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Global Data Traffic

mb-consumed-per-year

One of the interesting topics that we are discussing a lot nowadays in telecom sector is the shift from voice to data. The graph on the left shows how much data is consumed globally per year and what types of services are filling the capacity up. It is obvious that the world is going mobile and mobile video is becoming more and more important. But how can telcos charge enough for the data?

In traditional telecom world, voice is priced per-minute or per-second because that is reflective of the industry’s cost structure (and billing sophistication) about 100 years. When you had a physical copper connection between points A & B, with a human doing the switching, both capex and opex had fairly logical temporal-based components.

On the other hand, what we see with mobile data is a blend of volume, duration, use-case, location and maybe even congestion levels can be used as the basis for service pricing. As you can see the charging models for voice and data must be somehow different in my point of view. I think we telcos need to be more innovative when it comes to the bsuiness models and pricing with an increasing demand towards data.

What do you think might be a good charging model for telcos then? The fact is that the minute is fundamentally an anchor to the past, when all voice was “telephony” and all telephony was “voice”. The faster we get rid of our duration-centric obsession, the more likely we will be able to profit from The Future of Voice, before others less confined beat the telecoms industry to the punch.

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