A new survey from Evolving Systems, Inc. reveals the potential for European telecoms operators totap into new revenue streams by delivering number choice and other
personalized service offerings to prepaid customers.
The survey, carried out in spring 2010, polled the views and opinions of 500prepaid mobile phone subscribers across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
More than 30% of respondents in each country said they would be prepared to pay a premium for the ability to select their own number – depending on cost. The proportions are highest in France (45%) and Italy (43%).Of those users who stated they would be prepared to pay a premium, around25% said that they would pay between €6-50 (between £6 and £50 in thecase of UK users). France had the most engaged set of respondents in this respect with 31% fitting into this category.
“These figures will give wireless operators food for thought,” says Evolving Systems’ Chief Technology Officer Stuart Cochran. “If operators could convert these percentages of their prepaid mobile subscriber base to number personalization, they would gain a significant incremental revenue source.
There clearly is a potential market in these key European countries for personalized number selection and it is equally clear that this market remains largely unexploited so far.”
The survey finds that only a small proportion of prepaid users have ever been offered the opportunity to select their own mobile number. Just 13% of prepaid French users (and only 21% of those in Italy), for example, had been given this option when buying a prepaid SIM card.
When prepaid users are offered number choice, it is typically provided through a retail store. This option was the most popular route in every country surveyed apart from Germany. Very few subscribers had been offered a choice of numbers via their mobile phone screen. In Italy, just 3% of those prepaid users who had ever been given the chance to select their own mobile number had been offered it in this way.
Yet, when asked how they would like to choose the number, selecting it via the phone’s screen scored well. In the UK, it is clearly preferred to going into a retail store and being helped by a salesperson and in every other country surveyed it is at least competitive with that option. According to Cochran, “This underlines the potential of a different approach to provisioning such as our own Dynamic SIM Allocation™ (DSA) solution, for example, that offers personalization such as number choice to customers when they use a mobile device for the first time. Not only is this more convenient for the customer, it also gives them a much wider choice of numbers and the ability to search for vanity numbers that are memorable or have special meaning.
“In networks that are already offering number selection using DSA, we are seeing take-up ahead of our expectations, driving revenue, with the potential to increase loyalty,” Cochran added. “The time of first use also presents an ideal opportunity to offer additional, value-added services to new customers. The same on-device dialogue that supports number choice can also be used to offer device-specific price plans or location-based promotions, further increasing the incremental revenue opportunity.”