Blog: What Verizon and AOL means for operators


By Guillaume Le Mener, head of data monetisation, Tektronix Communications

Concern over being branded a dumb pipe has threatened mobile operators for years, as despite advances in wireless technology and the shift to LTE, it’s the over the top (OTT) and digital players that have received all the plaudits and stolen the mindshare of the customer. But now Verizon’s acquisition of AOL has tipped the balance of scales back towards the operator.

As today’s subscribers do almost everything on their mobile devices, giving operators better insights into their likes and dislikes than any other internet company, the potential for operators to become important players in the marketing and advertising space is only going to increase.

The M&A promises to create entirely new business models and a platform for Verizon to drive video services and mobile advertising. Operators are already making use of the wealth of data their networks hold to support marketing initiatives.

Yet by monetising this data, operators are also opening the floodgates for new business models, products and services all based on real time and precise information about subscribers and their interaction with the network.

By partnering with a Big Data analytics provider, operators can gain access to a host of data their networks generate. This is incredible useful from an internal marketing perspective, helping to support cross sell and up sell opportunities, and can also lead to a variety of other revenue streams as well. For example, combining usage data from new streaming services with the wealth of subscriber information operators already have access to could result in highly targeted recommendations based on an individual’s likes and dislikes, which in turn could influence purchasing decisions.

While many operators are looking to launch their own services to compete with OTT players, Verizon’s acquisition of AOL represents an important shift that needs to happen before operators can unlock the true value of their network. AOL’s advertising platform was a key driver behind the deal, demonstrating the significance operators must now place on Big Data analytics and more targeted advertising to grow revenues.

Tektronix Communications delivers real time insights for network operators and equipment manufacturers around the globe.



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