METISfiles analyst Pim Bilderbeek presented at the inaugural meeting of imellem this week, a new member-based networking platform for executives in the Dutch IT and Telecom sector. The presentation focused on the unique aspects of the Dutch telecoms market and the challenges that operators face to remain relevant in a rapidly changing regulatory, customer, and infrastructure environment.
One of the biggest challenges for operators is to change their current network bundling strategy into an experience bundling strategy. Multiplay is a bundle of telephony, mobile, TV, and Internet services delivered over one or several access networks. KPN, Ziggo and UPC, the three largest multiplay operators here in the Netherlands, all use multiplay as the weapon of choice to acquire new customers and prevent customer churn. In the business market, the same tactics are being deployed combining cloud, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), and FMC aspects into single converged services.
Today, the consumer experience of the multiplay bundle is a reduced bill and increased service provider lock-in, rather than a bundled or integrated communications and entertainment experience. But this is about to change.
The traditional value chain is rapidly being unbundled. Telephony (e.g. Skype), mobile (e.g. MVNO), TV (e.g. YouTube) and Internet access (e.g. unbundled local loop or unlicensed Wi-Fi) are all available as standalone products or services. And the unbundling continues. Communication and collaboration (e.g. Salesforce Chatter), mobile (e.g. Amazon Kindle Whispernet), TV (we predict a Facebook TV feature here) and Internet access (e.g. Skype Wi-Fi) are all available as a product feature rather than a standalone product. And the unbundling continues. Already VoIP and videoconferencing are being brought to the browser natively through WebRTC and HTML5. No need to share the same network with an app and a user ID, you just join and connect.
The new consumer platform players – Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft – are taking advantage of the new value chain through offering experience bundling and roaming, either through a device/OS led strategy or through a social suite.
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