Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 - OVUM
Melbourne, November 15, 2011 – Cost optimization, customer service, smart devices, and mobile app ecosystems will be the top trends to watch in 2012, according to Ovum.

The independent telecoms analyst firm said that in 2012 cost optimization will become increasingly prevalent, operators will make customer service improvements, and smart devices and mobile app ecosystems will continue to be a catalyst for significant changes in operator strategy.

David Kennedy, Ovum research director commented: “Cost optimization is growing in importance as operators will face tougher competition and margin pressures during the next 12 months. Early action is being taken through relatively simple measures such as passive network sharing and the outsourcing of non-core functions. However, in this tough new data world, operators should consider more aggressive cost optimization strategies such as backhaul and active infrastructure sharing in 2012.”

The other key telecoms trends in 2012 will include an explosion of interest in customer service. Ovum analyst Nicole McCormick commented, “Numerous operators are spending heavily to improve customer service. This includes investment in areas such as 24/7 customer service, weekend customer service/fault repair calls, and addressing customer problems over social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook. Customer service can be a key distinguishing factor for telcos, but any efforts must involve the entire organization and ultimately result in cultural change”.

The smart device market will continue to act as a catalyst for significant changes to operator strategy, and will affect network investment, service pricing, and value-added service offerings. App functionality and content will become ever more reliant on the network and cloud services. “The smart device market is consolidating around four platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry,” McCormick stated. “Consumers are no longer content to purchase a device based on hardware features and price alone, and successful devices will provide vertical integration of device, applications, content, and online services into the platform."

"The need to provide a complete device platform is as pressing for vertically integrated handset vendors (Apple and RIM) as it is for platform providers using a licensing model (Google and Microsoft)."

In addition, Ovum advocates that network data management will be vitally important, and notes that the trend towards the bundling of services will accelerate in 2012. Kennedy comments, “More bundled strategies will emerge in 2012, particularly from second tier operators, since many incumbents already have services in place. Bundling opportunities will be especially evident among mobile-only operators in countries where fiber NGA networks are being deployed."

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Cost optimization, customer service, smart devices, and mobile app ecosystems



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