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Mobile operators know they’re too slow to go OTT – survey

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Mobile operators are failing to exploit the new digital content markets because they can’t adapt quickly enough, according to a study by Mobile Squared. It found that mobile operators take at least twice as long to create a service as their pure digital rivals, who quickly stake a claim to the customers.

Telco system maker Tecnotree, which commissioned the research, claims most operators know that demand for digital services or digital content is their best hope for revenue but specialist digital content providers get to sell to their videos, games and social media over the top (OTT) in half the time or less.

The study says 75% per cent of mobile operators saw a surge in revenue per user from digital services in the last year but while 89% of pure digital players can roll out a new OTT service in one to six months many telcos (31%) admit it takes them at least one year, on average, to achieve the same result.

The next big race involves positioning themselves for the swell in demand for digital services from customers traveling to Europe, as a result of EU roaming legislation, according to 69% of those questioned.

The race to address this market is not evenly matched, the mobile operators say, since their rivals don’t have to overcome hurdles such as updating legacy systems such as billing and BSS/OSS. Only 21% of them, for example, have fully integrated their billing functions with their digital product set. It will take at least a year to get billing and BSS stacks in place, admitted 37% of the mobile operator survey sample.

Meanwhile outdated customer profiling systems are another handbrake for 30% of mobile operators who say that traditional big data approaches to customer relationship management are not fit for purpose in the new markets they wish to address in the coming year, such as M2M (identified as a target by 38% of the survey), video on-demand services (38%) and TV (36%). The study sampled views from staff in 46 global mobile operators.

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