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Openwave Mobility Anticipates Trends for 2013 in Policy Control and Over the Top Players

Openwave Mobility, a software innovator enabling operators to manage and monetize growth in mobile video and web traffic, has predicted what trends it expects for 2013.

The “New Consumer Economy” infiltrates mobile

John Giere, President & CEO, Openwave Mobility: “We live in a world where consumers can buy just one song from an album, rent a car or a meeting room by the hour and purchase a single TV episode. It is a changed world, where people routinely buy or rent products and services at a very granular level – and they are becoming used to the idea. Because consumers have more options available in smaller slices, they can find services and products which are much more focused on their individual needs. Yet that choice and granularity has not reached mobile data provision so far.

“In 2013, I believe we will start to see some of this thinking infiltrating the mobile world with more examples of application-centric, fine-grained data plans. “Buckets” of data have always been tricky, but people will understand data plans that give you 50 hours of Internet browsing, ten hours of video streaming or unlimited social media. It takes a brave mobile operator to move away from the herd and package their mobile data provision differently, but those that do can ride the wave of this ‘New Consumer Economy’.”

“Policy Engagement” comes to the forefront

Indranil Chatterjee, VP Product Management & Marketing, Openwave Mobility: “In 2013, as ‘policy management’ edges closer to becoming ubiquitous in developed markets, ‘policy engagement’ will come to the forefront. Up until now operators have been focused on simple policy enforcement of data traffic such as blocking, throttling etc. Policy engagement, on the other hand, focuses on richer and more meaningful interactions with users that are consuming data. Users will receive price plan offers and promotions based on how and when they interact with content and network services. The network will start to act more like a guide, delivering a ‘curated’ experience to users, via real time, multi modal interactions that lend to easy adoption of new and contextually relevant services. In summary, the goal of policy engagement is to make these offers easy to understand, easy to adopt and easy to manage for users leading to greater monetization of data services for operators.”

Mobile data pricing starts to diversify

Michael Rodgers, Senior Strategist, Openwave Mobility: “Openwave Mobility believes that mobile data pricing will diversify in 2013, which will make the market more complicated and more interesting. One of the reasons for this will be the increase in 4G adoption. Although many will keep with similar pricing strategies used for 3G, for fear of alienating subscribers there will be operators globally who adopt more innovative ways of pricing their 4G data.

“This has already been demonstrated in the US, where one regional operator has reported success with a lower-cost ‘no frills’ application-based data plan with a time-limited video streaming allowance. This has allowed the operator to upsell video passes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, resulting in extra revenue from users who want to upgrade while reducing network traffic from those who are not interested in video enough to pay for it. This is all against the backdrop of regulators globally keeping an increasingly close eye on mobile data pricing and plans, meaning that left-field decisions in some regions could force pricing innovation even if it is not currently planned.”

Emerging markets will spur collaboration between mobile operators and OTT

Stephane Honore, Chief Technologist, Openwave Mobility: “Monetization opportunities of over-the-top content have appeared at the top of analysts’ predictions for some time now; nevertheless, there have been very few real and conclusive success stories so far. One of the reasons is that the co-opetition status-quo between the major Internet players and tier 1 operators is still more inclined towards service competition which doesn’t incentivize them to jointly innovate in saturated markets with high penetration of mobile data and Internet services. In developing countries, however, both sets of players are looking for ways to attract users and gain quicker service adoption as the business growth will primarily come from mobile. Cooperation initiatives will benefit both of them under these conditions. Facebook has been an early adopter by pushing back in 2010; Google has just recently joined the bandwagon with their Free Zone offering and I expect more announcements of this type to surface in 2013.”

A few operators start to become true Over the Top players

Chris Goswami, Director Marketing & Communications, Openwave Mobility: “At the end of 2012 we see three straight years of revenue decline for operators in Europe, with at least one major group (KPN) having issued profit warnings directly citing OTT (WhatsApp) as the cause. At the same time we see Google apparently setting up their own network. So it’s not just a question of OTT players eating the operators’ lunch, they are now coming to dismantle the kitchen! Groups of operators launching OTT initiatives together like JOYN or WAC just don’t work. Within these complex organisations the web-DNA simply isn’t there.

“A few operators are taking a different approach. Telefónica Digital is an independent unit of Telefónica headquartered in London and is becoming the poster child for a new way of working. Recruiting staff with software and web DNA, maintaining their own “fast-fail” product development unit, and now responsible for all the new OTT services and start-ups acquired by Telefónica including Jajah, Tuenti and GiffGaff, are busy launching their own set of OTT services. This includes, for example, “ToMe”, an OTT messaging and picture sharing app. Their clear advantage is that they can utilise the massive subscriber base of Telefónica to distribute these new services, create those new business models and also reduce churn. They have even signed up to a revenue target of €5Billion by 2015. I believe this new way of working will spread and develop until these units become separate companies with their own P&L and VC input beginning in 2013.”

About Openwave Mobility

Openwave Mobility empowers mobile operators to manage and monetize the growth in mobile video and web traffic. By analyzing the data network and individual subscriber habits, it reduces congestion exactly where it appears while creating new revenues through personalized data plans. The company operates within the policy control and charging space, with solutions including Mobile Video Optimization, Mobile Data Charging, Subscriber Data Management and Mobile Analytics.

Openwave Mobility delivers over 40 billion transactions daily and over half a billion subscribers worldwide use data services powered by its solutions. The company’s global customer base consists of over 40 of the largest communication service providers including AT&T, Du, KDDI, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Telstra, Virgin Mobile & Vodafone. Openwave Mobility is owned by Marlin Equity Partners, a leading investment firm with over a billion dollars of capital under management that has publicly committed to building the company through expanded investment in R&D. The company has built a robust portfolio of Intellectual Property, which is growing month by month.

Openwave Mobility and the Openwave Mobility logo are trademarks of Openwave Mobility Inc. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

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