data of this size to extract meaningful insights, to manage it and to remove redundancy is a herculean job. Companies like Ezako can help in this challenge.
It sure is tough for the industry but is also fascinating and motivating at the same time. The telecom operators have to be on their toes to fight these challenges but as they say – ‘When have calm seas made great sailors!’ These difficult times will indeed bring the best of the industry.