By Norman Fekrat, Founder, Fonbnk
The growth of mobile data consumption has not necessarily been equated to growth for mobile operators. Quite frankly they seem more inversely proportional. Products and services from over-the-top providers have taken significant market share away from the mobile operators’ highest margin voice and txt messaging services.
The challenge for the mobile operator is how to best leverage and monetize their spectrum and customer base assets versus enabling others to capture that value. How can a mobile operator reverse this trend? Can they finally steal market share back from these OTT free riders.
As an example, let’s discuss mobile financial services (i.e. Mobile Wallet) as a potential growth area for the mobile operators. The traditional financial service companies have basically ‘outsourced’ the mobile wallet infrastructure away from the mobile operators by leveraging their existing customer relationships into the mobile world. It’s kind of like the Country of Fiji selling spring water for $0.50 per gallon to the for profit Fiji Water who resells it to customers for $20.00; this is the magnitude of value Facebook and Google are extracting from you and your customers. The Country of Fiji may not be able to do something about it, but you can.
Looking at blockchain as an over-the-top, trust-based distributed ledger one could dream up new potential revenue sources that fully maintain the integrity of your BSS and OSS while still running your core networks. Imagine dynamically allocating mobile bandwidth to application providers while not entering into costly MVNO or business development arrangements.
Facebook is on to something with the Libra digital currency (with all its current problems). That said, this should prove another wake-up alarm for mobile operators – after many pushed the snooze button – that there is an opportunity around distributed ledger alternatives on the subscriber (demand) side leveraging mobile network capacity. Why should the mobile operator continue to outsource this and not garner the value of their investments?
Fonbnk is a new blockchain-enabled mobile application unlocking hundreds of billions in human potential. Please reach out to me at [email protected] to learn more.
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