Summary of Telco Business Model Evolution Questionnaire Results

Firstly, thanks to the over 150 survey responses to the Telco Business Model Evolution Questionnaire.  Responses came from all around the world with a even split between Americas, EMEA, and APAC; from mobile, converged and cable operators; their suppliers, application developers and a few web-based service providers.  The responses to the multi-choice questions are available in this PDF.

Just quickly reviewing the results.  There’s a strong consensus (87.5%) that operators must take a different approach to Google in how they sell their users’ eyeballs / privacy to advertisers, though there was 9.4% that disagreed.  For operators adopting an OTT (Over The Top) business model there was lower agreement of 55%, with a significant neutral vote at 34.4%.  On whether the customer would choose the operator as their trusted agent the vote was split with 56.3% agreeing and 36.3% disagreeing, so its clear there is still much debate on that point.

Operators adopting a freemium model has support with 70%, the rest voting neutral.  In being able to make a business out of API exposure; with 79.4% agreeing its clearly seen as a real business opportunity for operators.  But as discussed in a previous article operators still have much work to do on basic business planning.  Then on where they’ll be successful in API exposure the votes broke down: enterprise (75.6%), local content owners (57.5%) and internal development (56.3%) scored strongly; with consumer applications only gathering 18.1%.

On WAC, “The Wholesale Application Community will be successful,” there is some uncertainty to its success with 50% neutral and 32% disagreeing with the statement.  I guess too many cooks in the kitchen, which to be frank remains the main problem for mpayments in developed markets.

Interestingly 83.1% think operators will be unable to make a business out of app stores as the consumer electronics manufacturers do not need to make money in the stores, only in the devices they sell.  With a similar score (84.4%) that operators’ app stores must focus on applications that use their network, as all other applications will be commoditized by the consumer electronics manufacturers.  Some good steer on where operators should focus their efforts.

Nearly 80% think the trend of operators sharing networks will increase from radio towers and access equipment, to sharing complete networks.  Only the services layer and billing will be unique.

There was more of a split on the question “An incumbent operator’s ability to have an engineer at a customers’ home potentially with their purchased consumer electronics, e.g. buy the TV at Amazon and have it delivered and set up by the operator.  Means operators can make a business out of home network solutions and services.”  With 67% agreeing and 22% disagreeing.

“Churn will increase once all operators offer triple/quad play?”  had strong disagreement of 55%. This is an interesting discussion point, currently bundling does reduce churn.

Generally neutral response to “Canoe Ventures, the US cable industries attempt to work with the advertising industry on targeted advertising, will be a success.”  I thought the neutral response was in part mobile / converged operators being unaware of Canoe, but MSOs had a similar profile.  So a cause for concern in the industry for being able to find a way to make targeted advertising work in a meaningful way for advertisers.  Then on which operators can make advertising work, the bias is towards mobile operators rather than cable.

This was just a bit of fun, but I hope provides some insight into what the industry is thinking at the moment, a PDF of the results is available here.