Mobile operators are abandoning the previously predominant model to subsidize handsets and to, in return, lock customers in on long contracts with elevated service fees.
The death of the model should be mourned by no one since end-users have been given choice and flexibility through a multitude of non-binding, cheaper and flexible service options with generous – or even unlimited – allowances. Operators have seen customer churn decrease as end-users hold onto their handsets longer. As a direct consequence, EBITDA margins have increased.
Investors might still complain about the revenue growth, but measured as percentage of revenue mobile carriers currently produce the best margins on record. Continue reading Carriers moved away from subsidizing handsets. Now they subsidize customers’ video consumption.
Also the 2017 version of Nexterday North was a true ‘anti-seminar’ with futuristic and insightful speakers in a great, sometimes quirky, mix. May Comptel‘s spirit thrive also now that it is a part of Nokia.
This year, tefficient held a keynote presentation focused on bundles and the effect on churn.
Continue reading Bundles and churn: Nexterday North 2017
Analysis and Go-to-market, 2016
Nonstop Retention® benchmark: Calculating and comparing the Nonstop Retention Index for mobile brands (MNOs, sub-brands and main MVNOs) in one specific major European market. Identifying best practice and showing current trends. Recommending propositions and actions to improve customer loyalty per brand.
European quad-play best practice: Fact-based before/after analysis of how the introduction of quad-play propositions changed key business Continue reading Nonstop Retention benchmark and European quad-play best practice
Nexterday North 2016 was an as fantastic experience as the first, inaugural, anti-seminar in 2015. Once again, Comptel managed to bring 550 thinkers and doers from around the world to Helsinki and create great buzz around it.
This year, tefficient wasn’t helping Comptel with a keynote presentation. Instead we prepared and hosted two square table sessions for registered operator representatives only. Continue reading The battle of 2017: Content ownership vs. unlimited mobile data
Analysis of the mobile market in a specific country: Development of market shares, subscription tiers, churn, offerings, pricing, data usage, revenue, ARPU, margin, network coverage and CAPEX for all operators.
Special focus on the development of mobile data monetisation and mobile TV/video over time.
Comparisons done to other countries.
Commissioned by a global solutions provider.
In Europe, we woke up with the news that Vodafone and Liberty Global had agreed to merge their Dutch operations Vodafone and Ziggo.
Less than two weeks ago, Telenet, Liberty Global’s affiliate in Belgium, got a green light from the European Commission to buy the mobile operator BASE from KPN. So already before today, Liberty took a major step in the mobile direction.
Read the original commentary on what this means for Europe
Vodafone, on its part, has demonstrated an appetite for cablecos: In 2013, it began acquiring Kabel Deutschland and in 2014 it acquired Ono in Spain. Continue reading Ziggo/Vodafone: Decouple broadband, start to invest – to stop customer outflow
Mid November last year, T-Mobile USA launched its 10th uncarrier initiative, Binge On. It has been the most controversial uncarrier launch so far.
Why? Binge On zero-rates commercial video services – so that T-Mobile customers can watch as much as they like without emptying their data bucket. The trade-off? Video streams are slowed down to about 1.5 Mbit/s which means that image quality suffers – which is visible, but perhaps not on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. Continue reading 34 petabytes of zero-rated video streamed since launch of Binge On
Some of you might feel that tefficient tends to overstate the importance of Netflix for telecoms.
In most European markets where Netflix operates, it has as many subscribers as all other paid video streaming services together. In some of these countries Netflix has more households subscribing to its service than there are IPTV households in the country. Continue reading Chart: Why Netflix’ expansion is good news for mobile carriers
Since last year, BT is on a route so far not tried by other telcos. In August 2013, BT Sport was launched: A new TV channel which acquired the exclusive rights to show many of the Premier League football games in the UK. Previously, these rights were with satellite and TV provider Sky.
If you want to see Premier League football, you need to become a customer of BT Sport. But that isn’t BT’s primary proposition: Instead, they want you to become a BT broadband customer – since then you get BT Sport included for free. BT uses the sports rights as a tool to strengthen their retail market share in fixed broadband and TV. And that’s an innovation.
The graph shows how BT’s broadband net adds have developed: In a mature market, BT adds more broadband customers after the BT Sport launch than before. 6,8 million customers in June 2013 grew to 7,3 million in March 2014.
But is comes with a high price: In its year to March 2014 report, BT says it spent 450 MGBP (or 3,6% of the total OPEX of BT Group) on BT Sport during the year. Programming rights were 203 MGBP of this. All this is OPEX; the BT Sport related CAPEX was spent last year.
In March, BT had 3 million direct BT Sport customers. In total, BT Sport is in 5 million UK homes. The additional 2 million come via the wholesale agreements BT later have done with e.g. Virgin Media and Sky. Even though these agreements bring revenue to BT (BT Sport e.g. costs 12 GBP per month if you are a Sky customer), they work against the idea of using BT Sport as an acquisition and retention tool for BT broadband.
Future will show if BT Sport became a game changer for BT. So far, it’s been a lot of money: Roughly 3000 GBP of OPEX per additional broadband net add since the BT Sport introduction.
At tefficient, we’ve built a comprehensive before/after analysis framework of the results operators have achieved when transforming their offers from single-service to quad-play.
There are many indications that quad-play is about to become the new European standard: Telekom will go quad-play in Germany during 2014; Vodafone has acquired Kabel Deutschland and Ono to go beyond mobile-only; TeliaSonera reorganised 1 April to converge fixed and mobile on a national basis.
Quad is propagating over Europe with south-westerly winds. The map above shows the wind direction: From Portugal, Spain and France towards Central and North Europe.
The first step towards true quad is often what we call light quad – a discount that a customer gets if he or she adds mobile to triple-play. In this case, it’s typically not very prominent in operator’s marketing, there’s typically no product brand name, and far from the straight-forward pitch of true quad operators.
The current position of European operators – who have quad capability – is seen in our quad pyramid above. The arrows indicate operators that are seen to take action to move upwards.
Through our before/after analysis, we’ve spotted several very interesting outcomes – best as well as worst practices. These can be used to either prepare your own journey into quad – or understand how to best defend against quad-capable competitors.