Amdocs, the customer experience systems and services provider, today (12 December 2012) released a global research report that finds service providers are looking to offer personalised data plans and real-time visibility and control over data spending in order to improve the customer experience and better monetise 4G investments.
The research also reveals that service providers currently lack the integrated charging and policy management capabilities required to enable this.
Key research findings reveal that:
As 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) becomes the standard network technology, service providers’ marketing departments want to launch more advanced services and price plans
• 80% of respondents said their companies have either launched or are trialling LTE services
• 92% of respondents said their IT organisations are being asked by marketing to enable innovative data price plans
• 63% of respondents plan to launch VoLTE (voice over LTE) by 2013-14
IT organisations need new capabilities in order to fulfil marketing’s wish lists
• 70% of respondents said their companies cannot enable innovative data price plans because of IT limitations
• 60% of respondents said their companies are looking to establish IT capabilities to enable personalisation of data plans and promotions
• 50% of respondents said their companies are looking to establish IT capabilities to enable real-time user visibility and control over data plans and spending
• Almost 60% of respondents said it takes their companies three to six months to launch a new service; an additional 20% said it takes even longer
There is overwhelming consensus among service providers that charging and policy management integration is key to enabling more advanced services and price plans
• The vast majority of respondents from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific (100%, 90%, and 80% respectively) said their companies see a need to integrate charging and policy management capabilities; 40% of service providers in Latin America also agreed. Integration between charging and policy management allows providers to introduce personalised services that relate to the device type, service type, network status, customer location and other customer information, across all lines of business, and with real-time user visibility and control over data plans and spending.
• 75% of respondents said their companies are looking to manage rules for policy and charging from one location, i.e. implement a centralised product catalogue
• 40% of respondents said their companies have either tried or are currently trying to integrate charging and policy management systems with unsatisfactory results, compared to 10% last year.
‘Our research shows that service providers’ data services strategies are evolving in tandem with recognition that they need to fully integrate their charging and policy management capabilities in order to enable these strategies,’ said Ari Banerjee, senior analyst, Heavy Reading.
‘Those who recognised the importance of charging and policy integration last year, have since launched tiered and family plans and are now looking to enable even more advanced services with real-time user visibility and control capabilities.
‘Those who weren’t convinced last year about the need for policy and charging integration are much more convinced today, and therefore they are now looking to enable tiered and family plans,’ said Banerjee.
‘Service providers are looking to 4G to deliver service innovation beyond higher capacity and faster speeds, but need to integrate charging and policy to enable this,’ said Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Amdocs. ‘The research shows they are seeking solutions which pre-integrate charging and policy systems, also including a single product catalogue across both systems, to solve broken product management processes which cause time to market delays.’
The research is based on 70 qualitative interviews conducted between October and November, 2012, with decision makers from both IT and marketing departments of 35 service providers. Service providers interviewed included tier-one and tier-two companies based in Europe (10), North America (10), Asia Pacific (10) and Latin America (5).
This is the second research report conducted for Amdocs by leading analyst firm Heavy Reading to identify service providers’ data monetisation trends and challenges year-over-year. Findings of the first survey were announced in September 2011.