Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Telecom - why not simply deliver a better service ?

Blogs, articles, books, everywhere in the world strategists are discussing about the battle between internet boys and telecom elderly. Why are Internet boys so successful, in a kind of continuous hype curve, while telecom elderly are perceived as old-fashioned even if the second ones provide the necessary pipes for the first ones to operate ?

This interesting discussion was reenforced this week due to the Broadband forum.
There is certainly nothing wrong to raise the question and, even better, it's important for the whole society to find the right balance between the two sets of dinosaurs in order to support further evolutions.

But, before engaging in some hazardous strategies, telecom operators could perhaps simply deliver a better service. It's not about inventing yet another stuff. It's all about services around voice, messaging, data access and 3rd party premium services - all the services used by large panel of subscribers.

We can distinguish two aspects : provide a better user experience and solve all the numerous small inconsistencies which are very annoying for subscribers, eventually leading to a complete loss of trust.

Why the hell is the Skype user experience better than my phone experience ? I don't ask for a free service. It would nice but I understand it would not be sustainable. I just ask a mobile user experience as convenient as Skype.

The second improvement concerns the loss of trust that I still have in my telecom provider. Why the hell do I face a problem each time I activate a service ? It's true that I receive more alert messages than before, assumed to explain unusual situations. Receiving alerts when call center tells you that there is no problem creates frustration. Not receiving an alert when there is a problem is even more frustrating. And finally, each time spending 20+ minutes waiting in call center queue is certainly not my favorite activity.

Telecom systems have been built as mushrooms growing, on a yearly basis, a few month after annual Mobile World Congress. In order to face the other category of dinosaurs, it's time for telecom to debug all these minor frustrating error cases or even better, time to streamline the architectures.

Let's remove dangerous mushrooms and structure the telecom landscape for an open field based on latest technologies and concepts - supporting a new wave of innovation.
Fighting or partnering with the other side ? Future will say.
To be continued ...

Benoit Quirynen