The wireless landscape is shifting, thanks in no small part to the Internet of Things (IoT). Not too long ago, business models for mobile network operators (MNOs) were simple. Pricing for phone plans revolved around “minutes” and messages used. Remember those days?
Not much has changed. Even amidst the rise of mobile and IoT, revenues for MNOs are still almost completely reliant on data plans. The million dollar question: can the IoT boom help MNOs unlock revenue streams beyond data plans?
To answer this question, we need to figure out where IoT is innovating the most.
So far, IoT has picked up steam in wearable tech, the connected home, and the connected car.
Many believed wearables would be a big hit, but they’ve leveled out for the time being. That is, at least until further innovations in material sciences open new possibilities.
Same story with the connected home. For MNOs, this piece of the pie has begun to show diminishing returns.
Amazon’s Alexa and IoT devices like the Nest thermostat are popular but connect to the internet via WiFi, not LTE. As a result, they do not present much of a revenue-generating opportunity for MNOs.
Connected cars are different. They’ve undisputedly become the hub of IoT innovation today. OEMs are producing more internet-connected cars than ever before. With autonomous vehicles on the horizon, the connected car will continue to be the center of tech. But MNOs aren’t getting enough of the action. Most are only able to see revenue from the data plans that OEMs structure with them.
So how can MNOs open up new revenue streams for themselves?
By delivering connected car technologies to the masses via mobile devices.
The connected car market opportunity is mostly made up of used cars (if not entirely). There are over 200 million used cars in the market today owned by drivers who won’t be buying a new car anytime soon. While this presents a problem for OEMs, it presents opportunities for MNOs. What if MNOs could deliver the connected car experience to anyone?
Here are three value-added services that can help MNOs offer more value to their customers.
The same sensors that detect crashes in some of today’s most expensive new cars can also be found in smartphones. This is exciting news for the people who want access to connected car technologies without breaking the bank. It’s even more exciting for MNOs who are perfectly positioned to offer these types of services to their customers.
People care about safety. This fact will never change. MNOs can deliver safety and peace of mind to consumers with automatic crash detection and notification.
According to CNBC, Generation Z accounts for 61 million consumers in the United States. And the parents of these consumers either are – or soon will be – opening phone lines for them with MNOs.
The worst feeling in the world for a parent or loved one is helplessness. Bar none. With automatic collision detection, enabled by smartphone-telematics data, MNOs can offer families a powerful promise: with our service, you will always be the first to know if your loved one is in danger. Never worry about wondering where they are or if they’re safe.
Parents want to know their children arrived at their destination safely.
Some operators are finding new ways to increase ARPU (average revenue per user) and customer loyalty by offering customers family safety and location tracking apps that offer better quality and support than over-the-top (OTT) alternatives.
MNOs can allow parents to set geographic borders for their children, along with notifications if the child’s device crosses those borders. For families with children that frequently need to travel on their own, that’s a powerful offer. Now parents can allow their children the freedom they require without relinquishing parental control.
So if your son says he’s going to study hall but is really going to the movies or your daughter tells you she’s visiting a friend but is really at her ex-boyfriend’s house, you’ll know. That is if you buy from an MNOs that offers it, of course.
Sure, maybe your mom told you she had eyes in the back of her head. Well, now she really can with the right MNOs.
Yes, people want to know if they or their loved ones are driving safely. But more importantly, they want to know how to fix it if they’re not.
Enter AI-enabled driver scoring. The Zendrive platform is a smartphone-based telematics application that monitors drivers’ behaviors. It also offers critical feedback so drivers can correct dangerous driving habits.
In a recent study, drivers using Zendrive saw an 11.4 percent improvement in their driving in just a few months. They also reduced their likelihood of getting into a collision by 49 percent!
And after the study concluded? Those new, safer habits persisted. That’s a lasting change for good.
What if MNOs could offer families a way to reduce the risk of a collision by 50 percent?
They can, right now, with IoT, AI, and Zendrive.
The rise of artificial intelligence and connected cars present challenges for MNOs. By focusing on the right services, MNOs will unlock new revenue streams and superior customer experiences.
And that’s a brighter future for everyone.