Transform from delivery player to platform provider. Issue 29, Telecom & Media Insights

The mobile ecosystem has historically been a closed system with little choice for end-users when it comes to applications and services on handsets. However, recent initiatives by various players in the mobile value chain seem to suggest that these closed ecosystems are soon going to be a thing of the past.

Online players such as Google are coming up with open platforms that seek to create a level playing field for all players by ensuring that preferential and discriminatory treatment of applications and services is done away with. Moreover, the emergence of device players as “service providers” is making a wide range of applications available to end-users with little intervention by telcos. These developments are directly impacting operators’ ownership of the consumer and their service delivery experience.

Capgemini has identified three broad strategic options for operators in the evolving open mobile landscape. It is our recommendation that operators position themselves as platforms for delivering a wide range of third-party and self-developed applications, and adopt a “compete-in-some, collaborate-in-some” model with third parties.

Operators should open up network APIs, build common content platforms in collaboration with online players, and also partner with device vendors for mutual benefit. Operators who adopt this platform strategy are likely to give maximum revenue uplift, without ceding significant amount of control over the customer.