The U.S. bundled services market is making steady progress toward a fully-converged service environment. Until now, “triple-play/quad-play” bundles have predominantly been sold as discrete services in exchange for the benefits of lower price and the convenience of a single bill as well as single point of contact for customer service. However, leading U.S. telecommunications service providers (telcos) and multi service cable operators (MSOs) are already on their way to deploying the next-generation of converged services as a differentiator in the increasingly competitive consumer market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (communicationservices.frost.com), Move towards Full Convergence: Communication Services Bundling for U.S. Residential Market, reveals that revenues in this market totaled $48.07 billon in 2006, and expect to keep growing at double-digit rates over the next seven years.
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the latest analysis of Communication Services Bundling for U.S. Residential Markets, then send an email to Mireya Castilla, Corporate Communications, at mireya.castilla[.]frost.com with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, city, state, country and email address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.
“Service providers are fast realizing that they need to provide at least some level of integration between the discrete services that comprise a bundle in order to differentiate their bundled offering from competitors,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Piyush Arora. “Merely offering bundling discounts and single bill will not be sufficient to sell a multi-service package in the near future.”
Rival incumbents in the voice space (telcos) and video space (cable MSOs) are bulking up their bundled offerings by adding all core communication/entertainment services (fixed voice, mobile wireless, video, and Internet access). The competitive pressures are likely to intensify in the future, due to the possible entry of a host of unconventional participants. Many online companies, such as Google and eBay are already knocking at the door armed with open-standards Web-based voice, data, video, and other content applications. Converged services can offer unique differentiators for a service provider competing in such a challenging environment.
One of the foremost challenges for all competitors in the bundled services market is to ready their backend systems including their billing and operational systems (BSS/OSS) to support efficient and effective delivery of multiple services to the same customer. As telecom and cable service providers have been adding features and service lines, they have been upgrading their BSS/OSS systems in a piecemeal fashion. At the same time, current service subscribers have a low tolerance for service outages or billing errors as a result of porting to new systems.
“‘Triple-play/quad-play’ service bundling is evolving from simple aggregation of disparate services cobbled together and offered on a single bill to integrated services that are delivered over a shared network infrastructure,” explains Arora. “With the changed regulatory and technology environment, competitive pressures are at an all-time high and it is extremely vital for telcos, cable companies, and new entrants to minimize any in-house inefficiencies by tightening the billing and operations support systems.”
A robust BSS/OSS is a must for any effective bundled services business model. Service providers must have the back-end systems that are able to seamlessly provision and bill the disparate services that constitute the service bundle. This requires even more planning when not all of the services that are part of the bundle are provisioned in-house and some are sourced from an outside partner.
In addition, service providers’ internal systems and processes should not put constraints against cross-bundling programs. This would enable marketing to define service bundles that can be flexible and competitive. Thus, BSS/OSS can become an effective weapon that uses different billing schemas to enhance customer relationships.
Move Towards Full Convergence: Communication Services Bundling for U.S. Residential Market is part of the Consumer Communication Services Growth Partnership Service. It provides an overview of key trends in the consumer bundled services market, in addition to a detailed revenue and demand analysis of service bundling. Furthermore, the study identifies the key market drivers and challenges, and discusses current and emerging trends in this market. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: fixed/landline voice services, mobile wireless services, cable/satellite/IPTV television services, Internet access (broadband/dial-up) services. Interviews with the press are available.
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