Thursday, 17 August 2017

Telefonica 'determined' to leverage customer data

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom, in Barcelona
Wednesday 24 February 16

Cesar Alierta aims to rebalance the value chains of the digital ecosystem; 'it is not difficult,' he says.

Telecoms operators are in a unique position when it comes to access to customer data, and Telefonica this week shared its determination to build a new relationship with its customers that will allow it to take advantage of that data…

Telecoms operators are in a unique position when it comes to access to customer data, and Telefonica this week shared its determination to build a new relationship with its customers that will allow it to take advantage of that data.

"We hold a real life relationship with our customers," said the Spanish operator's chief executive Cesar Alierta at the opening session of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

Telefonica has the opportunity to forge a different kind of relationship with its 320 million-strong global customer base, "based on trust and permission," that will enable it to leverage the data produced by those customers, he said.

Operators have it in their power to gain "a new competitive advantage," Alierta said.

"[We want to] rebalance the value chains of the digital ecosystem," he said. "We are determined to do so."

Perhaps surprisingly, given that to date operators have not taken full advantage of the wealth of data they hold on customers, Alierta suggested that his is a relatively straightforward aim.

"We know how to do it…It is not difficult to implement," he said.

However, it wouldn't be Mobile World Congress without major telco CEOs pointing out that they are at a disadvantage as a result of the stringent regulations imposed upon them, while Internet-based competitors are for the most part left alone.

"We need balance among all players," Alierta said.

"Regulation has to change," he said, so all companies have the same rules and the same protections.

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