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Money Makes the World Go Round

Why Telco's should be looking globally for inspiration

I just returned from a two-week business trip to China. I realize that some will shudder upon hearing the words ‘business trip' and whilst the trip was typically arduous, it proved to be an incredibly insightful experience...

After only a few hours working alongside my Chinese colleagues, the differences between what's expected by Telco customers in Europe and Asia begun to appear. And over the next few days the differences mounted. At first they were confusing, then amusing, but ultimately intriguing.

The notion of lucky numbers was the most striking. In China customers pay a premium to select number patterns which are deemed particularly auspicious, including ascending sequences and multiple occurrences of the number ‘8'. Selecting your ‘lucky number' is an integral component of the sign-up process.

Whilst variants of this feature exists internationally as ‘memorable number' selection, there were many features that begged why they weren't already common place in Europe. For example, a loyalty point scheme which not only provides reduced tariffs but also discounts with partnering retailers.

In fact, in terms of the overall customer experience, compared to Europe, what's offered in China is far superior. Enabled by innovative solutions providers such as AsiaInfo, customers can create wholly personalized tariffs, monitor usage in real-time, temporarily boost bandwidth to a particular app and even donate resource to friends or family.

Whilst the nuances of customer experiences around the world may be scoffed-at; deemed redundant for international audiences, as I personally discovered over the last fortnight, there is much to be learnt. Innovations not dreamt of in one boardroom might already be on the market on the other side of the globe. However, if innovations are to be successfully ‘borrowed' from other countries, BSS providers must be capable of tailoring their products to suit customers anywhere in the world.

AsiaInfo has recently announced a project with Telenor, its first with a top-tier European operator group. Telenor, in seeking to provide superior customer service, invested in AsiaInfo's Veris BSS Suite to bring its proven technology from Asia. This not only proves the versatility of AsiaInfo's products but also how MNOs are beginning to look further afield to remain competitive...

More Stories By Claire McMahon

Claire McMahon is the International Telecom Analyst at AsiaInfo-Linkage, the supplier of the world's most advanced software solutions and IT services to the telecommunications industry.