In conjunction with the ongoing CommunicAsia 2019 taking place this week in Singapore, Tara Neal, the Executive Editor of The Fast Mode spoke to Indrajit Chaudhuri, the SVP and Chief Technical Officer of Tecnotree, a global provider of telecom IT solutions for Communication Service Providers(CSPs) on a number of topics relating to innovations in the BSS market. The following is the interview.
TARA NEAL: We have seen a plethora of innovative data plans and digital services being offered by mobile operators over the past 5 years. These range from OTT video and music, bite-size data plans, free access to popular app bundles, rewards based on tie-ups with popular merchants to cloud storage allocations and nano lending facilities. What are some of the newer innovations in Operators’ offerings that we can expect to see in the market in 2019 and over the coming years and what is driving these innovations?
INDRAJIT CHAUDHURI: The challenges brought forward by the OTT players towards the existing monetization models of the operators are still going to dominate the industry during 2019 and beyond. There are two types of Operators who are having different strategies towards business. Those who are focusing on the Core telecom business will still focus on network & subscriber number expansion and monetizing data on 3G/4G networks more and move to adjacent businesses of offering multiplay offerings – Voice, SMS, Data, Home Wireless, IPTV bundles and make their bundle offerings compelling for users. Price will be a determining factor for this segment to compete.
However, the operators focusing on fighting the OTT disruption, will move towards building their own marketplace with partner offering and will start providing bundled offerings to subscribers. We will see these operators providing multiplay bundles of data, home wireless, IPTV, as well as taxi ordering, food delivery, e-commerce and other sort of local business offerings which will create a consumer pull to use more of the operator services.
We will also see many operators acquiring a banking license to extend their offerings for mobile payment and reach non-banked subscribers in their markets. We also expect banks to become MVNOs and offer their own branded telecom services as well. Focus remains on owning the consumer wallet. Another area of interest will be to provide services for the connected car, and operators will form partnerships with car manufacturers to provide the connectivity as well as some apps on their platform for extending their offerings.
Tecnotree Booth at CommunicAsia/BroadcastAsia 2019
TARA NEAL: How are BSS tools and solutions evolving to cater to these increasingly complex offerings by mobile operators?
INDRAJIT CHAUDHURI: Creating a marketplace based on own and partner offering requires the operators to focus on changing their self-care applications more towards a superapp which enables consumers to find contextual offers from local business and brands – be it table booking in a restaurant, or buying branded clothes, or ordering a taxi, or paying from their wallet which will be an aggregated wallet in the self-care application.
While the focus will be in creating a consumer touchpoint for everyday product proposition, they will also need to enable onboarding of new partners to their ecosystem for running the digital marketplace. This requires providing the partners a self-serve interface for onboarding, offer creation and propagation to operator’s catalog and settlement of commissions. Becoming a digital operator to provide digital services to consumers means that the operators need to focus on omni-channel capabilities to understand and reach their subscribers, as well as focusing on having an agile platform for quick service creation with faster go-to-market. Having a microservices based platform will enable them to quickly tie new capabilities and services, make changes to their processes with simple orchestration instead of month long software changes and integration nightmares. Finally, the focus of running the services on elastic cloud would enable them to scale services on a need basis. As such, containerized software deployments would be of extreme importance to make the operators infrastructure cloud native.
TARA NEAL: What do you think will be some of the major topics to be discussed over these 3 days, and what are some of Tecnotree’s own highlights?
INDRAJIT CHAUDHURI: The major focus of CommunicAsia 2019 would be towards enabling the digital service providers business and various IoT applications and services which are starting to touch consumer lives - be it on agricultural IoT or be it of delivery services like Amazon. Convergence of the telecom & banking sectors will also bring the focus of discussions on operators participating in the financial ecosystem to extend services for both banked and non-banked customers.