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Telecoms looking to leverage big data, says SAP

Real time offers and customer segmentation are key targets for big data analytics

Telecoms looking to leverage big data, says SAP
Telecoms operators are looking to faster, real time analysis of customer data to offer better service.

Operators are looking to big data analytics to help them gain better customer insight and better serve their subscribers, according to a survey conducted by SAP.

The survey showed that the main area where operators believe big data analytics can add value to their business is in being able to make real time offers to customers, cited by 36% of respondents. Twenty-seven percent of respondents also want to use analytics to improve customer segmentation.

The survey of 300 mobile operators, fixed telecommunication providers, over-the-top (OTT) players and other industry experts was conducted at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It is the fourth annual survey of operators conducted by SAP.

The key challenges in deploying big data analytics that are facing operators are security and privacy concerns for the data, which 38% of respondents said was an issue, and a lack of big data expertise, which was an issue for 28% of respondents.

"Big Data represents tremendous revenue potential for operators and the most effective way for enterprises to engage with consumers," said Diarmuid Mallon, director, Global Mobile Marketing Solutions, SAP. "The challenge is how to apply analytics for deeper consumer insight while maintaining the highest levels of security and individual privacy. Our survey also shows that the main drivers of LTE/4G adoption are centered around new service offerings, such as improved data speeds, movies on demand and new video broadcast services, that will significantly enhance the end-user experience. While LTE/4G adoption will allow operators to expand revenue channels through more robust services and triple play offerings, it is encouraging to see that subscriber benefits are at the center of this transformation."

The survey also looked at mobile payments and LTE/4G adoption. In mobile payments, operators believe that the ‘killer apps' which will drive adoption are mobile top-up (31 percent) and retail payments (25 percent). The results mark a changed from the 2013 survey, which put retail payments first with 34%, and only 8% thinking mobile top-up would be a leading application.

When it comes to who should be creating and running mobile payment networks, mobile industry insiders still believe that banks (26%), existing online payment providers such as PayPal and iTunes (25%), a consortium of operators (19%) and credit card schemes (17%) and social networks (17%) are in the best position to provide a successful mobile payments platform, with a single operator platform coming in at 11%. The gold standard for ‘secure' payment instruments remains the credit card (52%), with mobile payments (20%) and NFC (15%) trailing behind.

LTE/4G services continue to be a priority for survey respondents, who stated that increasing data speeds for customers (34%) and new service offerings, such as video broadcast services and movies on demand (30%) are perceived as the main business drivers behind 4G/LTE adoption. While the primary revenue drivers for operators this year are expected to be new services such as 4G/LTE and rich communication services (32%) and a triple-play model that combines high-speed Internet access, television and phone over a single broadband connection (32%).

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