One of the most interesting developments in the mobile industry in recent years has been the increased tendency to introduce differentiation on mobile bundles and plans. This can be achieved by, for example, including subscription to a popular music streaming service or to a video content platform. Users are attracted by the content and then choose the appropriate service offer that suits their needs and interests.
Another, complementary approach is to exclude data used by some messaging applications from the allowance in a bundle. In this case, a user might have, say 4Gb as a mobile data allowance but traffic generated by WhatsApp could be excluded from this, meaning that that data can be reserved for other uses. The alternative to this is to offer packages that only include data for a service such as WhatsApp, without providing access to any other data service.
Of course, there are many possible combinations and there is great scope for individual operators to offer differentiation. It can lead to a broad range of bespoke bundles, each created to meet different user needs or targeted towards different audiences. The ability to be creative in designing such bundles, based on content and provider partnerships has the potential to boost engagement with key audiences – and help retain or recruit subscribers, particularly if offers are exclusive to an individual mobile operator.
MVNOs also need to be able to offer such bundles. Most MVNOs are striving to increase differentiation, particularly in highly price sensitive retail markets. The ability to provide differentiated data offers affords them an opportunity to create more interest from customers and to be more targeted in how they approach the market. Unfortunately, many MVNOs have not been able to achieve this, as they have lacked access to the tools and capabilities necessary to create data differentiation.
This is because data differentiation requires the ability to inspect and identify packets and to implement billing policies that allow specific offers to be created. If you can’t see packets, you can’t begin to apply the correct rates or subtract or exclude them from the offer concerned. In other words, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is a prerequisite for the introduction of any differentiated data plan and, unfortunately, many MVNOs cannot access these capabilities, either because their hosting partner cannot expose them or because they are unwilling to do so.
But there is another approach. Digitalk Mobile Cloud is a complete MVNE as a Service solution that comes complete with full DPI and Policy Control capabilities, which means that it inherently supports the ability to create and tailor differentiated data bundles. So, if the MVNO has the right partners, it’s easy to create bundles that maximise sales potential to specific markets.
Mobile Cloud is also available to help MNOs that lack the ability to expose DPI and Policy capabilities introduce them for their customers. Put simply, it provides a means for both MNOs and MVNOs to enhance their capabilities – the MNO by offering more to its partners (who may already have affinity with different segments that the MNO cannot serve) and the MVNO by providing them with the toolbox they need to target them effectively.
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