There has been a lot of news recently about operators losing out to OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook. One area that could offer a salvation to the beleaguered operators however is the Internet of Things. There are already a number of operators moving to break into the space, but the question is how will operators distinguish themselves and avoid playing second fiddle to OTT services again?
According to a report by Juniper Research, a number of markets including the UK, Italy and Spain have seen a 60% decrease in mobile voice revenues in the past five years. This has led to operators desperately looking to find new revenue streams and new markets to exploit in a bid to boost (or more specifically shore up) their bottom lines.
The Internet of Things is set to transform not only telecoms, but the way everyone lives and works. Cisco CEO John Chambers is quoted as saying that the Internet of Things will have between five to ten times the impact on society as the internet has had and will be worth an estimated $19 trillion. It is no surprise then that so many companies are looking to break into the market early.
Google has already made great inroads into the marketplace with their NEST brand of thermostats. These ‘intelligent’ thermostats learn your preferences and schedule to help you save money and decrease the need for manually programming your thermostat. They also give you greater control of your heating by allowing you to alter the thermostat from anywhere with an internet connection via your phone or tablet. In addition to Google and Nest, Orange recently unveiled over twenty products and product enhancements aimed at the connected home or connected business.
There are a number of reasons that operators are perfectly placed to make the most out of the Internet of Things. Operators’ biggest advantage are their brand reputations. The technology and devices of the Internet of Things are so far considered new and untested. Consumers will need confidence in the companies offering them as it represents not only a big financial outlay but also a change in the way they live and work. Operators’ retail outlets will also help give people confidence in these new products as they will be able to see them and try them before buying.
By far the biggest advantage for operators is their ability to bundle services together. Bundles will offer consumers the chance to save money on their various connected devices while allowing operators the chance to build a new revenue stream. Operators may also see an increase in customer loyalty by providing their customers with an entire at-home or at-work mobile ecosystem.
The opportunities the Internet of Things offers are near limitless and a number of companies are looking at exploiting the burgeoning marketplace. The question now is whether operators will seize the opportunity and how they will differentiate themselves to succeed in what is certain to become a very competitive market.
Source: Vine 14