The future of “all you can eat” data plans has been discussed for some time. According to some analysts, many MNOs are considering ending such generous packages. Some have already launched new, tiered data plans and others will surely follow.
Recent analysis suggests that a critical element of such data plans will be the delivery of new premium services that command and justify a higher price. By breaking the relationship between fees and network connectivity, MNOs can move towards charging for delivering high quality and higher value services.
But to do so – and to ensure the quality of service that users will expect – requires a true end-to-end approach to managing service delivery. MNOs will have to ensure that premium services obtain the priority that they need. Real-time, end-to-end monitoring and control of user demand and consumption is essential.
The issue is not without controversy. Users have become concerned about privacy issues and there are worries that monitoring will prove to be invasive. That’s not necessarily the case. What are needed are solutions that are able to identify traffic for the purposes of optimisation, but which do not gather personal or identifiable information.
All of that is possible with the deployment of specialist client-side solutions, which do not collect or store any private information. Without taking into account activity on client devices, MNOs will be unable to guarantee end-to-end application performance. By deploying such solutions, MNOs can profitably manage and optimise data services according to the needs of individual customers.
As some move to tiered and premium data plans, MNOs will be able to ensure they both deliver the service levels expected and provide the reassurance customers seek regarding privacy. MNOs are in a unique position to be a trusted service partner, avoiding any of the adverse publicity that has surrounded some OTT players.