Technology suppliers will need to adjust to new types of costumers
Today most mobile operators are mainly selling their products (usually simple mobile telephony or access products) as their own products to the end-users. However on a mobile market characterised by segmented mobile providers, mobile operators will expand their product offerings so they are no longer only primarily selling their own products to end-users, but also products to suitable wholesale customers.
Mobile operators will also start offering “white label” products. These products/platforms will be so generic, that the segmented mobile providers using the mobile operators network can adapt the platforms to their own needs. Examples of white label products can be location platforms or UIs. For a successful mobile operator this will not just require simple branding, with graphics and logos being able to be adapted to the mobile provider, but also the actual product and functionality should be able to be adapted by the mobile provider. This will ensure that new mobile providers do not end up being copies of each other, but can instead differentiate themselves and thereby target their niche segments.
On a market characterised by segmented mobile providers, the “White Label” products will most certainly be a competitive parameter for the mobile operators. The successful mobile operators’ wholesale departments will therefore expand their selection of product offerings targeted at mobile providers, which will result in a greater level of competition among mobile operators on the markets characterised by mobile providers without their own network and delivering the correct products to wholesale customers will be one of the ways that mobile operators can differentiate themselves.
Mobile operators will therefore in the future demand technology/platforms that can be shared between the mobile operators and the mobile providers without their own network. The platforms therefore need to be able to be adapted to the different players regardless of whether an end user customer accesses the platform through a mobile operator, or through one of their wholesale customers.
The technology providers will therefore in reality need to sell two types of products to the mobile operators; products for the mobile operators’ own end-users and white label products. The technology providers need to adapt to these new circumstances, but while the level of technological changes in the products will only vary slightly from product to product, the marketing differences will be enormous, as the technology providers will need to cultivate a new market. The products/platforms will usually be around 70-80% identical to each other regardless of whether they are for own products or for white label products, so the challenge for the technology providers will be to develop products that are attractive to both mobile operators and mobile providers without their own network.
For mobile operators these developments will result in an increasing number of mobile providers wanting to purchase/license the mobile operator’s platforms and mobile network, again resulting in mobile operators expanding their customer base forward from often only offering simple mobile telephony to end-users. This is a positive development for the technology providers, that puts them in a position where they are able to sell a larger number of platforms to the same number of mobile networks. In this way a service platform provider will now not only be able to sell/license service platforms to the mobile operator, but also to other mobile providers using that operator’s network.
These and many other issues are thoroughly discussed in our new mobile report”How to get success in the second Generation MVNO Market”, The report describes and analyses the changes that the technology providers are facing, thereby helping them to better prepare and adapt to the challenges of the future mobile market.