Today, with the market nearly saturated, the telecommunication providers understand that quality of experience is crucial for engaging customers and keeping them on board. The customer experience is intimately linked to customer loyalty and ultimately connected to a company’s financial well being.
Big Data is increasingly making it possible for telecom operators to understand their customers’ behavior and preferences by combining structured data – such as how and where each subscriber uses his or her phone – with external unstructured or semi-structured data from social media platforms, to produce real-time, actionable insights.
The use of analytics in telecom is generally fragmented within departmental projects, with a wide range of use cases dominating how operators leverage Big Data.
However when taking one step back to gain a broader perspective, it is possible to identify three main industry-wide trends related to big data in telecom and customer responsiveness.
Telecom Embraces IoT
Consumer demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing by leaps and bounds. 2016 is expected to be a strong year for the development of IoT within the telecommunications industry. As increasing number of new-fangled products such as smart cars, smart homes and gaming gadgets reach the market, innovative start-ups will learn which applications and services best address consumer needs.
Big Data technology is helping propel IoT growth. The Internet of Things involves data feeds from many different sensors that need to be monitored and analyzed. Big Data’s ability to automate, analyze and extract value out of IoT is beginning to bear fruit.
The IoT offers telecom providers a wide variety of avenues to explore. Starting with network connectivity, carriers can provide the infrastructure to connect more sensors and machines. Analytics, vertical applications as a service and partner ecosystems that plug directly into the cloud are also customer based solutions that telecom providers are investing in.
Real Time Insights into Customer Behavior
Analysis of how subscribers use a particular service or their viewing habits can be used by a telecommunications company to improve customer retention, reduce churn and provide targeted products and services to specific customer segments.
The market glut within the telecommunications industry will only intensify the competition to provide the best customer experience. Data analyzed in real-time will better enable service providers to provide the digital experience that today’s consumers demand.
New solutions are enabling real-time or streaming analytics that can in some cases even supply up-to-date information to customers directly.
Customized Marketing Campaigns for Business Customers
A key component in a telecommunication company’s success is it responsiveness to the changing needs of business customers. This is where Big Data can assist.
Telecom’s comprehensive understanding of customers’ behavioral patterns can enable the creation of targeted promotional offerings. Intelligent multi-channel marketing campaigns can target the customer at the right moment at the right location with the right message.
Tailoring marketing campaigns using location-based and social networking technologies allows telecom companies to develop customized price plans and attractive add-ons for their valued business customers.
Personalized promotional campaigns are especially useful as product portfolios have become bigger and more complex, facilitating the cross-selling of everything from devices to content packages.
Holding Big Data Back: Technological Restraints
While telecom’s deployment of Big Data is promising, one major hindrance to developing an optimized analyzing network is the telecommunication provider’s continued reliance on probe-based traffic monitoring – a prohibitively expensive technology. Telecommunication providers need Big Data Analytics solutions that can efficiently and quickly process and analyze massive amounts of data, to improve customer experience and generate new revenue streams.
In response, Big Data companies such as SQream Technologies have developed cost-effective solutions that don’t rely on probes. SQream’s SQream DB allows telecom engineers, marketers and data scientists to store terabytes to petabytes of data and analyze it rapidly.
Managing the upsurge of the unstructured data that the telecommunications industry generates is a major challenge that can be addressed by technologies such as Hadoop.
In a short period of time Big Data has proved that significant value can be extracted when the right analytics solutions are combined with the right business models. Big Data can facilitate more efficient operations and more effective marketing within the telecommunications industry. By providing operators a more complete, transparent view of customers, telecommunication providers now have the tools to improve their service, and to capture and retain their customers.
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