Mobile carriers must act now to meet demand for smart mobile services

A global survey of 15,000 consumers across 15 countries highlights a huge demand for smart, personalised mobile internet services. However, mobile carriers are risking their place in the mobile value chain by not responding to these demands quickly enough. Survey respondents suggest that over the next six months, media organisations such as the BBC, application developers such as Facebook, and service providers such as Google, will be viewed as the most appropriate providers instead of mobile carriers.

The research shows that users now more readily identify with third party brands than with their mobile carriers. But it also shows that carriers have an opportunity to make the most of today’s positive position. By making networks smarter to deliver new, personalised mobile internet services, carriers can build powerful relationships with users. They can continue to play a leading role in the mobile Internet and its value chain in order to secure valuable revenue streams.

The survey, undertaken by Nielsen Research and commissioned by Tellabs, reveals a strong user demand for a smart, personalised mobile internet experience. Almost two thirds of users (63%) say they would use these services – tailored to personal preferences, location, time of day and social setting – within the next six months.

Despite this high demand, the research delivered a stern warning to carriers. In 11 out of 14 areas, users expect a range of third party providers to deliver new services such as music, mobile email and location-based services within six months. In contrast, mobile carriers were only deemed “most appropriate” to provide basic voice, SMS and MMS services.

The survey also revealed some positive news for mobile carriers. Users know that today, carriers provide these new services in eight out of 11 areas. The survey also shows that globally, users’ trust in carriers is high, second only to banks.

“Clearly consumers are clamouring for smart, personalised mobile internet services. But consumers have brought expectations from the fixed line internet to the mobile internet,” said Rob Pullen, chief executive officer and president of Tellabs. “If carriers want to stay in the game and avoid becoming ‘dumb pipes,’ they need to use the valuable assets they already have, such as location-awareness, and to make networks smarter for personalization. They need to act now, and act fast.”

Added Edward Kershaw, vice president for EMEA at Nielsen: “This research provides some clear insights into users’ attitudes towards their mobile operators and the services they offer. It shows that the mobile telecoms world is undergoing immense change as users discover and adopt new applications and services. While users are positive about their mobile future, it’s becoming clear that operators must remain flexible and responsive to consumer demands in order to maintain their customers’ loyalty.”

Tellabs Mobile Solutions add intelligence to mobile networks, empowering them to deliver location and context-aware smart applications and services. The acquisition of Silicon Valley start up WiChorus in 2009 gives Tellabs important mobile packet core and Internet offload capabilities through its Tellabs 9000 SmartCoreTM platform. With up to 16 times more throughput than competitive products, Tellabs 9000 SmartCore platform can offload up to 70% of internet traffic before it reaches the core. This technology, coupled with Tellabs’ mobile backhaul expertise, means Tellabs can dramatically raise the IQ of carriers’ mobile networks.