The Mobile App Revolution – Why Telcos must reinvent themselves or die

mobile app revolution

New Research by Vision Mobile, entitled “The Telco Innovation ToolBox”, suggests that telecoms must reinvent themselves in order to survive. Their research highlights the need for telcos to transform to the new app culture as new solutions kill off traditional offerings.

The report notes that operators must focus on apps, as most mobile users are shifting from phone models that provide basic services to platforms that give versatile functionalities. A typical telecom platform has only four apps, being voice, text, data and camera, as opposed to mobile computing, which hosts over 700,000 applications.

Telecoms companies are being disrupted because the basis of competition in mobile has fundamentally changed. It has changed from “reliability and scale of networks” to “choice and flexibility of services”, driven by the transition from “mobile telephony” to “mobile computing”. The change is fundamental and irreversible.

Applications such as WhatsApp and other mobile chat apps have threatened revenue from text messaging in various markets around the world, prompting the telecom companies to look beyond the basics and provide solutions for the future.

Most telcos know this, but what is needed to reinvent themelves? They must develop peripheral vision as a cultural attribute that enables them to see current and future market shifts. What is even more critical is a market focused adaptive culture in which people in the organization can make the mindset shift as well as the customer focused practices relevant to delivering value to the new markets.

We can think of today’s technology as “toothpaste technology” – every company has it or can get it. What many don’t have is the customer culture needed to reinvent the business. Those that don’t have it or don’t rapidly develop it will die.

Does your company have the market focused adaptive culture needed to survive fundamental market shifts?