Carrier Device Management: MNOs and MVNOs face seven major challenges in 2016


The year 2016 will see Device Management (DM) take a new direction, says Spirent Communications’ device intelligence business unit.

The DM leader expects seven game-changing challenges to hit mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) during the year and how they are dealt with will be fundamental to their economic health.

… the seven game-changers in DM 2016

1. In 2016, Over-The-Air (OTA) device management will become more complex due to the growing diversity of devices in world markets. The proliferation of new sub-$100 smartphones in emerging mobile markets will see many lacking basic OTA support, making it difficult for operator care centres to get on-boarding subscribers online.

2. The growing impact of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) subscriptions in mature markets will see operators and end-users finally tire of subsidized phone deals and BYOD will become the #1 high-value business opportunity for MNOs and MVNOs. Operators will make greater efforts in 2016 to deliver this zero customer acquisition segment a seamless churn experience for on-boarding BYOD subscribers.

3. Managing support of counterfeit handsets in the fastest growing mobile economies, notably Africa, LATAM and the Middle East, will be a priority for MNOs in 2016. In Africa alone, more than 50 million new smartphones will come onto African networks during the year and about 20% will be fakes. Customer care centres will be flooded with calls to get counterfeit phones online in their networks and new DM technology will be used to convert the counterfeit market into mobile data revenue.

4. In mature network markets like Europe and the US, Spirent sees the use of basic DM systems being phased out in 2016. The network industry will switch to next generation DM systems to support emerging VoLTE and VoWiFi services enabling them to get a faster return on infrastructure investments. Investments to date in VoLTE related infrastructure will rise to an estimated $2billion by end 2016. The first VoLTE DM pilots began in Q4, 2015 in Europe and the number of new pilots will increase substantially in 2016.

5. In mature markets, the network operator industry will start using next generation DM systems as a data analytics tool to monitor device activity and behaviour. It will also be used to detect and to troubleshoot performance problems. This will improve the customer on-boarding experience and ultimately increase the average customer lifetime value.

6. The embedded real-time device and subscriber detection capabilities and plug-ins to customer service providers’ billing and CRM databases will see next generation DM turn into powerful customer engagement systems. Service providers will use next generation DM to stimulate data spend by enabling real-time contextual offers using a combination of device detection, device capability data, location data and subscriber data. This will have a positive impact on operators’ data revenue, lower churn rates and reduce OPEX.

7. In 2016, due to continued smartphone diversification, smartphone support will become a severe headache for customer care and call centre teams, and many will not rise to the scale of the technical challenge. More time than ever before will be needed at the point-of-care (POC) to cater for the diverse devices to seamlessly on-board networks. New self-care solutions will be introduced into operator care operations in 2016 taking smartphone problems out of the traditional call-centre-centric customer care process.

“The year 2016 takes MNOs and MVNOs into unchartered waters,” says Lars Houbak, general manager of Spirent’s device intelligence business unit. “Rolling out VoLTE services, attracting BYOD subscriptions and implementing new DM technology for better customer engagement will be primordial in 2016.”

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