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    Mobile carriers must act now to meet demand for ‘smart’ mobile services, says survey


    A global survey of 15,000 consumers across 15 countries is said to highlight a huge demand for smart, personalized mobile Internet services. However, mobile carriers are risking their place in the mobile value chain by not responding to these demands quickly enough. Survey respondents suggest that over the next six months, media organizations such as the BBC, application developers such as Facebook and service providers such as Google, will be viewed as the most appropriate providers instead of mobile carriers.
    The survey, undertaken by Nielsen Research and commissioned by Tellabs, reveals a strong user demand for a smart, personalized mobile Internet experience. Almost two-thirds of users (63%) say they would use these services – tailored to personal preferences, location, time of day and social setting – within the next six months.
    Despite this high demand, the research delivered a stern warning to carriers. In 11 out of 14 areas, users expect a range of third-party providers to deliver new services such as music, mobile e-mail and location-based services within six months. In contrast, mobile carriers were only deemed "most appropriate" to provide basic voice, SMS and MMS services.
    The survey also revealed some positive news for mobile carriers. Users know that today, carriers provide these new services in eight out of 11 areas. The survey also shows that globally, users' trust in carriers is high, second only to banks.
    "Clearly consumers are clamoring for smart, personalized mobile Internet services. But consumers have brought expectations from the fixed-line Internet to the mobile Internet," said Rob Pullen, chief executive officer and president of Tellabs. "If carriers want to stay in the game and avoid becoming ‘dumb pipes,' they need to use the valuable assets they already have, such as location-awareness, and to make networks smarter for personalization. They need to act now – and act fast."
    "This research provides some clear insights into users' attitudes towards their mobile operators and the services they offer. It shows that the mobile telecoms world is undergoing immense change as users discover and adopt new applications and services," said Edward Kershaw, Vice President, EMEA, Nielsen. "While users are positive about their mobile future, it's becoming clear that operators must remain flexible and responsive to consumer demands in order to maintain their customers' loyalty."
    The research shows that users now more readily identify with third-party brands such as Google than with their mobile carriers. But it also shows that carriers have an opportunity to make the most of today's positive position. By making networks smarter to deliver new, personalized mobile Internet services, carriers can build powerful relationships with users. They can continue to play a leading role in the mobile Internet and its value chain in order to secure valuable revenue streams, says Tellabs.