In the modern times, “Free’ is no more a cheap word, as today’s customer is value conscious and wants returns on every penny spent, in fact some extra freebies too. In a data consumer world, it’s no different. Sponsored data enables customers to access mobile content, apps and data services without impacting their data allowance. The data delivery charge is on to the sponsoring company—the company could be a content provider, an advertiser, or any third party (e.g. healthcare provider, employer, information agency).
Those countries where prepaid penetration is higher and spend levels are lower are far more likely to experience a success in sponsored services and sponsored data. According to a recent survey 62% of Asians are willing to accept sponsored data in exchange of free data usage, which could lead to an increase in data usage of 40%, resulting in a $6 billion revenue opportunity for CSPs and their partners by 2019 (Research indicates $6 billion sponsored data opportunity in Asia, 15th July 2015), In addition to this a revenue opportunity of $23 billion worldwide for sponsored data usage by 2019.
Sponsored data has a few different models to work with :
- Advertisement Partnerships: Advertiser pays the operator according to distribution of the Advertisements and also payment according to per user clicks/view.
- Website / URL based Partnerships: The website owner pays the operator for data consumption for specific URL. E.g. Health agencies, educational agencies, Sponsored Icons
- Application Data Usage Partnerships: Application owners pay the operator on behalf of the subscribers for using their application.
- Enterprise Paid Data Partnerships/ BYOD : Enterprises pays the operator for the work data used by employees on their own device.
In an environment dominated by Over-the-Top (OTT) providers, CSPs need to explore new business models to create value with them. One example of a Monetization use case promising a new business is Sponsored Data, but the downside to this concept is the ever-increasing data plans and persistent Wi-Fi availability, which is making customers less worried about reaching data limit and incurring over usage charges.
Elitecore’s Online charging system is integrated with 3GPP compliant PCRF, which enables service providers to offer new IP/IMS based prepaid plans. It enables QoS for particular partner service and facilitates partner pricing & Charging, revenue sharing, revenue reconciliation and settlement. It offers personalized plans and service to subscribers using Policy Analytics.
Benefits of Sponsored Data:
- Innovation & Customer Delight
- Additional Revenue for Operators
- No impact on Customer’s monthly Data Plan allowance
- Notify customers for Sponsored Data Offers
- Summary of sponsored usage in bill, if a customer accesses any sponsored offers during the billing cycle
CSPs looking to be well prepared, will have to invest in future-ready infrastruture to be able to ride the wave when it arrives.