When I first came across the analysis that a company as big as Google, which controls the world wide web – well most of it if not all – has maximum share of its revenue not from its search engine but actually from web advertisements (adwords/adsense), I was surprised.
Since my knowledge of internet technicalities is too shallow, I simply accepted the fact that sometimes small areas, avenues of less quantity can indeed contribute the most to a firm’s overall revenue share.
This IT analogy can be illustrated in terms of telecoms with little manipulation. In Pakistan’s cut-throat competition of telecom services, operators try to focus most on areas they can extract handsome profits from. Now, when the market is commercially saturated, their focal points are postpaid customers and mobile internet.
Operators have separate departments set up in synchronization with radio network engineering teams to care for their post paid customers. This is simply because they contribute a huge fraction to the operator’s raw earnings. Not only in Pakistan, but globally, postpaid customers are treated with special care. That care may not be found on daily basis but try registering a complaint to Mobilink’s customer care and you will have an engineer visiting you personally the next day.
Best way to facilitate, as agreed by experts, is by being vigilant while maintaining accounts of a customer who yields enormous share to the company within his capacity. This makes a case for improved and updated IN and VAS systems. These systems are responsible for billing and checking which added services a customer is entitled to by virtue of being a postpaid/prepaid/gold/silver subscriber.
While undergoing a nationwide swap, Telenor Pakistan is also swapping its core network instead of upgrading the current one. Among its reasons cost reigns supreme but they want to enable their networks to be able to deliver real time data, location based charging and other services on the go. These requirements shall push the operator further on the edge as 3G arrives.
In the same context, one thing which has rapidly changed in the manner postpaid customers are tackled is the real-time management. A research conducted by Informa Telecoms shows that 78.5% of world’s operators believe that existing post-paid billing systems need real-time rated data usage records. All Pakistani operators with the exception of Ufone (Etisalat) participated in this particular survey.
This would in turn pave way for transparency; users will be able to check their accounts on daily basis. 73.5% of operators said they need real-time visibility of data usage to drive marketing offers. Consequently, 76% of operators believe that customers need real-time visibility of data usage to put them in control of their expenditure.
Almost 80 per cent of operators said that they believed that the ideal way to deliver a bill to the end user is to the smartphone, via a portal or application. By delivering the bill right to the device, operators are more likely to be able encourage upgrades and extension spending from their customers base.
These services seem lucrative but with a subscriber base whose literacy rate and more importantly response to technology is as low as absent, it does become a topic for a completely different discussion whether such implementation and upgrades do any good to mobile operators operating in Pakistan or not.