There is a “huge” opportunity for mobile operators to increase their market share and generate increased revenues from voice.
That is the message from Let’s hear it for voice, a report from Deloitte which argues that operators are “distracting themselves with technical advancements” which fail to address the core reason customers buy their mobile: to make calls.
Tony Cooper, telecommunications partner at Deloitte, comments: “The total voice market is predicted to be worth more than $1 trillion globally in the next two years … Despite this, voice is no longer given the strategic attention it deserves.
“Voice is still the main reason customers buy a mobile and – with the right management attention and marketing focus – it has the potential to power the next phase of mobile growth.
Deloitte highlights the need for mobile operators to develop a better understanding of market penetration, and focus more on the needs of customer segments and innovation of core services. “For example, services specifically designed to appeal to women and older consumers have only just started to emerge. There are several other large groups – such as migrant workers – who share common attributes and who could benefit from a tailored service.”
Interestingly, the report also points to services that could drive greater phone usage. For example, no operator helps its customers with storing contact numbers – “yet there is a proven link between the number of contacts stored in the phone or on the SIM card, and the amount of calls a subscriber makes”.
Deloitte also finds that tariffs are “unnecessarily complex with far too many variations”, with more than 600 tariff options currently on offer in the UK. “Customers are confused, and frequent changes encourage them to constantly seek a better deal. Creating the right tariff structures will drive the continuing migration from fixed to mobile and will be a critical element when competing against VoIP.”
“Recognising the importance of voice to the bottom line, operators must re-engage in the voice market – structurally, operationally, tactically and strategically. The window of opportunity is still open and operators need to be positioning themselves to make the most of it,” concludes Cooper.
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