Can the $15 Billion U.S. Mobile Market Handle the Data Explosion?

Why Operators Seek Birdstep EasyHelp To Relieve The Strain On Networks And Customer Service

According to wireless-data industry analyst Chetan Sharma, the U.S. wireless-data market grew 25 percent in the third quarter of 2010 vs. the third quarter of 2009. The market gained seven percent over the second quarter of 2010 to total about $14 billion. Equally impressive is the demand from Americans for mobile data. Data traffic is expected to exceed one Exabyte, which is causing strain on U.S. mobile networks, the services they offer and ultimately on their customer service teams.

iPad – Changing The Game

Sharma also believes that connected devices will an even bigger driver in the future. He predicts that in less than five years, “the connected devices category will generate more revenue for operators than the entire prepaid segment in the U.S.” This is a far cry from today when “connected devices represent only three percent of the quarterly data revenues.”

Going Hybrid and Getting HelpA critical issue for U.S. operators is how to handle this data explosion. Some scaremongers say data capping is the only option, even predicting that the cost of data will outstrip profits and put some operators out of business. In truth, there are other options. U.S. operators should take a page out of the book from their European and Latin American counterparts such as Virgin, Meteor, TDC, KPN and Elisa. These operators are getting help from Birdstep to off-load mobile data traffic to lower cost WiFi and streamline their customer support services. Data offloading onto WiFi can save costs of up to 25 percent per annum over a three-year period. By applying EasyHelp to automate their customer support, operators can also look forward to save up to 40 percent of their support service costs.

Data Offloading – Keeping It Simple

The solution looks simple, and it has to be. It also must be fully automated to keep costs down. Our (Birdstep’s) fully automated network switching, silent credentials provisioning and logins have proven to be excellent in ensuring a good customer experience. With “invisible” logins and automated transfer between different networks, the operators can make sure users are always connected to the network where they have the lowest production cost for mobile data. In addition, the user will always have the best available service without dealing with complex settings or network prioritizations.

Some operators want to take the off-load solution one step further to assure on-the-move handover to and from Wi-Fi with no impact to ongoing VoIP and VPN sessions. The Birdstep Mobile IP solution makes this seamless mobility a reality, allowing the operator to facilitate Wi-Fi offload without the user noticing.

EasyHelp – Minimizing Operator Support Costs

With concern for overall profitability, it’s important for providers to look closely at operational costs associated with mobile broadband. One key area that shows significant savings potential is support. Indeed, real numbers show a massive amount of support calls regardless of issue complexity. This can be largely attributed to the newer generation of users who are far less technically savvy than the early adopters of mobile broadband. Add a flood of iPads and other tablet devices to the mix and it’s a heady cocktail of demand outstripping support.

So how does Birdstep help?

Birdstep draws upon experiences from more than 40 successful operator deployments globally and seven new operator deliveries in 2010. We are expanding our value offering in service access and management to include the EasyHelp support client. EasyHelp is designed to provide an optimum user experience and simultaneously reduce costs of customer support.

EasyHelp can remove a majority of support calls, and when coupled with communication services, operators can proactively inform subscribers and streamline call centre processes. Using automated troubleshooting and diagnostics features, EasyHelp is designed to minimize operator support costs through:

  • Diagnose and self-heal faults
  • Device testing and repair
  • Network testing and repair
  • Computer testing and repair
  • Client testing and repair
  • Provide easy-to-understand feedback
  • Refer issues to correct supplier
  • Enable rapid call centre support resolution
  • Automatic updates of fixes and information

EasyHelp will launch at the International CTIA WIRELESS® 2011, taking place March 22-24 in Orlando, Florida.To arrange a meeting or for more information, please contact:

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