The pace of technological change in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry is putting pressure on carriers to develop new policy and charging solutions. To keep up with the demand that connected devices can generate, carriers need to offer flexible and scalable solutions that can be quickly deployed to bring new IoT products to market. Here are three tips to develop an IoT charging structure that will accelerate growth.
Use Analytics to Improve Service and Product Offerings
It’s important to understand that IoT brings about a whole new series of complexities when it comes to traditional billing and charging. Telecom service providers with a smart strategy are in a strong position to adapt to these changes, helping to ensure that account management, charging, collection and customer care are all in place to meet the demands of IoT. The opportunities are nearly endless, with Gartner predicting that 26 billion IoT units will be installed by 2020, generating an estimated $309 billion in revenue worldwide.
One of the best ways for carriers to benefit from the rise of IoT is to ensure they’re using Big Data and real-time analytics to better serve their clients. With Big Data solutions, carriers can examine what kind of IoT devices are being used, as well as customer data usage, IoT device location and what kind of applications are running.
For example, carriers can track how many customers are using HD video, which devices have higher data demands and learn which industries are on-boarding IoT the fastest. Telecom service providers can even track network congestion and offer slower bandwidth options through a variety of competitive pricing models to meet customer demand. On a larger scale, carriers can also understand what kind of bandwidth, products and services are needed for IoT in areas like homes, hospitals and factories.
These types of analytics will give insight into what customers want and what they’re willing to pay for services and help them plan what new products should be offered.
A Solution That Provides Adaptable Policy Support
IoT comes in a huge range of formats, which means carriers need a policy and charging platform that can work on-premise and in the cloud and even be configurable to third parties. Companies will increasingly be looking for flexible pricing models for IoT services to ensure personalization and differentiation across all of these channels. In fact, one survey from Heavy Reading found the two strongest drivers for IoT billing were the “ability to monetize IoT solutions” and the “ability to charge based on usage and consumption.” To satisfy these demands, carriers need to offer long-term or short-term commitments, service bundling and multi-partner settlements.
Furthermore, telecom carriers need to take into account a variety of third-party partners that may arise, and allow for an unlimited number of organizations to join policies. This is especially important considering the complex value chain that can arise, which may require a variety of agreements and settlements.
Primed for Growth and Scalability
Carriers need an IoT charging structure that allows for the deployment of new services and easy scalability. Goldman Sachs indicates that the cost of bandwidth is 40 times lower than it was 10 years ago, and with new technology like 5G rapidly spreading, customers will want IoT billing models to keep pace with these changes.
That’s why carriers should offer a solution that provides operators with the ability to create new service plans without reworking their entire network infrastructure. At the same time, this product catalog should work across various network ecosystems and platforms, which will ensure customizable policy bundles that can be created on-demand. An automated solution that comes with pre-configured service packages for quick on-boarding of new IoT devices is also key.
In short, carriers want to avoid a one-size-fits-all model of billing, or they’ll be left at a disadvantage. To do this, carriers need the right IoT right solution to ensure their charging policy meets the demands of IoT into the future.