I remember our professor of marketing telling us the story of who was actually selling the highest number of cameras in the world. It was none of the camera manufacturing giants like Nikon, Canon or Sony but the leading mobile phone manufacturers like Nokia (the then market leader) and Samsung. The concept of alternate products has been familiar for many decades but I never thought that I could relate to something that was so familiar to me.
One of my colleagues recently got a swanky new Apple Mac PC for himself. That intrigued me as he was complaining about lack of mobility with his earlier computers and I was expecting him to show up with a new Mac Air Laptop, not a “Computer”. In my view desktop PCs are dinosaurs, they are on their way out. Millions of people around the world would agree with me along with the latest market stats. According to Gartner, 6.9 % less computers were shipped in 2013 compared to 2012.
I mean one cannot take it to make a meeting, pair to a projector and make a presentation or one cannot carry it while flying or you cannot work on it while on a holiday. When I expressed the same to him, he then took out an Apple iPad and told me that the vendor bundled it part of the deal for fraction of extra cost. Well, that answered all my fore mentioned questions. But how about your data? You are not planning to carry your entire data on a hard disk and retrieve it as and when required, Are you? He said “Google Drive” with a 3G Connection.
It then dawned upon me the evolved reality to which I was a witness to all these years. Needs of computer users have evolved over the period of the 5 years and so has the understanding of their own needs. Users today need a powerful computer on their desk, mobile computer in their hands when they are on the move and a handy mobile for the rest. A real pressing need for a laptop is quickly vanishing. Having said so, availability of data everywhere is an equally important aspect. Data and connectivity is the one common point that connects all of them together. With the evolution of last mile technologies and improved speeds, increasingly more businesses and people are depending on cloud storage which enables them with data anywhere. This has opened doors to a new era of convenience driven by communication technology.
Why is this important for Broadband Operators?
Connectivity everywhere is the mantra today. Gone are the days when people had a one connection per house. So much so that people are talking less about internet penetration and more about connections per capita in many markets around the world. Although this poses new challenges to broadband operators, it also gives them an opportunity to increase their ARPUs by adding real value of convenience to their customers. However, this is not the case for many operators because many people are still not appreciating convergence at a granular level. Operators who can accept this fact can envision and materialize many opportunities that were not present before. The future belongs to these people because they are visionaries.