In 2009, the SeaBoard Group looked at over-the-air wireless device management in our paper, Herding Cats. The focus of our current paper is on-demand activations (ODA).
The SeaBoard research team discussed ODA with a number of carriers across the globe. Located in South America, Mexico, the USA, Canada, Europe and Russia, these carriers were at different stages in the move toward ODA: some had already implemented systems, some were in the process of doing so, and some were just beginning to think about the costs and benefits of ODA adoption. This paper will explore the reasons, the advantages, the challenges, and the lessons to be learned from these pioneers.
Our findings? It is ironic that an industry focussed on wireless connections would still rely on bricks-and-mortar facilities to activate service. Activation is key, and smart activation even more so. The old and safe carrier business model is under attack – or soon will be. With the proliferation of plans and devices stemming from competition and technological change, customers want the latest thing, and they want it now or they’ll shop elsewhere.
This report explains how implementing ODA would improve customer satisfaction with the added advantage of reducing costs significantly. For carriers thinking about adopting ODA, we provide a prescription for what to think about and how to prepare.
Not only are the benefits real (quantifiable) today, but the efficiencies gained during the activation and provisioning processes will be crucial for operator success as the machine-to-machine (M2M) market and various other mobile applications take off in coming years.