CSPs seeking to generate more value beyond connectivity increasingly see anonymized customer data as a high-value asset to be monetized, providing significant benefits to its enterprise customers and partners
Since 2006, when the mathematician Clive Humby declared that “Data is the new oil”, companies started caring more about the data they collected and generated. Telcos have been no exception, but due to a higher focus on the consumer segment, Telcos are not yet using data in B2B as they are in B2C.
Nevertheless, the investments made in B2C digital transformation can drive opportunities to sell that experience to B2B clients. Further to that, data collected from the network and business and operation systems creates the potential for new business models and revenue generation with data monetization.
Compared to Internet companies such as Meta with 1.8 billion users, and Google at 1 billion users, CSPs worldwide have aggregate access to 5-8x of user data information with their service subscribers. Not only every smartphone runs on a CSP network, but also a significant part of IoT devices, making CSPs an important source of data, complementary to or for some localized use cases better than such high-scale competitors.
CSP’s first-party data, enriched with open data, can provide ready value for enterprise customers on personalized marketing, credit scoring use cases and help with insights into population, economics, consumption patterns, and mobility flows.
Evolving from the current 50m location accuracy of 4G, it is expected that 5G shall be capable of enabling a mobile positioning accuracy down to below 10 meters, when leveraging dense deployments in urban areas. For specific use cases such as factory automation, 5G developments target an accuracy of below 30cm. As per BCG’s survey , location data is considered of high importance by most companies in financial services, retail and e-commerce, logistics and delivery, real estate, and travel and tourism. Nevertheless, the value of location-based insights Telcos can produce and provide can bring benefits to almost any industry.
Examples of anonymized, aggregated geo-located insights Telcos can already provide to business customers:
- Geographical origin of people passing by a store area, based on correlated data through cell-towers
- Average time spent by people in an area, based on mobile up-time in those areas
- Social and digital profile of people in the area, based on devices and usage of connectivity services, open data, and Telco’s information about customers
- Enriched use cases about users’ digital behaviour by layering information extracted from mobile devices when Telcos’ self-care apps or Telcos’ partners’ apps are used.
Beyond direct monetization, data can become a new feature or module of existing CSPs’ products, increasing their value. For example, a unified communications service platform managed by the CSP could report to an enterprise customer not only on their key performance indicators, such as average call handling times, but also on how their company compares to others.
Above all, data represents a real opportunity in a growing digital ecosystem. CSPs need to seize the opportunity to unleash the value of data, further leveraging location intelligence over the mobile network, which will ultimately provide significant benefits to their partners and customers.