Please refer to us as an operator, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao instructed delegates at the opening keynote of Mobile World Congress on Tuesday morning, where he highlighted the importance of monetisation of new services to see the industry through the economic downturn…
Please refer to us as an operator, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao instructed delegates at the opening keynote of Mobile World Congress on Tuesday morning, where he highlighted the importance of monetisation of new services to see the industry through the economic downturn.
Colao, like his counterparts at other telecoms companies, is optimistic that the mobile industry will fare well during the downturn. However, he warned that there are pitfalls.
The first is unemployment, Colao said. Customers asking, “Can I afford those data services?” for example, or even hearing their peers asking similar questions, could bode badly for mobile operators.
Riskier still, he said, is the issue of people delaying purchases.
“These two things can impact very deeply on our sector,” Colao said.
“My answer will be the word ‘value’,” the chief executive said. Operators can’t make the same money from voice as they once could, but customers can get so much more for that money, he explained.
Operators should be looking at what he termed “smart cooperation,” so consumers can gain access to new content and services, and app stores and the like.
“We will enable… all of those,” said Colao. “The key word for me here is ‘monetisation’.”
We have moved on from the walled garden approach and though a time when everyone was focused on how to avoid becoming a dumb pipe. “Everyone thought the carriers were irrelevant,” said Colao.
“I don’t like the word ‘carrier’,” he said. We operate customer platforms, billing systems and so on. “A carrier is not what Vodafone wants to be,” he added.
“We need to find the right models,” for all the new content and applications, Colao insisted.
“Monetisation, monetisation, monetisation!” he concluded.
“Telecommunication is the engine for the [economic] recovery… [and] mobile data is a great element [of that].”