Apps have taken the world by storm!
Whether we are finding entertainment, shopping for fashion, navigating our way home, ordering a taxi or just keeping in touch with our family - we all use apps.
There is also a growing share of people investing more money into apps – even in developing markets now that smart phones are less expensive. As traditional sources of revenue decline, operators are looking to be part of the app ecosystem by providing value to these enablers of the digital economy.
In the past, apps were mostly associated with European and North American markets. But the March 2016 Ovum report, App Download and Revenue Forecasts: 2015-2020, estimates that 48% of app revenues between today and 2021 will be generated in Asia. Now is the time for operators to seize the opportunity.
The App User Experience
Today the app user experience can vary greatly since it is very dependent on both the network and the user’s subscription options. Operators are in a great position to help app and website developers provide their users with an improved experience, as well as providing other valuable capabilities.
Traditionally, charging, location and messaging have been the main capabilities that operators have made available to apps and websites. Ovum data indicates that analytics is another key capability that app developers are looking to explore. As big data analytics are put in place, operators can make the data accessible to third parties, enabling a deeper view into how to enhance the end-user experience.
Selling Services to Apps
Ericsson Application Connect provides operators with a new cloud-based service (SaaS), that creates a bridge between network operators to application service providers and websites. Each operator, and each service provider, simply need to integrate with Application Connect without the hassle of the large number of bilateral commercial agreements necessary in the past.
This Ericsson solution launched in 2016 offering access to an operator’s Charging System (BSS) assets and is now expanded to other OSS/BSS and Network assets. It is already integrated with a number of global service providers including Google for YouTube and Google Maps.
Jay Akkad, Sr. Product Manager on the YouTube Emerging Markets team said, “Mobile environments introduce a number of complexities, but also a range of opportunities when it comes to delivering quality experiences for users. Ericsson Application Connect forges collaboration between operators and OTT providers to break down some of this complexity and open the door to a world of opportunity for enhancing services. We believe initiatives like these will accelerate innovation between operators and OTT providers, and we look forward to working with operators on new features and services to users.”
Ericsson Application Connect in Action
In Indonesia, one-third of smartphone data traffic is delivered through mobile broadband, but there is a desire to increase the customer utilization, as well as make the content delivery seamless for the end user. Ericsson worked with an operator in Indonesia to address these challenges by implementing Application Connect. The solution integrated with the YouTube app and the operator’s BSS, which allowed automatic notifications from the BSS to YouTube when the end user’s data bundle was empty or low. This is a perfect example of how an operator’s data cannot only create an upsell opportunity but a better end user experience.
We have seen the huge opportunities Application Connect can create in the growing ecosystem. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by!
David Bergstrom is driving Ericsson Digital Support Systems (DSS) portfolio marketing. His experience in technology, operations and systems comes from his many years of leading complex business transformation engagements in Consulting, Sales and Delivery roles.