Succeeding in the Cloud – Always Connected is a Distinct Advantage

Seamless connectivity gives MNOs an advantage when offering cloud solutions – but competition from OTT providers suggests a focus on business customers can provide a better recipe for success in the cloud.

There has been some discussion recently about how mobile network operators (MNOs) should offer a range of cloud services to their subscribers, largely in competition with other providers that deliver a range of OTT storage and other capabilities. It’s said to be a way to bolster revenue and build a closer relationship with subscribers.

That’s true but it’s easy to overlook the fact that mobile operators are already well established in the cloud business. Most services are delivered from a centralised (increasingly virtualised) infrastructure to users over networks. OTT providers are little different – except that they don’t run the network that is required to access such services – and typically require a data connection for all services, which can limit their potential reach.

The issue confronting telcos is how to develop a compelling portfolio for their subscribers and how to make it pay. Some new cloud services could be offered at a premium, while others might be available as extensions to existing packages. It’s difficult to determine value, particularly when OTT providers use a range of different models to earn revenue on their offers.

But things change somewhat when we consider different groups of target customers. While it’s clearly desirable to have a compelling consumer cloud offer, uncertain revenue potential may limit returns. However, MNOs need to consider how they can offer premium versions of such services, taking advantage of their reach in terms of coverage and the fact that they are in a position to support a true ‘always connected’ experience through a range of techniques and technologies.

One example of this comes from Network Norway. Network Norway has focused its cloud service offer on enterprise and SME customers, delivering high-value Mobile PBX services. These services enrich business communications and have enabled Network Norway to attract a large subscriber base, carving out a significant market share.

But Network Norway has also extended its reach through innovative use of complementary technologies such as femto cells in order to ensure seamless service delivery even in areas where mobile connectivity is patchy. Moreover, the primary services do not rely on a data connection – so any user with GSM access can benefit from the services, even if full data rates enable more features from smartphones.

By taking such steps, Network Norway has been able to offer a rich set of cloud services and enable their existing and potential customers to access their services in a way that an OTT provider cannot. It’s a clear competitive advantage and one that provides a formula for success in other markets.

MNOs are already significant cloud players. They need to realise the value of their assets – seamless network connectivity – and add new services that play to these advantages that can attract more certain revenues. Business subscribers need rich services that cater to their needs and match increasingly mobile work patterns. A cloud-based unified communications offer is the perfect template for launching a portfolio of cloud services.

If you are serious about the cloud, then it makes sense to consider this as an option. Gintel offers a range of solutions that enable delivery of mobile UC capabilities from the cloud, across any available network and to any device, to any user. Why not find out how Gintel can help you launch differentiated services for business customers to enable a profitable cloud-based future by leveraging existing strengths rather than competing on uncertain territory?

Unified Communications, OTT providers, Cloud-based unified communications, Network Norway, OTT services, Mobile PBX services

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