Big Data Analytics will become the battle axe for Communications Service Providers (CSPs)

The battle for market share and high-value customers will be won and lost on the attainment of unique customer and marketplace insights.  Competition in CSPs’ core telephony & Internet services markets is mounting from both traditional and non-traditional providers, Internet-based virtual service providers (VSPs), hosters, content providers and more. CSPs have relationships with a diverse set of consumer and enterprise users.  These users generate incredible amounts of new data stores through both IP-enabled devices and mobility that did not exist a decade ago.  In order to guard their core revenue streams and increase their access to coveted high-value enterprise and rich media segments, CSPs will need to turn data analytics into a competitive advantage.

Two drivers of data proliferation:

Smart phones have increased the usage of mobile broadband, video, social applications and other rich content-based media. As data-rich services become easier to use and thus more popular, CSPs are experiencing huge spikes in traffic.

LTE and 4G will serve to increase the number of customers using data rich services on mobile devices. The variety of traffic types-voice, video and data- will also increase. Each type will have its own real-time and latency demands, in addition to its own quality of service requirements. 

Changing behavior before it happens real-time:

The holy grail of analytics is not to understand what a consumer has bought in the past and why, but how to change that buying behavior before it happens in real time.  Big Data has brought unimagined external data sources from outside of the carrier’s internal data stores that can be reliably mined and combined to drive even richer analytical insights. Technologies like Hadoop, in-memory analytics and data appliances have the ability to handle immense large data sets in real time.  We are now able to create sophisticated mash-ups from wireless location based data with social networking data, credit histories, frequent shopping behaviors and even political preferences to form unique and individualized insights to consumers that can be used to predict, and change, a multitude of buying patterns.  This is where carriers and the communications industry see as their vision for Big Data.

How CSPs can use data to their strategic advantage:

  • CRM: Using database platforms and predictive analytics, CSPs can optimize the effectiveness of targeting for a broad range of marketing activities, from new customer acquisition, to cross- and upselling techniques to active customer retention programs. Cloud Analytics will allow for lean data analysis and enable marketing to create a clear road-map for ARPU
  • Product development: CSPs who own the “last mile” have a strategic advantage over their virtual competitors because of the breadth of services they are able to deliver. They can profit from this plus by creating bundles of value-added services that are attractive to high-end customer segments.
  • Operational excellence: As the ability to communicate becomes a commodity the service experience will become more important. CSPs need to understand what drives customer delight and dissatisfaction, understand capacity demands and engineer BSS and OSS processes accordingly to deliver the appropriate level of service to different customer segments.

About the Author: Elizabeth Press