Negating churn and owning the customer: SLAs are the new killer app

The advent of smartphones has meant that Apps now dominate the language of mobile.

Apps will come and go with waning interest but, regardless of the latest game on the market, consumers will always expect a service that rewards their loyalty.

It is for this reason that one concept will become increasingly essential to customer retention and effective service: the service level agreement (SLA). The SLA is, in essence, the ‘killer App’ that all customers need and all Communications Service Providers...

By Rob Smith, 30 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Operators.

Skype celebrates 9 years of disrupting telecom, but what comes next?

Nine years ago, August 29, 2003, the first version of Skype was made publicly available. Now in 2012 Skype celebrates it's 9th birthday - and first birthday as part of Microsoft... and it's still disrupting telecommunications.

Four years ago on Skype's 5th birthday I wrote at great length about how Skype has changed telecommunications, and last year I wrote a retrospective as well- both of those posts still stand...

Skype has only added more capabilities over the time. Skype is still one of the only applications that I can say I personally use each and every day. It's critical to what I do.

As I look back on my last year of writing about Skype, I'd note that they've finally gotten the app to work more similarly across operating systems, introduced amazing video quality, crossed over 40 million simultaneous users, made yet another attempt at a developer program and continually improved the Skype-on-mobile-device experience. Skype has also added a deeper Facebook integration, embedded Skype into more TV and other consumer devices, rolled out Skype on Windows Phone and continued to improve their video offerings.

But what comes next?

What will we be writing about on Skype's 10th birthday next year?

Jim Courtney captures this well in a post today on the theme of "Whither Skype?" The whole post is worth a read, but I'll highlight one paragraph in particular:

Where does Skype play...

By Dan York, 30 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Consumers, Operators, Smartphones.

What is the upside for speech recognition in mobile devices?

Get used to the idea of talking to all your consumer electronics (CE) devices as a primary means of interaction, for this is the future of human interface design, particularly with mobile communication devices. As mobile speech recognition technologies continue to improve in their efficacy, the vendors of the speech technology platforms are making concerted efforts to enable the long tail of mobile application developers with speech recognition capabilities. According to the latest market study by ABI Research, the efforts of...

By David H. Deans, 24 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Consumers, Mobile, Research.

Are unlimited mobile data plans doomed?

Even finding an unlimited plan can be a challenge nowadays.

AT&T and Verizon no longer offer new customers an unlimited option. For those with grandfathered unlimited plans they dramatically limit speeds when monthly caps are exceeded, a practice known as throttling. T-Mobile still offers an unlimited plan, but they also limit bandwidth when the monthly cap is broken.

The unlimited cap on AT&T was just increased to 3GB for HSPA+ and 5GB for LTE....

By Hendrik Schulze, 22 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Mobile, WiFi.

Ofcom gives Everything Everywhere green light to launch UK 4G

For nine months the UK telecoms industry held its breath as it awaited Ofcom’s decision on whether to allow Everything Everywhere to launch 4G services using its existing holding of spectrum.

Then on August 21, 2012 Ofcom granted that liberalisation. The decision has been seen as firmly pro-consumer, but it has angered rival operators. While it is not a perfect outcome, it does mean that the UK moves a step closer to finally getting 4G, which could arrive as soon as September this year.

Ofcom’s...

By Ovum Research, 22 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Europe, Fiber Optic, LTE, Operators.

Operators’ OTT Puzzle: Time to Consider Sleeping with the Enemy?

Over The Top’ mobile internet communications services such as Skype and WhatsApp are set to cost the global mobile industry as much as $182 billion in lost voice and messaging revenue over the next four years, according to research from MobileSquared, sponsored by mobile interaction service provider, tyntec.

This is hardly news. It seems that every week there are new figures published that support the view that operators are being relegated to the role of ‘dump pipes’ and that OTT services are steadily eroding the traditional operator revenue strongholds of voice and SMS. And yet this research is...

By Thorsten Trapp, 16 August 2012, 1 comment. Categories: Apps, Consumers, Operators.

Five ways NFC could transform business life

Expenses/payment

The emergence of the ‘mobile wallet’ is one of the most talked-about technology developments of 2012.

An increasing number of leisure outlets, shops and transport hubs now have NFC readers at checkouts, which means customers can pass an NFC-enabled handset in front of the device to make an instant payment, debited either from their bank account or added to their monthly mobile service charge.

Instead of carrying a large wallet full of cards or fumble in pockets for cash, this...

By Chris Pay, 09 August 2012, 3 comments. Categories: Consumers, Content, Operators.

Telecoms pricing: still the dark side of the industry?

The Australian telecoms industry has dodged a bullet with the acceptance by ACMA of the updated Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code (TCP).

The self-regulation body Communications Alliance has responded to calls for improved consumer protection with some significant improvements. New standards will apply to information provided to consumers, how products are advertised, what is presented on the bill, and complaint-handling procedures.

In the...

By David Werdiger, 19 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Operators.

Australian TELCOs to clean up act with “ground-breaking” regs

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has enabled new regulations on TELCOs aiming to give consumers “materially greater protection” against billing hikes and poor customer service.

The revised telecommunications consumer protection (TCP) code – which at a hefty 102 pages is “designed to ensure good service and fair outcomes for all consumers of telecommunications products in Australia” – will take effect on September 1.

The new measures will be monitored...

By James Bourne, 12 July 2012, 1 comment. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Operators.