In today’s fast-paced world, access to basic utilities such as gas, water and electricity has become fundamental to modern life. In addition, the increasing reliance on technology and the internet have made mobile connectivity an equally important utility. By leveraging the capacity of incumbent mobile network operators, utilities can create a unique value proposition that combines traditional utility services with state-of-the-art mobile services. Upgrading mobile services by adopting of MVNO into their existing portfolio can increase their “share of wallet”, cross-sell or upsell mobile services to existing customers and offer reward points for timely bill payments. This could also make an Energy, Gas and Water utility company – a one-stop-shop provider of all major utilities.
Communications Challenges faced by Utility companies
The communication needs of the utility sector are unique because the services they provide are essential to people’s daily lives and the functioning of the economy. Effective communication is critical to ensure reliable and safe service delivery and to inform customers of outages, service interruptions and maintenance.
Traditional communication methods used by utility companies have several limitations and drawbacks, including:
Limited coverage: Landline phones and trunked radio networks can have limited coverage, particularly in rural or remote areas. This can make it challenging for utility companies to communicate with their employees and customers in these areas.
Lack of data capabilities: Traditional communication methods do not provide data capabilities, which can limit the ability of utility companies to access and share real-time information. This can make it challenging for companies to make informed decisions quickly.
Inflexibility: Traditional communication methods are often inflexible and can be slow to adapt to changing circumstances. For example, setting up new landline connections or radio channels can be time-consuming and may not be feasible in emergency situations.
The utility sector faces challenges related to aging infrastructure, increasing demand for renewable energy sources and the need to integrate new technologies into operations. As a result, communication needs in the utility sector are increasingly focused on digital transformation, including the adoption of new communication technologies such as IoT, cloud-based systems and real-time monitoring and analytics tools. Hence there is value as well as cost saving in having in-house branded mobile services
Another important aspect of communication is customer engagement. Energy, Gas, Water or Electricity companies need to communicate effectively with their customers to build trust, promote transparency, and promote energy savings. With the emergence of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), utility sector companies can offer mobile services without having to invest in expensive network infrastructure. They can use this medium to promote bundles and combos, safety, saving, and much more and serve complete utility requirements and convergence requirements of customers.
Advantages utilities can consider when entering the MVNO market:
Offering bundled packages for all major services:
Customers are often burdened with managing multiple bills and payments for different essential services. With bundled packages for all essential services, utilities can simplify the billing process for customers and provide them with a convenient and hassle-free experience. In addition, by providing a one-stop shop for all essential services including mobile services, utilities can increase customer retention and loyalty.
Tailored plans for specific segments:
Utility providers can use their expertise in the industry to create customized mobile plans for specific segments. For example, plans for seniors, plans for large families, or plans for small businesses, judging the best from their own member data. By creating customized plans, utilities can differentiate themselves from the competition and create a unique selling point profitable to both, the company and the end user.
Green energy plans:
As the world moves towards sustainable energy, utility providers can set themselves apart from the competition by offering green energy plans. By offering green energy tariffs, utilities can capitalize on the growing demand for green solutions and create a unique selling proposition.
Utility Companies: Impact Areas of MVNOs
- By adding mobile services to their portfolio, utilities can expand their brand reach and extend their brand to new markets. This allows them to tap into a new revenue stream and increase their brand awareness.
- Adding mobile services to their portfolio can provide an additional revenue stream for utilities. This can help them offset the costs of their main utility services and increase their profitability.
- By offering a one-stop shop for all key services, utilities can increase customer retention and loyalty. This is because customers are less likely to switch to a competitor if they receive multiple services from a single provider.
- MVNOs provide utilities with valuable insights into their customers. This includes information about customers’ behavior, preferences and usage patterns. This information can be used to optimize marketing campaigns, develop targeted promotions and improve the customer experience.
- As utilities increasingly adopt IoT and smart metering technologies, they can use their mobile network to provide real-time data, alerts and control features to their customers. This can give customers more visibility and control over their energy use and improve the efficiency of their homes, leading to cost savings and environmental benefits.
Choosing a strong BSS Stack for Managing Utility and MVNO Services:
Plintron is a leading player in the global MVNO market with a presence in 31+ countries worldwide and over 165 M+ mobile subscribers. Plintron’s BSS stack is highly customizable and can be integrated with existing IT and mobile systems, making it easy for utilities to launch their MVNO services quickly and efficiently.
In addition, the Plintron BSS stack includes real-time monitoring of network performance, dynamic service provisioning and flexible billing and payment options.
Among many other features, the stack also includes advanced analytics that provides valuable insights into customer behavior and usage patterns. This can help utilities optimize their marketing campaigns and create targeted promotions that resonate with their customers.
With Plintron, utility service providers can leverage their existing infrastructure to create a new revenue stream and expand their brand reach. They can also improve customer retention and loyalty by offering a one-stop shop for all essential services.
In summary, there has been a significant shift in the utility industry in offering their own branded mobile services by become Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and becoming a single stop provider of utility services. This trend has opened up a new opportunity for companies in this industry to streamline their operations and reduce costs.
By becoming an MVNO, businesses can run telecommunications services without having to invest in the infrastructure required to provide these services themselves. This leads to significant cost savings, improved efficiency and increased competitiveness.
If you are a business operating in the utility sector, you should consider the benefits of becoming an MVNO. Not only can you reduce your costs this way, but be able to offer a range of services to serve your customers better and compete more effectively in the marketplace.
We can see the example of the Italian company- ENEGAN’s success in adding MVNO services to its portfolio as a testament to the potential benefits of entering the MVNO market.
By choosing Plintron’s BSS stack and MVNO service, other utilities too can effectively and efficiently manage and launch their MVNO to capture additional revenue streams.