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but this didn ’ t necessarily add any extra value from the customer ’ s point of view - it was just a discounting strategy . According to Ofcom ’ s Technology Tracker , in 2021 only 5 per cent of UK customers had quad play bundles , whereas 36 per cent took both landline and broadband ( dual-play ) and 23 per cent added pay-TV to that ( triple-play ). The reason for the low take-up of quad play is that customers see a difference between connecting the Internet and streaming ( which are household services ), and personal mobile communications services ,” she advises . BUNDLES . “ The concept of a ‘ play ’ based around CSP product lines looks increasingly old-fashioned and irrelevant . Whereas in the past , CSPs assembled bundles and ‘ plays ’ they thought would appeal to customers , in the future products will be aligned to customer activities and the future bundle will be personalised and arranged around customer needs , addressing activities that are relevant to them ,” she predicts .
“ For cable / satellite service providers , traditionally strong in broadband , TV and fixed-line telephony , the weaker aspect of their bundled offering has typically been wireless connectivity ,” suggests John Giere , president and CEO of Optiva . “ This can change with 5G . There are a couple of ways service providers can change the game . First is to ‘ own it ’. If they secure Fixed Wireless Access spectrum and licences , they can widen the extent of their in-house services portfolio beyond the confines of their fixed line network and compete with virtually every other communications provider anywhere . Alternatively , cloud changes everything by creating an MVNO with a modern cloud OSS / BSS infrastructure and supporting it with the right level of customer support . They can win the wireless ‘ game ’ at a customer experience level , regardless of who owns the 5G network ,” he concludes .
“ The smart home and small business market is an untapped resource for broadband service providers with huge potential ,” asserts Stefan van den Broek , vice president of customer success , Plume . In order to capitalise on this opportunity , service providers must move out of their comfort zones . The traditional bundle of fixed-line voice and video has been in decline for some time and as a ubiquitous offer from all service providers it can be incredibly difficult for brands to differentiate themselves and stand out in a crowded market .”
“ Multi-play CSPs need to do a much better job of integrating their services .” - Dominic Smith , Cerillion .
“ Because of this , service providers need to pivot quickly away from this traditional approach to become ‘ experience providers ”, he advises . “ Exploiting the everincreasing volume of data at their fingertips , service providers can expand their offering firstly by focusing on how to give customers the most secure and reliable experience over WiFi . In doing so , service providers put themselves in the best possible position to retain subscribers and by building new and innovative offers on top of WiFi , tap into new and lucrative markets .” BILLS . “ CSPs have spent billions transforming their 5G operations , but a final piece of the puzzle – bill communications – has been overlooked despite bills being one of the most important touchpoints with customers ,” contends Gráinne Magfhloinn , SVP business development & marketing , Soft-ex . “ Customers need to understand their spending on new and unfamiliar services , as well as the effect of more frequent changes to packages . If bills don ’ t clearly explain this , confused customers will be irate and more likely to churn ,” she warns .
“ Subtonomy envisages that the next play will be fully-convergent services for the household , with a range of network types and a host of multimedia devices increasingly integrated into the household experience ,” says Andreas Jorbeck , CEO , Subtonomy . “ This will blur the boundaries between networks as well as between voice , video , audio and data , unleashing the potential for a wide range of new service offerings and obsoleting the concept of triple and quad play packages .”
As to how quad play operators can best maximise their opportunities , Aria ’ s Chomoko suggests that connectivity is the backbone for all digital services , not just communication services such as voice and messaging . “ Everyone needs connectivity to access those other digital services . Operators already have a relationship with both domestic and enterprise customers – they are in the prime position to partner and sell more digital services via smart commercial bundling to those same customers . Legacy BSS / OSS solution wired for communication services struggle with supporting unknown future product sets , in an agile and cost-efficient
manner . New vendors like Aria with a publiccloud SaaS solution ( similar to Salesforce ) are providing quad play operators with the opportunity to accelerate their go-to-market plans with this agility layer ,” he notes . CATALOGUE . “ To maximise their opportunities , multi-play CSPs need a more flexible catalogue-driven approach to managing and selling their products and services ,” recommends Cerillion ’ s Smith . “ It should be possible to mix-and-match not just the commercial products , but the service attributes too . For example , traditional asymmetrical broadband services may have been OK for residential consumers primarily downloading or streaming content , but the growth in home / hybrid working and the rise of micro-businesses means that many users now need much faster uplink speeds too . Customers who need this will pay a premium , as they will for Quality of Service , but CSPs need the flexibility in their catalogues to provision and charge for these attributes and options accordingly .”
“ The future bundle will be personalised .” – Teresa Cottam , Omnisperience
“ Maximising opportunities requires CSPs to converge product lines to create services that are relevant to customers ,” suggests Omnisperience ’ s Cottam . From a network perspective , video is a QoS sensitive service that drives data usage – the more data a service requires , the more the customer is charged . But from a customer perspective , streaming a film is a different experience to conferencing , and to monitoring your home . They place different values on each . Current telecoms pricing strategies , though , are confusing to customers – Netflix doesn ’ t charge for a movie based on how long it is , but CSPs charge by the gigabyte and it ’ s hard for a customer to know how much that ’ s going to be when they start watching a film . The alternative is all-you-can-eat packages which commoditise connectivity completely . At the same time , customers do understand the difference between UHD and SD video , with Amazon Prime , for example using a simple formula to price each differently , but this is not something CSPs typically do . The keys to unlocking value is re-orienting services around the customer , personalising bundles , and simplifying pricing to make it easier for customers to understand ,” she concludes .
“ The best strategy for operators is to play to their advantages ,” advises Optiva ’ s Giere . “ Multiplay operators with decades of consumer experience and data to understand how users interact with
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