Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, November 14, 2008

Manipulation of Mobile Broadband Usage

The tremendous growth of mobile broadband usage, with annual growth rates of 200 percent in some parts of North America and upwards of 800 percent in parts of Europe, could create future challenges for mobile service providers.

However, a new market study from Parks Associates found that many carriers rely on outdated business models, excessive pricing or flat-rate billing strategies, to manage traffic or otherwise attempt to reduce user demand.

Excessive pricing slows growth and invites cutthroat competition. Flat-rate carriers charge a single rate for unlimited service, which does not effectively monetize traffic. Both models are unsustainable, given current growth trends.

"Carriers need to create business models with more refined network controls in order to facilitate market growth while maintaining profitability," said Anton Denissov, research analyst, Parks Associates.

These models must be easy for consumers to understand and also address specific needs, so subscribers can pick a plan based on whether they want to send e-mails or stream HD content.

The custom study, conducted by Parks Associates on behalf of Camiant, a global provider of policy control for the wireless, fixed, and cable industries, included interviews with executives at major mobile broadband providers in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. market.

The study determined the adoption and usage of mobile broadband and each carrier's capabilities with respect to network and user control.