Paradoxically, while these companies form the core of the infrastructure needed to power today’s digital economy, they are increasingly being disrupted by companies born in the very digital ecosystem they have enabled. In an age when connectivity is commoditized and consumer demand continues to grow beyond the minutes and bytes, telecommunication companies have been compelled to look at alternative sources of revenue.
CEOs and CIOs recognize that the new wave of 5G technology will come at a cost, with massive capital expenditure needed in spectrum and infrastructure. The recovery of the upfront investment will be a long-drawn journey for most players, price wars notwithstanding. Through a concerted carrier billing strategy, on the other hand, telecom companies can partake directly in the growing mobile commerce ecosystem rather than being mere enablers. Direct carrier billing offers a scalable and cost-effective solution to unlocking revenue growth at a time like this for these telecom companies. Simply put, carrier billing enables telecom providers to realize another revenue stream while offering more value to their customers. Customers enjoy the freedom of paying for digital services through their phone bills, while merchants like Netflix and Spotify are able to acquire captive audience at scale. The current share of carrier-driven or telecom-driven mobile commerce was a fraction of the pie at a paltry $3.2 billion globally. We believe that if telecom companies were to proactively embrace new ways of participating in the m-commerce growth story, they can unlock upwards of $100 billion by 2020.