Campaign India Team
May 12, 2009

Anant's blog: Of ZooZoos and the end of the slowdown

There’s a mountain of data that mobile services providers have. They know precisely how many subscribers they have, how many are pre-paid and how many are post-paid, they can be broken up into states and cities, by age and by sex.They know which customers have subscribed to which tariff plan, to which value added service. They know which customers use which value added service (as opposed to those who are simply subscribed to a service).

Anant's blog: Of ZooZoos and the end of the slowdown

There’s a mountain of data that mobile services providers have. They know precisely how many subscribers they have, how many are pre-paid and how many are post-paid, they can be broken up into states and cities, by age and by sex.

They know which customers have subscribed to which tariff plan, to which value added service. They know which customers use which value added service (as opposed to those who are simply subscribed to a service).

Thanks to the nature of the business and the attendant technology, they have a damn good idea of where each subscriber is – physically. The last call or the last service availed of will point to the nearest cell site to the subscriber at the moment of that transaction.

They can break up the revenue each day into all possible heads and can pinpoint the revenue by each service that the ZooZoos promote.

And they can do all this, literally, minute by minute. A good telco can draw up a precise balance sheet at the end of any defined period of time.

That is, as I said at the beginning of this post, a mountain of data – and all of it available next to real time.

That is, for a large telco, data of consumption of tens of millions of subscribers available and updateable each minute.

And I’m fascinated by data and what can be done with it, what can be learnt from it, what can be derived from it.

And what if I told you that the data that these telcos have can tell us when things are getting better in the economy – or when they are getting worse?

Because any telco knows at any given minute the revenue that is accruing from all possible heads, it knows exactly how much is accruing from roaming income. Roaming to and from each city. The duration of time spent in each city by roamers. The increase or fall in income from international roaming, broken by country and by city in each country. The income earned through international travelers roaming in India. Which country does each come from, from which city in each country? How long does the traveler spend in India and in which cities?

Right now, according to a friend of mine who works in a major telco, all roaming income is sharply down.

Which, to me, says that travel is down. Therefore the aviation and hospitality sectors take a hit.

When roaming income is up, it’ll tell us that travel and hospitality are up as well.

Which could herald the end of difficult times.

And ZooZoos will be back to selling wants and luxuries instead of utilities and needs.

Source:
Campaign India