One of the privileges of working in the Telco industry is that change and improvement can be expected. For this research, we added several topics to our reports from 2011 and 2012. We increased our sample size to include many more operators from developing countries due to the innovation around the world. It seems that the world’s dominating digital lifestyle is being facilitated by operators that are becoming digital lifestyle providers. With mobile applications of social networks becoming an even more important feature of our daily lives.While on the hunt for what is really happening, we found many different creative marketing offerings based on the applications customers have adopted as part of their digital lifestyle. The range is so broad, its impressive! From cloud data storage applications all the way to Twitter or WhatsApp. Implemented through many partnerships with the whole ecosystem – policy control and charging vendors like Allot, OTT content providers like Facebook or music content streamers like Deezer. Application-aware solutions like the Allot Data Source and more.  Even the operators themselves have developed mobile apps to track data and monitor their services to customers.Using app-centric plans as a way to reduce churn and engage customers, joint marketing campaigns combining free social media app use as part of the different data plans were very prevalent amongst operators. Which makes sense, as I know I wouldn’t want to leave an operator that zero-rates an application I like. This trend was even stronger in developing countries, where people connect to the Internet predominantly via mobile phones and want to socialize this way. In Europe, the social responsibility of safe Internet usage is being led by operators who take active measures to especially help protect children. In North America, the foremost trend  for operators is to offer shared data plans to meet the digital lifestyle of customers who own and use several devices or want to share the data allowance with family and friends. All these trends were not so prevalent in our past reports – so many exciting new developments!

Investigating also the original topics in our previous charging reports, we looked at the overage policies operators use these days. Truly unlimited data plans are out – most operators offer pre-defined volume plans with very service-oriented overage policies. Customers are directed to operator apps to learn about their usage status, get real-time notifications, add data volume or top up, and are encouraged to use and buy more. Capping and throttling are negative marketing actions, considered passé. The digital lifestyle can’t stand no connectivity – better to notify customers and provide options to increase volume.

 

 

In summary: it was a pleasure creating the new Allot MobileTrends Charging Report H1/2014 for the industry, exciting to find how quickly the ecosystem is developing and how partnerships offer creative and smart app-centric data plans. I am sure next year we find out new trends and many more plans and options that will be added.