The Digital arm of Spain-based carrier Telefónica clearly sees opportunity in the mobile payments space, on Thursday announcing investment in, and a strategic agreement with, m-payment firm Boku.
Customer demand for cost-effective IT systems which promise data monetization, content and partner management capabilities and above all else fully end-to-end OSS/BSS integration, was the driver behind the acquisition of Convergys’ BSS business, according to the management of Netcracker. The strategy however highlights the continuing trend towards single, fully-integrated platform solutions and away from open, standardized interfaces.
Swedish operators Telia, Telenor, Tele2 and 3 are planning to replicate their 4T mobile payment joint venture in Norway and Denmark, where some or all of them are present in the market. Swedish firm 4T was created in November last year and is 25 per cent owned by each operator.
Service revenues or fees from m-commerce transactions are expected to reach $37bn by 2016, bolstered by mobile remote payments for physical goods and services and international mobile money transfers. These two elements together will be worth over $25bn in 2016, accounting for two thirds of the total m-commerce market, according to statistics released this week.
UK MVNO Giffgaff has revealed that it is kicking data-hungry users off its network after discovering that less than one per cent of its customers are accounting for over a third of its total mobile internet data use across its entire network. The firm said that it has been looking into the usage patterns of mobile internet traffic on its network over the past few months, and has decided to put into place some new procedures as a result of its findings.
2012 promises to be an exciting year in the OSS and BSS sectors as the industry moves into the next phase of support software deployment. Despite the economic gloom which still hangs over many of the world’s major economies, there is room for optimism in most of the geographical regions as operators in the mature markets begin to explore the possibilities of policy-based on-line charging (OLC)
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.
It is now generally agreed among most OSS/BSS vendors and an increasing number of operators that the market focus for policy control and its related technologies has shifted from basic traffic management to enabling the implementation of real-time discounting, upselling, cross-selling and a range of mobile broadband services as yet unimagined. Fundamental to the realization of this bright new and hopefully profitable future is the requirement for close integration between OLC (On-Line Charging) and the PCRF.
Several UK politicians have supported a call to lower the cost of phone calls made from stolen handsets for which the handset owner is liable. The Early Day Motion – a motion tabled by MPs for debate but holds no legal weight – was put forward on the back of research from consumer magazine Which? That revealed nearly six million people were victims of mobile telephone theft in the past five years.
The convergence of many different markets to deliver near-field communication (NFC) payments, and the complexity of these new commercial relationships, has created a barrier to widespread deployment, according to the Mobey Forum. The global, not-for-profit, financial industry-driven group claims that as NFC technology continues to gain momentum, businesses need to explore different implementation models, define the business case and roles that will meet their requirements and establish a clear go-to-market strategy with partners.
Vodafone UK is trialling a scheme for new and upgrading customers, allowing them to “test drive” an all-you-can-eat data plan for three months, to inspire confidence in smartphones and in the contracts that they opt for.
EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes has announced a public consultation looking for ways to make copper-based telecommunications networks less attractive to operators in a bid to spur investment in fiber.
Verizon has begun implementing “network optimisation practices” to manage traffic and data speeds for the five per cent of users that consume the most data with their 3G devices on the company’s unlimited data plans.
Google’s mobile wallet venture has become a commercial reality, although it remains very much in its infancy. A trial was announced in May and, at present, the service is supported only by the Samsung Nexus S 4G (WiMAX) handset on the Sprint network in the US, although the retail side is supported by the MasterCard PayPass network
eBay is launching a host of in-store payment processing services for retailers, via PayPal, over the coming months. The services do not rely on the use of near-field communications (NFC) or credit or debit cards.
Australian telecommunications providers have been given until February 2012 to improve their customer service and complaint-handling, or they will face tougher regulation.
Right now it seems like operators are falling over themselves to establish direct carrier billing functionality. Telefónica, which already signed up Boku earlier this week, seems to be spreading its bets through a secondary deal with PaymentOne.
Telefónica’s global API program, BlueVia, has this week released a new billing API designed to cater to carrier billing functionality for app developers.
Vodafone has begun rolling out direct operator billing for apps sold through the Android Market, allowing users to charge purchases direct to their phone bill.
Google’s entry in the mobile phone hardware market with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility seems to be the outcome of the company’s desire to acquire the 17,000+ patents that Motorola holds and compete more effectively with Apple and other smartphone/OS vendors. The acquisition will however, not only have an impact on the handset market but possibly will also have a big impact on the mobile services market. In particular, this may help Google to accelerate the growth of the m-commerce market.