Telco operators' business models in UAE to see a transitional shift [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Greater competition in both fixed and mobile market could force a shift in UAE telecom' business models next year.
Ericsson expects the next short term battleground for mobile operators will be to capture as much of the smartphone market as possible.
"What we have seen globally is that smartphone users generate much more traffic and much more revenue for the operators, therefore it's imperative that the operators try to capture as much of the smartphone subscriber base as mobile broadband gains momentum and I think that's where the battle is going to take place," Ray Hassan, President of Ericsson GCC, said.
Other than this, he said the battle for consumers on fixed line services is on-going and the operators shall look to retain customers through experience management, differentiation and convergence.
"We feel that managed services are also playing a more significant role in the industry," he said. "The managed services approach fundamentally allows operators to reduce network management costs by concentrating on their core business objectives rather than operational logistics.
"As many new smartphones and devices and new tablets come in, Ericsson does not expect that to slow down, so mobile broadband is growing much faster than we expected."
A recent Ericsson Consumer Lab report forecasts that 85 per cent of the world's population will have internet coverage via 3G by 2017 and that mobile broadband connections will reach the five billion mark that year, this represents a big surge in mobile data.
The data explosion represents both a challenge and an opportunity for operators.
According to Shi Yaohong, President of Huawei Middle East, operators will need to build innovative and customised services for individual subscriber segments. By extending the use of technology such as cloud computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, operators can combat revenue stagnation in traditional service sectors.
"Outsourcing ICT infrastructure is no new phenomenon, but the approach and extent to which managed services are now being adopted by operators are as versatile as they are varied. More than ever, these outsourcing models are being used by operators as a prime differentiator to simplify network management and swiftly respond to customer needs; tapping a wide pool of third-party global experts and industry leading tools to optimize their network potential," Yaohong said.
Bhanu Chaddha, senior research analyst (Telecommunications) at IDC, said the emphasis will continue to remain on local content as operators aim to increase their share of wallet in consumers' communications budget.
"We expect to see the launch of multi-screen services by operators to capitalise upon this opportunity," he said. "Increasing revenues from data services will remain a priority with service bundling, handset subsidies, and bucket pricing,"
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