Mobile operators should not measure voice services in terms of minutes used, as it no longer reflects how we communicate, according to Dean Bubley, founder of Disruptive Analysis. Speaking at the TM Forum Management World in Nice, Bubley argued that voice is a 130 year old product that has seen little innovation in its lifespan. As a result, the industry is using an outdated metric to measure its core service.
“Voice allows you as a human being to achieve something, whether it is to make a sale, to contact family members or for customer service needs. But it does not represent how we as humans communicate – we can do better now.”
He explained that while traditionally longer voice calls are charged a higher amount, today there is arguably more value in shorter voice calls. When a consumer is making an online enquiry to a brand’s customer service department, for example, and is unable to have that enquiry answered, being able to make a short phone call to a customer service representative who can instantly access personal details is more valuable than reiterating those same details over the phone.
Bubley also argued that, over time, voice services will become fragmented into silos. Voice services are creeping into new areas, such as gaming or smartphone apps such as taxi-hailing apps, and this is a trend operators should embrace, he said.
“Fragmentation is a good thing for operators,” said Bubley, “because it adds value to their offerings. Services need to be tied to human behaviour and that is what makes them successful. For example, Facebook’s is successful because it appeals to a specific human behaviour – showing off.”