Mobile financial services are back in the news, making for a substantial share of the announcements made at February’s Mobile World Congress. The aim is as simple as the ecosystem is complex, and structuring a play in this space is no mean feat.
The biggest innovations in m-payment mechanisms among merchants seem to be at the lower end of the market. But Big Retail is still in the running and everyone is seeking to influence a change in behaviour.
In a world where it’s almost too easy to part with your digital currency, innovation has moved on to the contents of the digital wallet.
Keeping hold of your customers in a hyper-competitive marketplace is notoriously difficult and requires a strategy that goes way beyond unsophisticated loyalty programs.
The 18 or 24 months in between the key touch points of acquisition and retention is where operators have to deliver on the customer experience promises that were made at the point of sale.
The retail store is back in vogue as operators look to inject the customer experience into the first and most influential touch-point in the customer relationship lifecycle.
The handset market is more competitive than ever, and success is increasingly being defined by performance at the top end. 2012 will be the year of the Windows Phone push but can Nokia and Microsoft really compete with established leaders like Apple, Android and Samsung?
Mobile devices have come a long way from their walkie-talkie wartime roots, and their user interfaces have come further in a shorter time. Touchscreens are all the rage today, but in the future, where will the user interface reside?
Since mid-2008, when Apple first opened the doors of its genre-defining App Store, the concept has swept the mobile industry and become the primary means for consumers to discover content. While there are some who believe the devices space has become a two horse race in terms of platforms, with Apple and Google’s Android as the only runners, the software side of the mobile experience is in a state of flux, and 2012 may still be too early to place confident bets.
Analysis suggests that the Middle Eastern telecoms industry is actually stronger in terms of credit health, than its European equivalent, despite the impact of the Arab Spring, says Pavle Sabic, Solutions Architect at S&P Capital IQ.
If mobile government services in Africa are to be more sustainable than previous e-government initiatives, they must benefit all stakeholders. Today, the business model is uncertain. To put it bluntly, governments have limited budgets and the end users with most to gain from mobile government are often living in poverty in remote rural areas. As a result, telecom operators anticipate only modest, if any, return for providing low-cost connectivity and backhaul for these services.
According to the E-Government Survey published by the UN in 2010, although African countries generally lag behind other markets in the rankings of e-government implementation, there has been improvement in the region since the 2008 survey, particularly in northern Africa. Tunisia and Egypt were two of the highest-ranked countries in Africa alongside Mauritius, South Africa and Seychelles.
Data might be the driving force behind LTE’s gathering pace, but there’s no escaping the fact that voice continues to be the killer application for mobile operators. “Smart” they may be, but drop the “phone” element from the current crop of devices and you’re dropping 64 per cent of your revenues—according to Ovum research, this is the percentage of MNO turnover that voice will generate by 2015.
Apple teased the masses ahead of the launch of its newest handset – with the only detail being divulged being the title of the event: “Let’s Talk iPhone”. As with most Apple launches, the technology press and blogger community were fast spreading rumours about what new features the device would have. Would it be called the iPhone 5? And what would it look like? On Tuesday the Cupertino-based company unveiled the iPhone 4S – an upgrade to the iPhone 4, with a new chip and enhanced voice recognition features but largely the same appearance as its predecessor.
In July, O2UK launched a location-based loyalty and retention scheme offering its customers discounts and deals from 30 partners from the fashion, leisure and retail sectors. The launch builds on existing loyalty and location-marketing initiatives from O2, which is among the most advanced carriers in the world in terms of location.
The hype and excitement generated by the advent of digital advertising a decade ago led to widespread speculation on the death of traditional media. But were those predictions very much exaggerated or just premature?
Operators are renewing their enthusiasm for location as OTT players build their own means of accessing positional information on consumers. Marketing and advertising will be key, and success will be derived from expertise in context, content and customer relationship.
Chinese manufacturer ZTE is best known for a disruptive presence in the network infrastructure space. The firm also makes handsets on a white label basis selling them to operators which will rebrand them as their own. In this capacity, it’s pretty much unheard of, especially outside of the industry. Yet all that is set to change.
As part of our look at the Japanese LTE market and ahead of his speaking appearance at the sixth annual LTE Asia conference, we speak to Sadayuki Abeta, director of the Radio Access Network development, for leading Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo.
Indian carrier Reliance Communications launched 3G services in some of the country’s biggest urban centres at the end of 2010. The company aims to launch in all 13 circles where it holds 3G licences by the end of 2011. But with rural India experiencing strong growth, Reliance is also focusing on the harder to reach markets with customised products. Here, Mr R. Swaminathan, senior vice president at Reliance, updates us on this task.