|Issue:||Latin America 2014|
|Topic:||Travel is thriving|
|Title:||SVP & GM, Americas Operations|
Rajneesh Kapur, SVP & GM, Americas Operations, Mobileum
Rajneesh Kapur is responsible for Mobileum’s sales and business operations in the Americas.
Prior to Mobileum, Rajneesh served as Vice President – Worldwide Sales for Bharti Telesoft, the software products company of the Bharti Group. He built the company’s sales operations in Africa, Asia Pacific and East Europe. Rajneesh began his career at C-DOT, India’s premier telecommunications R&D organization. He spent several years in the US with Aplion Inc., a VPN Edge devices products company in New Jersey and Riverrun Software Group, a telecom products company.
Rajneesh has over 20 years of experience in telecommunication solutions sales and marketing in the IT and Telecom industries across the world.
Rajneesh Kapur has a Masters’ in Business Administration from XLRI Jamshedpur, one of India’s top business schools and a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from PEC Chandigarh, India.
With a treasure trove of roamer information, CSPs become valuable customer insight partners to local and international brands. Moving away from semi-filled static KYC databases, CSPs need to embrace Analytics to generate insightful roamer profiles from a variety of sources such as CDRs, TAP files, billing data, social media updates to name a few.
With the international traveler count crossing the one Billion mark in 2013, travel remains a key vertical for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). However, out of every US$100 a traveler spends, a CSP only gets US$3.8, mainly through mobile roaming.
Why should the CSP share of the Travel Wallet increase?
• Growing number of international trips – The UN International Travel Agency forecasts that international trips will climb from about one billion in 2013 to 1.6 billion in 2020, a 5.8% annual growth rate. The total number of roaming trips globally will double from 339 million in 2012 to 600 million in 20171.
• Untapped traveler segment – one in two international travelers choose not to use CSP voice and data services abroad i.e. do not roam. They rely on Over the Top (OTT) vendors like Skype or WhatsApp over local Wi-Fi services while traveling or use a local SIM card or a travel sim card.
• Pivotal role in travel experience – a CSP is best placed to provide a holistic travel experience for a subscriber and can provide great value to other players in the travel ecosystem as well
In order to play a more important role in travel, a CSP has a unique advantage as compared to any other player in the travel ecosystem – Data. Analytics is an important tool that CSPs can use to leverage this data. Here are some ways in which a CSP can tap into the travel segment with analytics.
Predicting travel and converting silent roamers among travelers
While roamers constitute a segment of a CSP’s subscriber base, they are hard to detect and proactively target, unless they reach out to the CSP before travel to enquire about a roaming package. But that constitutes only a part of the 47% of international travelers. The 53%, what have come to be known as Silent Roamers largely go undetected by the CSP. If the CSP knows that a subscriber is likely to travel, she can proactively target her to take a CSP roaming package.
At Northeastern University in Boston, network physicists discovered just how predictable people are by studying the travel routines of 100,000 European mobile-phone users. After researchers analyzed more than 16 million records of call dates, times, and locations, they determined that, when compiled, people’s movements appeared to follow a mathematical pattern. The researchers stated that with enough information about past movements, they can forecast someone’s future whereabouts with 93.6 percent accuracy.3 Prediction algorithms work at different levels of precision across mobility patterns. However, by combining real time data with historical data, we can do a far better prediction. This is far more applicable to roamers in comparison with non-travelers.
The best detection algorithms today take 2-4 days to detect that a subscriber has traveled. CSPs can use Analytics to reduce this time by 95%. CSPs can use Analytics to identify potential travelers among their subscriber base. Analytics allows the generation of Next Best Action (NBA) for subscriber travel based on past activity patterns and (lack of) activity at current roaming location. This, along with the detection of a Silent Roamer from the segment of subscribers who have traveled is a key advantage that Big Data can provide to a roaming business. CSPs can also benefit from prediction of traveling subscribers who may be silent in the next CSP-defined time period.
This combination of travel prediction and silent roamer detection can proactively create revenue opportunities for CSPs.
Monetizing travel data
With a treasure trove of roamer information, CSPs become valuable customer insight partners to local and international brands. Moving away from semi-filled static KYC databases, CSPs need to embrace Analytics to generate insightful roamer profiles from a variety of sources such as CDRs, TAP files, billing data, social media updates to name a few. These profiles can be offered to brands both in the visited countries (for outbound roamers) and in the home country (for inbound roamers).
CSPs can take the past three months of location data across a set of roamers and can differentiate between globe trotters, people who travel occasionally and people who do not travel. At the next level, CSPs can start to infer frequent behaviors. By observing how many times a subscriber visits a coffee shop, the mall, or a golf course, for example, you can establish his hangouts through frequency rules (such as, “more than four visits per month, each for a duration of an hour or longer” constitutes a hangout). A marketer might seek a customer to opt in their location information and offer location and context-specific promotions.
CSPs can provide Big Data driven aggregated and individual roamer insights (based on opt-in) to brands belonging to industries as varied as travel, tourism, retail, food & beverage. In order to facilitate real-time exchange of roamer profiles, a real-time Roamer Exchange Network will be the norm in the future, feeding into mobile ad delivery networks. CSPs in home and visited countries will be able to dynamically exchange roamer profiles and will benefit from the revenues related to targeted ad delivery.
Consider an example to understand the flow of information and collaboration between home network, Ad Exchange, visited network, advertiser and roamer to deliver mobile advertisements. When a roamer latches on to a visited network and starts using data on his phone and exploring the visited region, the visited network can solicit insights about the roamer from her home network operator through the Roamer Exchange Network. Once the profile exchange is done, the visited network through the Ad exchange can deliver relevant ads to the roamer based on her profile, current location, current data browsing pattern etc. The proceeds from the advertising revenue can be shared by the visited network CSP with the home network CSP.
CSPs can open up new revenue streams from roamer data with Analytics.
CSPs can successfully tap into the travel segment with analytics
CSPs need to leverage their biggest asset – data, in order to benefit from the positive market drivers in the roaming business. Embracing Analytics is a vital element of CSP Business Strategy going forward.