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More Forward-Thinking Telecom Service Providers

Telecom service providers can't hold back progress any longer, the days of the simplistic and restrictive triple or quad-play bundles are numbered, according to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media.

Going forward, network operators will have to offer a whole range of new content and applications within their bundled products -- including eclectic over-the-top (OTT) content and even independent VoIP services -- in order to retain their savvy customers.

Informa's related report takes a global snapshot of the fast-changing bundling market and shows how some network operators across the global market are already offering new services and applications to bring more value to their bundled products.

However, Tony Brown, senior analyst at Informa, cautions operators that the next-generation bundling market will be a challenging one in which they will not necessarily reap direct financial rewards from all the new products and services that they include in their bundled offers.

"We have already seen from the early deployment of multi-screen TV services by operators that many subscribers are highly resistant to paying extra for new services -- so many of these new services really have to be included as part of the existing bundled price," says Brown.

Broadband service providers need to see the addition of these new services, such as cloud storage or OTT content, as something that brings extra value and increases customer loyalty -- and go at least some way to neutering the threat posed by OTT players in a number of the more progressive fields.

Furthermore, Informa also details how operators -- particularly those in developing markets such as Africa and the Indian sub-continent -- are now looking to take advantage of their existing relationship with subscribers to sell a whole range of non-telecoms services such as insurance and banking service, with operators like Safaricom in Kenya leading the way.

These forward-thinking network operators are really stealing a march on their counterparts in developed markets by using the position of trust and ongoing relationship that they have established with their subscribers to open up much wider commercial opportunities.

The possibilities they have created are potentially game-changing in the wider telecoms market. The rewards will go to these pioneers that dare to be first to disrupt their industry's status quo.

Meanwhile, Brown also says that, in addition to offering new services such as OTT and multi-screen content and cloud-delivered services within their bundled offering, many global operators are now also revamping their customer loyalty programs to make sure that their subscribers are satisfied.

"Orange has long been an excellent exponent of providing very effective customer loyalty programs to its subscribers, giving away products such as half-price movie tickets and discounts at various types of retail outlets -- this is a strategy we expect to be more widely adopted by other operators to reward their most valuable subscribers," he says.

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