To start with non-news: mobile data explodes and with it maintenance costs of wireless networks. Tiered pricing plans for data services typically introduce a limited number of alternative data plans each characterised by a set amount of data capacity, e.g. 500MBytes or 5GBytes – one way for operators to deal with this situation; Verizon is just the latest example for this approach. The benefits for subscribers is the possibility of matching consumption and price to the monthly allowance instead of paying for an average amount of data they usually do not use.
On the other hand, tiered plans are only a broad headline for the sprawling variety of charging schemes and tariff plans that result as a strategy change from simple but often unsustainable flat-rate plans. Tariff plans will be increasingly individualised and optimised for available network capabilities. They will also support new business models like advertising sponsored services and in general, service offers delivered in close collaboration with the wider service and content provider value chain.
Monetizing effectively – charging what’s really needed
To cite a concrete example, we’ve implemented a solution that enables an Indian operator to use a single system across different locations for real time charging of data services for both pre-paid and post-paid subscribers. “The value added services market in India holds tremendous potential said the Chief Technology Officer, of this customer.” The greater opportunity lies in data services, and in expanding our capabilities and service portfolio in this area. The right technology foundation is fundamental to our success, and it needs to include not just a method of delivering services, but of monetizing them effectively. Nokia Siemens Networks has strong credentials in this field and has played an important role in the development of our technology strategy for data services,”he added.
It’s simply not enough to offer one flat rate to fit all user requirements. The flexibility to slice down the finite mobile broadband resources into different packages is an opportunity to offer cost-efficient tariffs for beginners and the necessary resources for heavy users.
This post is by Rick Centeno, Head of Charging, Billing & Care (Business Solutions).