Time to revive India Wireline Broadband: Innovative solutions to do the trick

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      We have witnessed a whole lot of innovation of cool services in the last decade – Google created intelligent search engine, Facebook brought us closure to the world of social networking, YouTube became our online video repository, Wikipedia and IMDB placed the knowledge over web for everyone’s access. Amid all this innovations Wireline Broadband was one such segment which was lagging behind when compared to mobile broadband industry.

According to a research conducted by Medianama, the number of wired broadband connections in India was remarkably low at 16.13 million compared to 104 million wireless broadband connections at the end of September 2015. This was a month on month growth of just 0.81%, abysmally low. So it is high time, the operators should not only focus on wiring up the entire country with high speed broadband but should also focus on monetizing it with innovative services that the Mobile Broadband Customers have access to.

With rapid growth of mobile broadband, the market is flooded with lots of innovative offer, but fixed line broadband’s offerings are limited to only FUP based plans, Bandwidth On Demand etc. A lot of customers have cut the broadband cord on their ISPs’ sighting reasons of operator’s failure to invest in network infrastructure and also on failure to innovate. Operators need to realize their full potential and start exploring the new innovative offers and services they can provide to increase ARPU and retain customer loyalty. Below are few such examples across various business segments that even the Wireline broadband industry can adapt:

  • Offer flexibility to share data with friends and family who have the same broadband operator, similar to what Idea EasyShare & Airtel Family Plans stands for in Mobile Broadband.
  • Offer the option of prepaid recharge vouchers like day passes, weekly passes etc with real time charging and balance status. This will help the operator to tap customers who cannot afford or require half-yearly or annual subscriptions.
  • Explore the possibility to offer sponsored data plans wherein the customer is required to watch local advertisements on their captive portal in order to gain free MBs from the advertiser.
  • Offer real time activation/deactivation of services, pay bills, share data, recharge their account or refer a friend through a web portal or through a mobile app. This is a win-win situation for both the parties, because the subscriber can get access to what they want in real time, which increases their satisfaction level and operator in turn not only gets revenue but also saves substantial cost in case the same request had to be processed via a call centre agent. This will help bridge the gap between customers and operators resulting in higher customer stickiness.
  • Operators should also launch Customer Referral Schemes in which if an existing customer refers someone, operators provides some extra benefits like discount coupons, higher bandwidth, free internet, time extension etc.
  • Offer Triple Play Services over FTTH and become a one stop solution for customer’s needs of Voice, Video and Data.
  • With launch of 3g and 4G/LTE, operators can now also offer value added services such as Voice over Wi-Fi or LTE to tap additional customers seeking value for money calls.
  • Customer experience has become the benchmark for success, so it is imperative for the operator to offer superior & personalized customer experience through every touch point (Call Centre, Field Force, Website, Mobile App) that the customer uses to interact.

Other areas where operators can innovative to increase their revenues

  • Since operators have access to everything their customers do online, operators can build customer profiles and do a targeted personalized campaign as per their needs
  • In lot of regions ISPs have innovated by changing how they handle users who type in a wrong URL which does not exist. Instead of showing them error 404, ISPs are now displaying pages with ads.

It is just a matter of time, once the Wireline operators understand the importance of innovative value added services and superior customer experience they will once again be able to reinvent themselves.

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