My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How FLOW Jamaica and Digicel Networks can make Advertising revenue from VoiceMail and Free Calling

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How FLOW Jamaica and Digicel Networks can make Advertising revenue from VoiceMail and Free Calling

What’s one man’s poison, signoir,
Is another’s meat or drink

Beaumont and Fletcher, Love’s Cure, III, 2

Looks like the customers are restive again.

This time it’s due to a side effect of the lowering of the Mobile Cross Network, International and  On-Net Local Calling rates implemented since Sunday July 15th 2012AD date as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME's new TALK EZ Plan drops Cross Network Calling to JA$2.99 - Digicel's Game of Thrones vs LIME Return of the King” and my Geezam blog article entitled “LIME drops Cross Network Calling Rate to JA$6.99 to kick off a 3 year Battle for Mobile Market Dominance”: Increased Voice Traffic.

Telecom Provider LIME had reported that for the Second Quarter of 2012, they’d seen a 71% increase in Voice Traffic on their GSM Network. Which for them was translating into increased revenue as per my blog article entitled “LIME reports Voice Traffic up 71% in Second Quarter of 2012AD - ACS-Xerox loses contract to TELUS International as LIME becomes Mavado Money Changer”.

Apparently their hard promotional work as well as rate reductions were paying off… especially with such compelling services as the Gimme 5 Clone, LIME XL as noted in my blog article entitled LIME launches XL Value Campaign and slashes 3G Mobile Prepaid Data come May 1 - Shadows of the Old Republic as LIME does Baby Cham's Wine”.

But it seems that this increase in revenue is coming at a price; degradation in Voice Services due to the Telecom Providers not increasing the T1 Digital Carrier Capacity within the MSC (Mobile Switching Centers) and the number of Cell Sites in their Networks to handle the incoming Crush of Calls that was sure as rain to come. After all, the true purpose of Prepaid Credit is really to control Network Traffic in much the same way a Policeman Controls Traffic; the Revenue earned is a mere side-effect driven mainly by Promotions and Marketing.

Customers are now complaining to the CACU (Consumer Advisory Committee on Utilities), an arm of the CAC (Consumer Affairs Commission), of calls on BOTH Telecom Providers winding up in Voicemail yet still being charged for using said Voicemail as stated in the article “Mobile users complain about Voicemail charges”, published Friday September 14, 2012 10:41 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

For those who hardly use Voicemail, you are not alone. Voicemail is that little used Graveyard for Voice Calls on Telecom Networks, be it Fixed Line Landline or Mobile that, like SMS (Short Messaging Services) in Jamaica, is also in need of a facelift.

Ironically, creative means of making revenue from Voice Mail and Text messages already exists – Advertising. Customer of both Telecom Providers LIME and Digicel could be made to earn money if they decide to choose to allow advertisers to use their Voicemail and Text Message Accounts to advertise products.

Each time a Call made to the recipient’s number ends up being routed to Voicemail or whenever you send a text, the customer could be made to listen to an advertisement in their Voicemail box before being routed to Voicemail. The customer  could then be rewarded with JA$100 as a treat once they’ve been routed to Voicemail a preset threshold number of times for the day, say, about 10 times, just for listening to 10 ads from advertisers.

This type of advertising is effectively Behavioral Targeted Marketing, as persons reaching Voicemail are a captive audience in the few seconds before they’re routed to Voicemail or given an earful of Digicel InTunes as noted in my Geezam blog article entitledHow to set up and manage your Digicel InTunes Account”. This type of advertising is of the same ilk as my earlier ideas suggested to Telecom Provider Digicel called Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network as described in the series of Blog Articles on the topic:

This would encourage more persons to begin using more of the Mobile Phone Services such as that have falling into disuse:

1.      Voicemail
2.      SMS
3.      SMS Chat
4.      Voice Calling

This is natural for these service to be ignored by customers. Data Services become more popular and is the Telecom Provider’s new Money spinner as confirmed by the latest Statistics from the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) for the Second Quarter of 2011 when compared to the Second Quarter of 2010AD as stated in the article “Internet income up 138% as ... Telecoms revenue hits $14b mark”, published Wednesday September 19, 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Avaya Networks, a popular supplier of VoIP Gear for Telecom Providers and Call Centers, seems to think so. This expressed confidence is clear in their launch of yet another VoIP Video Calling app with Enterprise Support in the form of Avaya Scopia as stated in the article “Avaya's Scopia will save on trips”, published Friday, September 21, 2012 BY NEKIESHA REID Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

So while GSM Voice experiences a renaissance to the point of clogging the Telecom Provider Networks with excess traffic and routing Calls to Voicemail, it also present a Hit and Run (2012) opportunity for them to monetize this boost in Traffic as a means of realizing higher revenues from unused GSM Voice Services i.e. Voicemail and SMS!

This as we prepare for the eventual future when ALL Traffic on a Telecom Providers Network will be Data on a 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) Network as prophesied in my blog article entitled “Phillip Paulwell allocates 700Mhz and Fiber Optic License for LTE - Broadcasters effectively on notice for Digital Switch Over”.

Meanwhile GSM Voice, GPRS and EDGE Services will be free or used for M2M (Machine-to-Machine) Services as noted in my blog article entitled “Telecom Provider LIME and M2M Services - Free SMS and EDGE for the Caribbean to Foster Regional Integration”.

VoiP and Messaging Services powered by Avaya Networks will take up the slack where GSM Voice left off as prognosticated in my blog article entitledDigicel and Avaya Communications launch Avaya Aura for SME's - LIME and Digicel in a Step Up Revolution towards GSM Voice Extinction”.


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