Acision Report Outlines Mobile Broadband Opportunities

Mobile data specialist Acision and research firm YouGov have released a report entitled Seizing the Opportunity in Mobile Broadband.

The report provides a long-term trend analysis of mobile broadband in the UK, from June 2008 to June 2010, and outlines recommendations on how mobile broadband providers can establish a sustainable business model with healthy profitability levels, while also providing quality access for all users. One key finding to emerge from the report is that consumers are willing to pay a premium for certain value-added services (VAS), with roaming bundles topping the list of desired services.

Based on two pieces of research, the report analyses results from YouGov’s Dongle Tracker, which has been providing quarterly trends on the UK’s mobile broadband market for the past two years; as well as research commissioned by Acision and conducted by YouGov, which analyses consumer perception of mobile broadband in the UK. Acision’s research explores consumer observations including Quality of Experience (QoE), customer satisfaction, video quality and consumer awareness, as well as acceptance of possible VAS and fairness policies.

The research shows that mobile broadband QoE issues are widespread in the UK, with 84 per cent of respondents stating they have experienced Quality of Services (QoS) issues in the past, including low speeds (67 per cent of respondents), coverage problems (49 per cent) and connection problems (45 per cent).

The results, however, also provide many insights which operators can leverage to seize the opportunity in mobile broadband. In particular, the research has identified key areas where additional capabilities could be deployed, which are showing high levels of consumer acceptance.

The first of these is fairness policies. Once they understand the need for resource management, says Acision, consumers have a high acceptance of policies which enable a fair allocation of the available capacity. The research even indicates that consumers are prepared to pay a premium to enable this service if it translates into an improved experience.

Secondly, content adaptation. Consumers are willing to accept and even pay for content optimisation, so long as they see benefits in those aspects of the service experience which they find most important. Customers are well equipped to decide which kind of trade off they are willing to accept to get the optimal outcome, if they are provided with comprehensible information about service constraints.
Finally, paid-for Value Added Services (VAS). The report finds that there is a broad need for different types of VAS services, and a willingness among consumers to pay an additional fee for these. The top three VAS services, each having over 50 per cent consumer support, are roaming bundles, notifications and fair bandwidth allocation. This, says Acision, provides another key area where operators can build a more diverse and long term revenue model.

“We believe our research shows very clearly where the opportunity in mobile broadband exists,” says Steven van Zanen, SVP marketing, mobile data control at Acision. “The research identifies what consumers value most about the service, and points to very specific aspects where the mobile broadband service could be improved in the eyes of the consumer. Also, there is clear consumer support to tackle the fundamental issues in broadband, such as cost, quality of experience and value for money. It is now up to operators to leverage their unique capabilities and intrinsic value to seize this great opportunity.”

The research also outlines the main areas of particular importance for operators, identifying four top priorities:

  • Grow Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) by enabling a rich and differentiated service offering
  • Decrease Average Cost Per User (ACPU) by maximising network utilisation
  • Control Quality of Experience by managing all relevant aspects of the service
  • Leverage key internet ecosystem players, such as the content providers, to create new value propositions to consumers

To achieve the business priorities outlined above, says Acision, a step change in operator capabilities will be required at three main levels. At the data layer, very high performance and reliable components that handle all network traffic are needed. At the content layer, fit-for-purpose components are required, which are able to optimise specific content services such as video or browsing. From a control layer point of view, investments need to be made in highly intelligent components which enable real-time, complex and rich decision-making.

Finally, looking at the consumer perspective, Acision believes that new types of offerings need to be developed, which can fuel the next round of growth and drive long term sustainability. In the report, Acision details its vision of a blended model of an ‘all you can eat’ basic bundle, combined with transaction-based premium services which consumers understand and relate to.

You can download the report for free here.