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EDITOR’S BLOG 18-02-16 MNOs ready to rethink charge to mobile?

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Rumour has it that “at least one” of the big four UK MNOs is looking for a “revolutionary rethink” of how it pushes charge to mobile services, galvanised into action by the stark realisation that the industry is missing a massive opportunity.

You’ll have to wait until your copy of Telemedia magazine hits your desk in the next week or so to find out more (sign up here if you aren’t already on board), but the move is extremely important. It would be even more important if (when?) all MNOs are on board, but we’ll have to see what the rumours turn into.

It also comes on the back of my prediction last week that mobile payments was dead… may be this is all my doing?

Charge to Mobile was, a year ago, the golden opportunity for MNOs, telemedia, media and all sorts of other sectors. It was going to be the new cash cow for operators amid declining voice and SMS revenues; it would tap into the burgeoning push towards mobile payments and it could help save all sorts of content businesses struggling to monetise a way out.

That all got killed off with a staggering lack of backing from the networks, who shied away at the first jump. The reason? They don’t like the idea that they will get a load of calls from disgruntled customers who will blame the operator, rather that the merchant, when anything goes wrong.

Back to our old friend “brand damage”.

But it seems that as OTT services bite into profits (and perhaps that MNOs realise belatedly that they already do their own excellent ‘brand damage” by running such a rubbish over-priced service) operators are running out of options.

Across Europe, telcos are embracing Charge to Mobile as a great new revenue stream. Many of them are also seeing the rise of IPRN (and domestic PRS) as perhaps something that needs to be taken more seriously as it too offers a new and important revenue stream.

All this together suddenly changes the game for the telemedia sector. It looks like a solid billing tool, the ability to handle mobile content and service billing and the ability to run international PRS services adds up to quite a good business.

Quite a good business that everyone from content providers, games companies, app developers, software makers, transport companies, event companies, car parks through to media companies, content publishers, ad networks and affiliate marketers can all suddenly see that they can use.

To ignore this would be criminal.

To think that OTT services can be stopped and that MNOs can get back to business as usual would be foolish.

To not put the two together and rethink what MNOs do, how they operate, their attitude towards charge to mobile and IPRN would be criminally foolish.

Could it be that sanity is set to prevail for once?

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