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Posts Tagged ‘femtocell’

Thinking differently about monetizing telecom services

January 12, 2012 2 comments

Free, the disruptive French telecom operator and ISV, is changing the rules. Via Femtocell and via controlling the WiFi access points of its customers, Free is planning to offload a lot of mobile traffic via its fiber network. This is translated into very sharply priced mobile calling and data plans. Free’s Founder is telling the telecom industry they should no longer try to make money with communication but focus on identity and payment services.

Free is right to change the rules of the game instead of waiting for non-telecom disruptive players to do so. However what else could Free do to generate extra revenues?

Social Mobile Graph

Facebook is talking about social commerce in which friends, family and colleagues are taking an active role in your buying behaviour. At the moment social networks are either for business reasons, e.g. LinkedIn, or for pleasure, e.g. Facebook. However both need a lot of maintenance effort in which you need to send or accept invites from people who you might have known 20 years ago.

What if your calling and messaging behaviour could take away a lot of this burden? If you call somebody mostly during business hours then this person is likely to be a business contact, especially if other business contacts of yours have the same behaviour. Your addressbook and linkedin could be automatically updated. However you could go a lot further and see which restaurants your direct business contacts call more often. Anonymizing this information and creating public APIs and a marketplace for app developers could lead to a lot of innovative services that can be monetized.

Numbering Plan Apps

The numbering plan is probably one of the most under-used operator assets. However everybody knows how to dial a number. Why not let other people make new numbers, e.g. based on non-existing country codes or using the # or * combinations? People would be able to make premium services for everything from voting, surveys, competitions, money transfers, etc. Putting *120* in front of your number could mean that the caller is paying you 1,20 euros per minute to call you. It is up to you to redirect your number to an application that makes people want to call you. You might have a large numbering app market to choose from. Add a # and a number at the end and you could have thousands of applications behind one number. The operator would get a revenue share.

Call Center as a Service

Call centers are mainly used by large corporations. However small groups of ad-hoc people could benefit from them as well. Ad-hoc software support hot lines in which experts can be freelancers could be of interest to some. But it could even be as simple as housewives that can help you with recipes. As long as rating the participant’s value, dynamic joining and leaving of participants, paying participants a revenue share, configurable participant selection rules, etc. are provided, the applications are limitless.

A lot more

These are just ideas but there are a lot more possibilities that you can implemented. Especially if you can control both the mobile device as well as people’s access point. However the past has shown that trying to get a few people pay a lot of money for a service and operator’s trying to do it all by themselves, have not been successful. Innovation is not only needed in the product domain but also in the business domain. Models that should be explored are:

  • Freemium, whereby most do not pay but get the traffic to your service and only a minority pay for advanced usage. Many examples in the web 2.0, e.g. LinkedIn, Zynga, etc.
  • Long Tail, whereby not only a couple of high paying  groups are targeted but instead thousands of niches are targeted via the use of a general platform or third-party eco-system, e.g. Google Adwords, Facebook Apps, etc.
  • Revenue Share, whereby others get the bulk of the revenue because they take the risk and the operator gets a small share but gets it from a large group of revenue sharers, e.g. Apple’s App Store

How RyanCom would destroy the European telecom business?

November 23, 2011 3 comments

Let’s assume a new telecom competitor is entering the European market: RyanCom. Similarities to RyanAir are purely fictual :-)

1) The Network

Instead of building expensive antenna networks RyanCom would make deals with Cable operators to put Femtocell equipment in cable modems and as such cheaply get coverage in major cities. Everybody that would switch to a Femtocell modem in their home or office would get 6 months of mobile usage for free.

Ryancom would have an agreement with the smallest operator in every country to sublease capacity if a Femtocell is not available.

2) Target User

iPad, Tablet owners, Websurfers, Roamers, etc. Ryancom would allow one data plan for the whole of Europe. Since the bulk of the traffic would go via Femtocell, better access costs could be provided. €5-10-15/month to have €5-10-15 Gigabyte/month.

3) Backoffice systems

All backoffice operating and business systems would be running in a cloud and open source is heavily used. Since there are only a limit number of data plans, there is no need for a billing system. SaaS like Zuora are enough. Google Apps and Salesforce would also be heavily used.

4) Social aspects

Social aspects would be very important. There would be competitions going on for which subscriber can convince more friends to join RyanCom.   There is no helpdesk in the traditional manner. There is community support just like GiffGaff.

The End Result

RyanCom would be able to gain young data-intensive and roaming subscribers. They will see RyanCom initially as a second provider for their tablets. Little by little RyanCom could become their first provider when Skype and other applications become common use to make mobile calls.

RyanCom might be a fictional company but operators should be warned that fiction and reality might be just a matter of time…

 

 

Google Voice 2012 – Free Mobile Broadband?

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

March 2012

Google Voice has changed the mobile broadband industry in just three months. Who would have thought that Google would start offering free mobile broadband and even give away 10.000 free mobile phones and access points?

It all started with a small governmental change in the summer of 2011. After years of lobbying, the New American Foundation convinced the US government to open some of the previously military spectrum to free wireless communication. The New American Foundation chairman, Eric Schmidt, declared the act a step towards universal broadband access.

Two days before the new spectrum was opened on January 2012, Google surprised the world with the announcement that they would give 10.000 free Nexus Goomax phones if people installed a new sort of device at home called the GooPoint.

The Goopoint turned out to be a new generation of a femtocell network device that was on one side connected to fixed broadband and on the other side was a Goomax antenna.

Goomax, the next generation of wireless connectivity improves on the WiFi and WiMAX standards by allowing Google´s servers to remotely and dynamically control the network and the different Goopoints, a.k.a. Cloud-based network management.

The end result is that the US in two months time had an extra mobile network provider. However this network provider did not install any antennas. Neither did they pay expensive spectrum licenses. The new network was formed by home devices that allowed people within 5 kilometers to connect to mobile broadband for free. Goopoint owners that contributed fixed broadband capacity could earn points and exchange them afterwards for Android Apps among others.

Disclaimer: This is an invented story but could one day become reality.

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