Leading analyst and consulting firm Ovum has been widely reported as forecasting the end of unlimited data tariffs for LTE bundles. While there are still unlimited offers available for 3G mobile data packages, it seems that there are likely to be fewer of these in the future as we move towards an LTE world.
As Ovum notes, this means that operators should try to avoid the complexity of diverse and complicated pricing structures. Instead, clarity and simplicity are required in order to enable customers to choose the package that they want or which best suits their needs. After all, many customers today do not use all of the allowance they have in their current bundles. Education and awareness will be needed to ensure that they are satisfied that they have the best deal.
But changing pricing models also creates an opportunity for MNOs to offer dynamic or real-time updates. It’s often been suggested that a desirable goal would be for customers to be able to choose an upgrade to their package when they want to access a particular service. Let’s imagine that a customer wants to access live streamed content but in doing so exceeds their data allowance. The MNO can send a text inviting them to pay for an upgrade to continue accessing the service. This is hardly a new concept, but there’s more to it than that: the MNO must be able to ensure that the customer receives the desired content or service at an appropriate level of performance.
MNOs can do this by enabling policy control in mobile devices. Currently, they can only achieve “best effort” service, based on available resources and contention in the network. But with the unique GoS 360° solution, software can be embedded in mobile devices which identifies different traffic streams and can prioritise high-value data traffic in both upstream and downstream directions.
By deploying GoS 360°, MNOs will be able to ensure that dynamic service updates and real-time enhancements can be delivered to customers. Without the ability to extent policy control directly to mobile devices, business models based on dynamic service uptake may be undermined by a failure to ensure that customers consistently and reliably get what they pay for.
MNOs not only need simple and clear pricing: if they are to succeed in generating new business from service extensions, they must also inform their customers that such updates are available – and guarantee that they will work.