Why UK network operators have to switch on to the quad play opportunity

Ask what is the key selling point for quadplay services in the UK and you’ll hear many different opinions. Broadband providers will say it’s all about the speed of connection. Mobile players will say accessibility. Whilst the content creators will claim is compelling material that matters.

However, one area on which both the current and potential players do all agree is the huge market opportunity. The combined benefits of increased customer retention and higher revenues mixed with better customer data and insight make this a compelling business opportunity for many.

But, from a consumer point of view, demand for quad play is still in its infancy. Very few people are ready to embrace signing up to all four services – broadband, mobile, fixed line and TV – from just one provider.

> See also: How the Internet of Things can create new opportunities for Real Time Communications

As a result, purchasing decisions are price driven and this could leave the established operators becoming just a ‘dumb broadband pipe’, simply a utility which others, the media owners, use to deliver higher margin services.

This fear is driving massive change in the marketplace as mobile network operators (MNOs) and fixed/cable providers try to go head to head with media owners by beefing up their offerings.

This includes BT buying Premier League rights, Lebara offering streaming and VOD services, BT’s acquisition of EE and Vodafone providing free Netflix and Spotify to 4G customers. The question is, is this enough for the carriers and broadband providers to make a real play in quad play?

> See also: Integrated inventory: what telcos need to know

The operators have got to starting to think like utility firms rather than sitting back and just providing the internet pipe. The key to success will be to deliver an experience not a technology, using the tools and insights within their business to make this happen. This means:

  • Delivering a joined-up and ubiquitous service enabled through apps to suit every individual and device.
  • Exploiting data to deliver tailored offerings according to individual needs and promoting to customers why access to this insight improves the user experience. For example, being able to offer core or premium services.
  • Designing curated services and promoting the benefits which go further than just catch up TV and music streaming.
  • Educating consumers on wider issues such as digital privacy, security or traffic choice, to highlight the value add that only an operator can deliver.
  • The operators will lose out on quad play if they sit back and become just a ‘dumb pipe’. They have the tools at their disposal to make it a work. They just have to switch on to quad play and use their assets to make it a success.

    Sourced from Tim Bardell, telco specialist, NTT DATA

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...