There’s a new buffet coming to your smartphone soon. It’s called “all you can app” (AYCA).
The idea is that smartphone users will be able to choose from a menu of service plans that, for a fixed monthly subscription, include unlimited access to specific mobile applications – defined within each plan – and bundled together with connectivity charges.
In a recent article on its Technology, Media & Telecommunications website, Deloitte predicted that this year between 50 and 100 mobile operators will offer AYCA services, and that over the course of the year the portfolio of these services should grow.
Deloitte says that AYCA services will be aimed primarily at stimulating usage among customers that are late-comers to the mobile data world and are hesitant about accessing mobile data because they worry about incurring unexpected charges.
Deloitte estimates that by the end of 2013, about 400 million of the 1.9 billion smartphone subscribers may never or only rarely (less than once a week) use their device to connect to the Internet. In addition, a large proportion of the four billion mobile customers still using standard feature phones may upgrade to a smartphone.
These subscribers need mobile data pricing options that: are perceived as low risk; remove some of the barriers to app and data downloading; and are appropriate for later adopters.
We at SEVEN Networks believe the “all you can app” concept has merit, particularly as carriers market to users who fall later on the technology adoption curve. Operators will be able to penetrate into more of their total potential market by targeting subscriber needs more precisely. They will better tap into subscribers’ willingness to pay, allowing them to more fully monetize their investment in wireless network infrastructure.
We predict that as they seek to offer these “all you can app” services, carriers will be looking for simpler, more effective, policy-based means of creating and administering these plans. That is where Open Channel Policy Enforcement comes in. Most techniques for implementing mobile traffic management policies today are too complex and rely on in-network enforcement. That means that the data traffic from apps that are outside of a purchased service plan can be stopped only after it has already crossed the radio access network.
Open Channel Policy Enforcement gives carriers fine-grained policy-based control over data traffic, meaning that they have the power to allow access only to those apps on a specific user’s service plan. Because these policy controls are applied at the mobile client, radio network resources are conserved. Open Channel Policy Enforcement also significantly simplifies service plan creation.
If “all you can app” becomes a major trend as Deloitte predicts, this kind of control will really make a difference in carriers’ overall efficiency, and ultimately in their business results. We encourage carriers who seek to offer these types of service plans to consider Open Channel Policy Enforcement as a tool for helping them better serve the needs of their customers.