From Volume To Value In Wireless?

from the good-luck... dept

It’s like a first year MBA marketing problem: do you try to be the low cost “volume” supplier – or the higher cost “value” provider. This analysis of the UK mobile phone market (though, it applies elsewhere as well) points out that the carriers all took a low cost volume approach – but are now trying to figure out how to switch to the higher cost value realm. That switch is not easy. Once you’ve got a reputation as a the low cost producer, changing it isn’t something that happens overnight. However, if they’re going to get their, following the plan described in the article seems unlikely to work. The suggestion is for the carrier to create additional value added content and services – which is exactly what many are trying to do, and mostly failing. Why do the carriers need to supply the services? They should be focused on making their core business, providing the wireless network work better (because that’s still the biggest complaint from users) while opening up their platform so that those who know better can create the value added services that will attract users. The carriers still insist that they can take a top down approach and create the services that people want. However, these are the same people who have shown, repeatedly, that they don’t know what people want when it comes to wireless data services. Meanwhile, open systems like the internet thrived because the service and content creation was left to those who could do it, rather than being walled off by the connectivity providers. This isn’t to say that better services, applications and content aren’t needed, but that the carriers should focus on encouraging others to create it – rather than trying to control it all themselves.

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