Consumer privacy focus creates opening for operators

13 JUL 2018

The fallout from the Facebook data scandal has taken its toll on other digital service companies, opening opportunities for “alternative digital players including mobile operators”, a survey commissioned by software company Openet showed.

“Facebook has spoiled the party for a lot of OTTs. The upside of that is its opened up a bit of opportunity for operators,” Martin Morgan, VP of marketing for the company said.

The poll revealed more than half of consumers are now less likely to share personal data with digital services companies, with 66 per cent stating they would pay for services if it meant more control over their data. “The carrot of freemium may not be as attractive as it once was,” Morgan stated.

Opportunity
More than half (56 per cent) of consumers surveyed now see their operator as more trustworthy than a digital services company. Niall Norton, CEO of Openet, said: “People have trusted telcos for years with things like bank details and whatever salacious website they may want to look up, and telcos have traditionally not abused that position.”

While this conservative approach has put operators at something of a disadvantage compared to digital first companies, it now stands them in good stead as the digital landscape evolves.

“Will people really act on that and leave Facebook in droves? The answer is no. But what they will do is be more open to a different story and that’s one of the most important things we took from the data: the perception shift from the OTTs as a benign, mostly good god,” he told Mobile World Live.

“The OTT guys have created white space for operators by misfiring in how they are doing things. If you can make the OTT service safer, better, more trusted – which is where the operators can actually play – you’ll find those services with that kind of toolbox will be preferred. That’s where there’s great opportunity,” Norton continued.

Openet commissioned Sapio Research to survey more than 15,000 consumers in the UK, North America, Brazil and Philippines.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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