A Monetisation Domino Effect
Indosat’s carrier billing service provides obvious benefits for the consumer – but, the biggest payoff is perhaps for the operator itself. Beyond the new revenue streams coming into Indosat from previously untapped prepaid and postpaid billing customers, carrier billing also enables the creation of new and innovative services and, consequently, even more opportunities for mobile data monetisation.
Sprint is a good example of an operator that has seen success with this approach. The U.S. communications service provider launched its App Pass service last year, allowing customers to “app all you want” for a monthly fee.51 By paying USD $5 per month, users receive unlimited access to a catalog of premium apps and games across two devices.
Like Sprint, Indosat now has the opportunity to create a steady source of revenue by tempting users away from traditional app consumption habits. Working to their advantage is the fact that consumers tend to be more comfortable making payments directly to their operator, rather than to third-party app stores.
Increased app consumption will also provide Indosat with a wealth of information around how its subscribers are actually using those apps, taking monetisation and its customer experience management processes a step further. What apps are specific demographics buying? What in-app purchases did they make? Which apps are they syncing to their social media channels? Refining data for these answers can point operators to wards other ways to personalise their offers to customers and further improve revenue generation.
Implications across Industries
We’ve seen carrier billing’s positive influence on consumers and operators – and it is also an excellent example of how an operator can work together with a big OTT. But its benefits extend to other stake holders, as well. Having an enhanced app store will likely drive more upgrades to Android devices. And more convenient payments mean more shopping, a win for Google, the individual apps and OTT content providers, too.
The advantages of carrier billing could potentially trickle into whole other industries like advertising. Although Indonesia’s smartphone penetration is set to grow at a dramatic pace, it trails behind the Southeast Asia region – not to mention, the world – in mobile advertising. With so many mobile users still on feature phones, brands have been reluctant to make the leap to mobile and digital advertising, clinging onto traditional media like TV, radio and print in the country. While global ad spend in the digital arena is nearly 30 percent of total expenditure, advertising in Indonesia, by contrast, spends a mere five percent on digital and mobile advertising.
The sheer number of mobile screens at the hands of Indonesian consumers already creates a significant opportunity for digital advertising – and now, with more people able to access the digital content on them, brands might finally have what they need to make the jump.
Looking Forward, Looking Back
With today’s mobile landscape evolving at such a rapid pace, operators should always be a step ahead of the curve, anticipating and then implementing the latest and greatest in mobile. The industry is moving fast, and operators need to look ahead to opportunities of the future. Indosat did just that – it identified a consumer group whose most basic expectations were yet to be met. By bringing its prepaid and postpaid billing customers the same ease and convenience of purchasing app and services as its credit card customers, Indosat not only bridged the gap between the haves and have-nots, but also the gap in its own revenue potential.
“WITH TODAY’S MOBILE LANDSCAPE EVOLVING AT SUCH A RAPID PACE, OPERATORS SHOULD ALWAYS BE A STEP AHEAD OF THE CURVE, ANTICIPATING AND THEN IMPLEMENTING THE LATEST AND GREATEST IN MOBILE. THE INDUSTRY IS MOVING FAST, AND OPERATORS NEED TO LOOK AHEAD TO OPPORTUNITIES OF THE FUTURE.”