MNOs must differentiate to compete in saturated markets. How?

Price and quality are not the only tools MNOs can leverage to introduce more differentiated offers. They can help, but there are much more powerful ways to evolve existing solutions and introduce new services that are targeted to specific user segments.

The market for business mobile services has become saturated with offers, following the evolution of consumer mobile. Today’s mobile providers and operators are challenged to provide differentiation that will enable them to build more attractive offers. Analysys Mason, a consultancy firm, reckons that MNOs have two levers to achieve this: price and quality.

That’s a very limited view. While these are tools that can be used to craft new offers, based on minutes and data bundles on the one hand, and network and customer service performance on the other, MNOs have other options.

That’s because they can also control services. What they need to do is to think about how services can be differentiated at a more granular level and how the needs of different segments can be addressed. The business market is not homogenous, so why offer a vanilla service to everyone? Why not extend existing solutions to meet new use cases and to target new markets, as well as to consider new offers that deliver real value?

For example, many MNOs have VPN services that they offer to corporate clients and which generate valuable recurring revenue. These are essentially closed-user group (CUG) capabilities that leverage a corporate dialling plan and enable mobile extensions to participate. But, a simple answer group and short-code dialling can also be useful to even the smallest company. So, why not offer a stripped down VPN service that might be attractive to a start-up building a team and an organisation from the ground up? As a way of connecting users in a simple group, it’s simply but effective and offers immediate returns.

Similarly, many MNOs also have large fixed client bases and deliver IP Centrex functions across legacy desktop devices. It’s actually quite easy to integrate such fixed offers with mobile call handling and the network to enable mobiles to participate as valid extensions to a Centrex package. We do this all the time – capturing status and presence information from the network, integrating with the existing platform, and enabling a full mobile service that complements fixed investments.

It’s also possible to think about different kinds of users and their specific needs – what do employees in transportation sectors need that’s different from those in finance, for example? What do logistics companies need that factories don’t? What are the tools that MNOs can offer help small companies scale?

In fact, differentiation can easily be achieved across both existing solutions and for new offers that are more targeted. While changing price plans and leveraging quality improvements are worthwhile, MNOs can easily also obtain the means of changing and evolving existing offers, painlessly.

We can help. As we move towards MWC, we’ll provide some simple guidance to MNOs, showing how differentiation can be achieved by enhancing existing solutions and the simple addition of new capabilities – but if you can’t wait for that, get in touch now and we’ll be happy to show you how!

MNOs, MWC, IP Centrex, VPN

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