Andrew Kvalseth, head of strategy at Telenor Digital Services, speaks exclusively to European Communications about how telcos can succeed in the content space.
TDS has around 30 content partnerships in place currently, according to Kvalseth.
 
“We are open to partnering – telcos shouldn’t control every piece of the value chain. It’s all about how we can add value so that customers get a better experience to the one they could get if they just went with either us or a content provider,” he explains. 
 
To this end, TDS has a number of criteria against which it chooses partners.
 
Kvalseth picks out two: those who deliver services that their existing customers will value and those who act in a fully collaborative way.
 
One such partnership is with Google, with whom TDS is working to launch direct operator billing with GooglePlay – the internet giant’s cloud-based digital entertainment platform – in different markets.
 
Last October, the operator revealed the first stage of a global agreement signed in 2011 that sees Telenor customers in Sweden who have an Android device being able to pay for apps and games purchased on GooglePlay via their mobile bill.
 
Kvalseth says the two companies have a “good dialogue” and are actively looking to find more opportunities to work together.
 
This should give heart to other operators, but Kvalseth believes there are two very important things that need to happen for telcos to make be successful.
 
First, operators need to be very clear about how they should view content.
 
“Historically telcos just wanted to pass content on to the end user but that doesn’t work. You need to add value to content and to the product experience.
 
“At TDS we exist to create a best-in-class service for our customers that improves their digital experience.”
 
Here, he cites the work they are doing on Comoyo, Telenor's TV and video service that is being rolled out across the Nordics.
 
“One of the problems with the online TV and movie business is that customers don’t know what movies certain services have – searching is difficult – so we are trying to combine the best of Netflix, iTunes and other services.” 
 
Second, operators need to create the right culture in which content can thrive internally and give out the right message to potential partners, staff members and end users.
 
“Content providers view telcos as being challenging to deal with – concerns regarding the way telcos have traditionally treated content is warranted,” says Kvalseth. 
 
“Operators need to be much more diligent about which type of services they go into to give customers what they want and ensure a return on investment – the scattergun approach doesn’t work.”
 
This is an extract from a longer interview that will appear in the Q1 2013 issue of European Communications magazine. Click here to ensure you receive your copy.
 

More Features

Opinion: Could second brands become operators’ training ground? Opinion: Could second brands become operators’ training ground? By Jonathan Plant, Senior Marketing Manager, Openet More detail
Opinion: Cloudification is coming, but processes and culture must change Opinion: Cloudification is coming, but processes and culture must change By Santiago Madruga, VP of Communications Service Providers market, Red Hat EMEA More detail
Vodafone’s IoT head hits out at "annoying" criticisms of operator role Vodafone’s IoT head hits out at The claim that connectivity is a commodity has existed in the mobile industry for some time and has recently extended itself to the Internet of Things. More detail
Telcos bet on eSports to get down with the kids Telcos bet on eSports to get down with the kids In some circles, attempting to shrug off the image of being a bunch of crusty old network engineers by buying an eSports team would be regarded as the very definition of having a midlife crisis. More detail
Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Europe rails against “really dangerous” regulatory mindset Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Europe rails against “really dangerous” regulatory mindset Complaining about the regulatory landscape has been de rigueur in European telecoms for many a long year. More detail
    

 

European Communications is now
Mobile Europe and European Communications

  

From June 2018, European Communications magazine 
has merged with its sister title Mobile Europe, into 
Mobile Europe and European Communications.

No more new content is being published on this site - 

for the latest news and features, please go to:
www.mobileeurope.co.uk 

 

@eurocomms

Other Categories in Features