The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014 - (Page 37)

THEME: ON THE EDGE: MEETING CONSUMER DEMAND Blurred Lines: Reinventing in the Rural Market By: Cami Zimmer Director of Communications and Marketing, NewCore Wireless L ittle more than a decade ago service providers had a justifiable pre-occupation with mobile airtime rates and packages. With a surge in consumer adoption of mobile devices and the dynamics of a highly competitive marketplace, the goals then were largely to increase subscribers and grow ARPU. It wasn't entirely a painless process but in retrospect it seems simple - add some features, optimize pricing, and drive costs out of the business. By comparison, today's environment doesn't seem quite so simple. In a 2013 Nielsen report, smartphone penetration in the United States has now reached 64%. With the growing shift in consumer preference toward smartphones and tablets has come a new set of challenges and opportunities for service providers. Today, one of the industry's most talked about challenges, whether by wireless or wireline operators, it over-thetop (OTT) services. The addition of players like Skype and Netflix require service providers to develop a radical strategy re-think. "The digital world changes all of the rules of the game. Barriers to entry are much lower, fast moving markets are truly global, while competition is fierce and only a click away," says Keith Willetts, Chairman of TM Forum. But fast-moving markets aren't restricted to only large urban environments. With cheap and plentiful bandwidth and cloud-based solutions, competitors from half a continent away or even the other side of the world can easily enter and compete in markets of any size and anywhere. So how do smaller service providers protect and grow markets in the digital world that Willetts speaks of? The answer is to leverage consumer loyalty and to focus on customer experience. That's something that many smaller and less urban operators have frequently excelled at because of their intimate connections to and understanding of the communities they serve. It also requires that they become responsive to rapidly changing consumer needs. The phenomenal growth of consumer smartphones and tablets has also given rise to a challenge for businesses and an opportunity for operators of any market. According to a 2012 survey by Harris Interactive, 81% of employed adults use at least one personal device for business. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users are no longer just the "super users" of enterprises or tier one carriers; they're also small business owners and employees, and they live and work in less urban and more rural areas. Initially enterprises were hesitant to embrace BYOD users. The concept of supporting more than one type of mobile device, the need to protect those devices, and the trove of data they access were a lot more than many IT leaders wanted to step up to. Advancements in mobile security solutions, privacy, and device management solutions are rapidly allaying the fears of enterprise IT and are also paving the way for a more mobile SMB. Rural service providers are uniquely positioned to deliver powerful new solutions for small and medium sizedbusinesses (SMBs). In many cases SMBs are already using wireline or wireless services of the service provider, who has a well-established understanding of their customers' businesses. The typical resource or agri-based economies of rural markets are prime to benefit from THE "Thriving in this world depends on truly understanding how the game is changing and doing something about it - fast!" the power of mobile SMB applications. Remote video surveillance over wireless broadband, M2M solutions for irrigation management or inventory control are no longer just large enterprise plays, they are compelling SMB services that have far more impact than a data package and a slick new smartphone. Creating and taking these new offers to market may appear to some as a daunting task, especially for operators that have traditionally been focused on connectivity or non-forborne services. But it doesn't have to be. One of the upsides of being smaller is the ability to be more nimble and responsive. NewCore Wireless and their business partners have witnessed firsthand the success in creating effective partnerships with SMBs that create new offerings effectively and economically. "Thriving in this world depends on truly understanding how the game is changing and doing something about it - fast!" offers Willetts. Building partnerships to build new revenue opportunities may blur the image of yesterday's rural operators, but it sharpens the vision of what they can be in the future. VOICE * www.competitivecarriers.org * Spring/Summer 2014 37 http://www.competitivecarriers.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

Chairman’s Letter by Jonathan Foxman
A Message from the President and CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2013 Annual Achievement Award Winners
Staying Ahead of “The Next Big Thing”
Near Tragedy in Nevada Demonstrates Need for Rural Investment
Competition – The Foundation for a Healthy Industry
Putting the “Incentive” in Incentive Auction
Beat ’Em or Join ’Em: Data Roaming in a 4G LTE World
2014: The Year of Small Cell Deployment
Band Class 12 – Beyond Broadband
Chat Mobility Utilizes Multi-Faceted Plan to Attract & Retain Customers
Blurred Lines: Reinventing in the Rural Market
Regional Carrier Bridges Digital Divide with Massive Network Upgrade
Wireless Challenges and Solutions for Competitive Carriers
Expanding America’s Wireless Networks: It Takes a Village
Lead with Location
Giving Your Customer Their Preferred Choices in Billing: Paper, Electronic, and Mobile
Monetizing Data Demand with Personalized Services
Making Sure Long-Distance Calls Reach Rural Subscribers
Mobility Growth with Emerging Devices
Mobile Broadband and the Rise of Mobile Security Challenges
On the Verge: Fulfilling 4G-LTE Consumer Demand in America
Transform Your Business by Making It Simpler
Lessons Learned on the Road to LTE
Let’s Get Personal
Even If the Voice Packets Make It, Does the Lack of Quality Ruin It?
Our Connected World: The Necessity of NFV for Telcos
Ten Hot Consumer Trends in 2014 and Beyond
Gain Your Edge: Effective Edge Out Strategies with 4G LTE
Reaching Consumer Demand Through Marketing in the Rural Driven Markets
Tips for Improving the Customer Experience
Creating a Super High-Capacity Network in Rural America
Your Competitors Are Coming for Your Customers
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Representative Robert “Bob” Latta

The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

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