2012: The Year of the Consumer

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 12:19pm
Jeff Gordon, Syniverse
Customer satisfaction is key to the success of any business. But it became a keen focus for mobile operators in 2011. Consumers are developing a much greater reliance on their mobile devices, which requires an increased understanding of how they use their mobile devices. Their expectations around service have risen, and this will drive the trends for 2012.

Mobile data usage – customers know and care more; in 2012, operators will implement tools to keep the customer aware and empowered

Mobile data usage will continue to increase and — for the most part — data caps will continue to be enforced.

To reassure, protect and empower their users, mobile operators will invest in real-time intelligence aimed at significantly increasing the type and frequency of customer "touch points."

Jeff Gordon, Syniversepx;A prime example is the "bill shock" issue, which in 2011 has promoted roaming from an industry-only issue to a societal concern. Subscribers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential risk of over-usage, which is affecting their mobile usage. In 2012, mobile operators will act to empower consumers while also looking at the larger opportunity to leverage real-time information to enhance quality of experiences.

4G LTE – deployments have exceeded expectations; in 2012, interoperability will begin to accompany the speeds

LTE deployments will continue to advance, accelerating as momentum grows and technology matures.

As more and more markets — and potential users — become LTE-ready, interoperability will become a major concern, and mobile operators will invest to ensure that the LTE user experience is optimized.

The proliferation of Wi-Fi will contribute to end-user satisfaction by increasing data availability and providing low-cost alternatives for data access while roaming. At the same time, the interaction between Wi-Fi and 4G networks will dramatically increase technical complexity. To optimize the user experience, operators will need to be able to provide their subscribers with a seamless, interoperable transition across 4G and Wi-Fi.

In 2012, mobile operators will focus and invest heavily on IPX network technology as the backbone for enabling a ubiquitous, interoperable 4G experience for their customers. Moreover, they will need technologies that provide the seamless on-ramp to and from Wi-Fi.

Mobile video – the appetite is there; in 2012, mobile users will feast on video services

While one-way video will dominate traffic volumes in 2012, peer-to-peer video usage will rapidly increase. So-called "OTT" services such as Skype and FaceTime will see the most significant uptake, but operator-owned offerings will emerge before the year is out.

When the walled gardens that surround the most popular and well-known offerings are brought down, mobile video usage will explode — and interoperability is the key to sustained uptake. Operators will invest to make the uptake occur and to deliver the best possible service to their customers. The proliferation of devices with front-facing cameras also will contribute significantly to the uptake in two-way mobile video.

Video will be the mobile application of 2012, driven by the rapid emergence of 4G and new, all-powerful devices — providing tremendous revenue potential for operators while delivering what consumers want.

Jeff Gordon is CEO of Syniverse.

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