Telecom operators can bring value to their subscriber relationships by providing the backstop customer service that is missing from popular over the top (OTT) applications.
During a speech for Cambridge Wireless members on 26 September, Jim Norton, Chairman of the UK Policy Spectrum unit, predicted that operators would increasingly offer a “butler service” whereby they would facilitate the relationship between OTTs – who run services over the operator network – and the end customer.
“These applications are popular but, as users start to expect a certain quality of service, they get frustrated by the lack of support – who do they contact when the service fails?”
Jim outlined how well placed operators were to step in and take an active role in this arena, because of their existing customer relationship and advanced IT assets.
“They have the resource, experience and established customer relationship to mediate between the parties, and offer a butler-style service.”
The operator/ OTT relationship is something that AsiaInfo has been focusing on in recent weeks, with the publication of our recent white paper which outlines how operators could be missing out on €2.2 billion in OTT profits.
The paper focuses on the partnership potential there is available to both parties if they work more closely together and, with the aid of a collaboration platform, combine their services to provide ‘mash up’ products to subscribers.
Working in this way exploits the brand reach and innovation capabilities of the OTT, whilst the operator brings their established customer relationship to the party. The idea of the operator further extending this arrangement and taking on customer support on behalf of the OTT – acting as a ‘butler’ – makes perfect sense. It will be interesting to see if this idea takes hold, as attitudes towards OTT Partnerships start to soften.