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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

3 Italia's Teen-Oriented Mobile Offering

Italian operator 3 Italia launched a time-limited mobile offering during the Easter season, targeted at teenage users. The operator’s All-In Teen Limited Edition bundle came with 10 GB of data, 1,000 minutes of calls and 100 SMS for €5.00 (US $5.32) a month. There was a one-off activation fee of  €9.00 (US $9.57), and the offer was only available to users who port their numbers from TIM or MVNOs by 19 April.
 
We have written on several occasions about the strength of the youth market and the importance for mobile operators to cultivate it. We generally understand “youth” to refer to young adults, who are digital natives and are still forming their spending habits and brand loyalties. But we should be aware that the age at which people become users of mobile technology is getting lower and lower, especially in affluent markets. As a result of this trend, operators can benefit from getting hold of potential long-term customers as early as possible.
 
Pushing the definition of the mobile youth market downward in terms of age is going to be increasingly prevalent, we believe. 3 Italia’s move, although a short-term promotional one with limited eligibility, is indicative of the direction in which MNOs might choose to go. The All-In Teen Limited Edition bundle seems appropriately designed, in that it includes a fairly generous data allotment to accommodate teens’ desire for streaming entertainment content and games, as well as a good number of voice minutes but not many SMS, reflecting young users’ preference for OTT messaging apps.
 
The extremely low monthly rate is also a thought-provoking idea, in that it suggests that the teens are be paying for this plan themselves, rather than their parents. What this means is that the operator clearly wants the teens to be making brand choice, so that they can be cultivated for future, and indeed long-term, loyalty. For MNOs, the argument that the earlier you can get them, the longer you can keep them is likely to be increasingly persuasive.






Tarifica is the global leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing. Covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe, Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance.


To learn more about Tarifica, please visit www.tarifica.com 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

T-Mobile Bids Big in U.S. Spectrum Auction

When the 600 MHz broadband auction held by the United States regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), closed late last week, T-Mobile US was the biggest winner, having bid US $8 billion for over 1,500 wireless licenses. In doing so, the operator acquired 45 percent of all the low-band spectrum sold, more than any other company (competitors Verizon and Sprint declined to bid, while Dish Network spent US $6.2 billion). According to T-Mobile, the purchase will quadruple its low-band holdings and allow it to cover 100 percent of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The operator also said that it will be putting some of this new spectrum to use during 2017.
 
This major investment shows that T-Mobile is planning to take its fight against the big two of AT&T and Verizon Wireless to the next level. After years of unconventional, aggressive “Un-carrier” moves to gain market share, the operator now needs to consolidate its gains. Unlimited data offers, low prices, and a plethora of marketing bells and whistles have pushed T-Mobile from fourth place to third among U.S. mobile operators. Now, in order to have any chance of going farther, the company must provide better connectivity, since network quality and coverage have been the most important factors in motivating AT&T and Verizon customers to resist T-Mobile’s siren call.
 
In his characteristic hyperbolic style, T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere said, “This spectrum sets us up to bring the Un-carrier—and REAL competition—to wireless customers everywhere, many of whom have never had real choices in wireless. If the duopoly [meaning AT&T and Verizon] thought things were rough before—well, just wait!”
 
Legere went on to characterize T-Mobile’s spectrum acquisition as putting it ahead of the competition in terms of technology. Its customers, he said, “will be able to speed on a brand-new, wide-open wireless freeway, while carrier customers have to crawl along on their clogged, congested, low-band freeways.” Low-band spectrum is indeed valuable because of its ability to travel great distances and penetrate structures, and T-Mobile claims that it “now has significantly more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider and nearly TRIPLE the low-band spectrum per customer than Verizon.”
 
Of course, it should be kept in mind that T-Mobile’s customer base is smaller than those of the “duopoly.” Regardless of whether the claims about spectrum per customer are accurate, the fact remains that in making this US $8 billion investment, T-Mobile is playing catch-up. To challenge the big two, it must bring high-quality LTE coverage to more people in more geographic regions.




Tarifica is the global leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing. Covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe, Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance.


To learn more about Tarifica, please visit www.tarifica.com 


Daily Tracking Service

Tracking competitors’ promotions and pricing changes is critically important in today’s dynamic and fast-changing mobile industry, but gathering these details on a daily basis can be a difficult task that demands substantial time and resources. Tarifica’s  addresses this challenge by providing a daily customized PowerPoint that captures and details every active promotional plan, device offer and price change in the client’s country.

Tarifica is the global leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing. Covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe, Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance.


To learn more about Tarifica, please visit www.tarifica.com 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Danes Turn Off Mobile Devices When Abroad


Citing a poll conducted by an independent agency, mobile operator 3 Denmark said that 71 percent of Danes switch off their mobile phones when traveling in foreign countries, in order to avoid roaming fees. According to the poll, 28 percent of respondents miss using their mobile phones, and 12 percent miss hearing news from Denmark. Meanwhile, 4.1 percent stated that they do not feel restricted, because they use 3 Denmark's 3LikeHome service (3LikeHome provides voice calls, texts and surfing in 47 countries as if under the domestic service, though there is a 10 GB internet cap.). The operator said that 55 percent of respondents considered that they felt limited by not using their phone abroad, and 17 percent said that not using their phone was the most challenging aspect of foreign travel.
 
With roaming surcharges set to end within the EU in June 2017, the concerns of Danes with regard to travel in most of Europe, at least, will soon be allayed. However, the issue obviously persists with regard to other countries in which Danes may wish to travel for business or pleasure, and we believe that the findings of this survey are quite instructive for mobile operators worldwide.
 
Considering that the reaction of the vast majority of Danish mobile customers to roaming surcharges is simply to turn off their devices, we can surmise that there is a great deal of lost revenue in the Danish mobile marketplace, as well as in the markets in which Danes travel. And considering that Denmark is an affluent country, the situation is likely to be quite a bit worse in other, less wealthy economies.
 
Absent moves from national regulators and regional trans-national entities to reduce or eliminate roaming surcharges (as is the case in some areas outside Europe, such as East Africa), are some things mobile operators can do to pick up some of the revenue that is being left on the table. “Roam-like-home” packages, like 3 Denmark’s 3LikeHome are the most obvious and direct solutions. At least these offer the advantage of a flat fee (which may not be very cheap) paid in advance for the privilege of not being charged by the minute or the megabyte, and at best they can be very affordable, even if offered on a temporary promotional basis.
 
In general, encouraging customers to use their devices when outside their home country is good for operators, and offering discounted roaming will stimulate this use. Keeping roaming ill-affordable helps neither the customer nor the operator. 




Tarifica is the global leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing. Covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe, Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance.


To learn more about Tarifica, please visit www.tarifica.com 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Essential Telecommunications Tool

Tarifica’s mobile pricing database is a powerful tool for efficiently searching, sorting, retrieving and analyzing Tarifica’s vast repository of mobile data, which currently includes every plan, package, offer and price from over 275 mobile operators in 73 countries Worldwide. It has dynamic search capabilities that enable users to gain competitive intelligence across countries, regions or the entire globe. The interface is intuitive, making for a user-friendly experience with a very short learning curve. It has proven to be the most valuable interactive tool used by international telecommunication mobile service operator pricing and marketing specialists.

Preview Tarifica's database now: Tarifica Mobile Database Features & Highlights


To learn more about Tarifica, please visit:  www.tarifica.com 

Ooredoo Oman, Halliburton Sign Agreement to Bring Connectivity

Ooredoo Oman has signed an agreement with energy-industry service provider Halliburton to bolster the company’s communications and connectivity for its operations in Oman’s oil fields. To meet the challenge of keeping Halliburton’s operatives connected and in touch 24/7, both on site and between remote locations, Ooredoo will employ its cutting-edge auto-tracking VSAT (very small aperture terminal) technology. The operator has been providing Halliburton with connectivity solutions since 2010, including point-to-point and leased line links, voice primary rate interface (PRI) and customized mobile technology. Ooredoo has connected Halliburton’s Adam base with a 10-kilometer fiber link from its core network.
 
As revenue growth from traditional services declines, telecom operators are searching for new sources of revenue, often in the realm of consumer services. These value-added services, which include entertainment, mobile money, and IoT applications and which have been pursued quite aggressively by MNOs recently, depend on standard mobile communications networks for data and sometimes voice/SMS connectivity. Ooredoo Oman, on the other hand, with this Halliburton initiative, is showing how an operator that has invested in advanced technology beyond the usual can profit from that investment and diversify itself.
 
Responsive to its market’s distinctive geographical and business environment, Ooredoo has focused resources on creating VSAT-powered communications that are effective in remote areas where terrestrial networks currently do not or cannot work. VSAT is a satellite technology that offers broadband data and voice, which are of course essential to the field operations of an oil company such as Halliburton. The kind of relationship that Ooredoo is entering into via this agreement transcends the simple service provider–customer relationship; it constitutes a purpose-built, site-specific all-encompassing communications solution.
 
We believe that it would be an excellent idea for operators to follow Ooredoo’s example and cultivate such partnerships by investing in cutting-edge technologies that go beyond the traditional mobile services and offer new types of connectivity in challenging environments.




Tarifica is the global leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing. Covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe, Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance.

To learn more about Tarifica, please visit www.tarifica.com 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

U.S. Congress to Get Rid of Internet Privacy Protections

Last Thursday the U.S. Senate voted 50 to 48 to dismantle rules enforcing internet privacy protections, an outcome that is expected to be repeated (and therefore made into law) when the House of Representatives votes this week. The existing rules were created at the end of President Obama’s second term, in October 2016, under former FCC (Federal Communications Commission, the main regulatory agency) chairman Tom Wheeler, and were scheduled to go into effect at the end of 2017.

Under the new rules, operators will not have to ask users’ permission to track their browsing habits, and will be allowed to share and sell data about consumers to retail companies and mobile and web advertising providers. They will also be freed from the mandate to take “reasonable measures” to guard consumer data against hacking, as they would have been required to do under the Wheeler rules.

These regulatory changes, which are almost certain to go through, are in line with the Trump administration’s aggressive anti-regulation approach, as spearheaded by the new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee. Pai has argued that the existing rules are unfair to operators, which would be regulated while internet companies such as Google and Facebook would not. The new rules would level the playing field. Operators would benefit by monetizing customer data and metadata, deriving revenue directly from selling it to commercial entities.

While this will be good news to operators, a note of caution should be sounded. Consumer advocate and privacy groups have decried the new rules, and operators should be aware of the need to balance revenue opportunities and business freedoms with customer satisfaction. It has been shown that customers may not mind having at least some of their data or metadata shared, as long as there is transparency about it. On the other hand, if customers feel that something secretive is going on, they will be much less receptive. Taking the new regulatory climate as carte blanche to disregard customer sensibilities would be a big mistake. 





Tarifica is the global leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing. Covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe, Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance.

To learn more about Tarifica, please visit www.tarifica.com