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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Ari Vänttinen, Comptel
Moving Telco companies in Europe and Asia from ground to cloud. Born 1969, M.Sc. (Economics). Joined Comptel in 2014, member of Executive Board since 2014. Has previously held various marketing executive and management roles at McAFee and Stonesoft Plc since 2010. Before that management consultant at Talent Partners 2007 – 2010 and marketing management and business development roles at Nokia Networks 2004 - 2007.
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