Free Tablet Data
If smartphones are the status quo in today’s market, it means tablets are the new battleground for digital and communications service providers. Yet while tablets are a revenue opportunity, they typically generate less ARPU than that of smartphones. Tablet OPEX is still high because many operators end up subsidising the cost of cellular-enabled ones to make up for the price gap with Wi-Fi-only devices. Digital and communications service providers need to find new ways to increase the rate at which customers buy cellular-enabled tablets.
Some operators are innovating in this area by offering a limited amount of free tablet data, with the option for customers to top up. T-Mobile has utilised a plan like this in the U.S., providing 200 MB of free data a month for every dedicated T-Mobile SIM in a tablet. The communications service provider saw immediate results from rolling out the plan – its mobile broadband base saw 5,000 net adds in 3Q13 grow to 239,000 net adds in 4Q14.
Free tablet data packages are clearly a great way to help customers overcome the cost barrier of cellular-enabled tablets, but digital and communications service providers must still sell topup data to monetise this model. Operators, therefore, need flexible solutions for manual and automatic top-ups, with varying byte sizes and price points. Data analytics play a crucial role here in evaluating user habits to help create personalised propositions. When executed correctly, automated top-ups result in a seamless service experience for the end user and a higher ARPU for operators.
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