Shavin Wijetunge, Assistant Manager at Mobitel Sri Lanka

Shavin Wijetunge, Assistant Manager at Mobitel Sri Lanka

Launching LTE requires a huge investment and successful monetization of the network is therefore key to ensure return of investment. To find out how operators across Asia are monetizing their LTE networks, I briefly spoke with LTE Asia speaker Shavin Wijetunge, Assistant Manager at Mobitel to find out how they are driving revenue from their LTE network.

“You’ll be discussing LTE Monetization at LTE Asia this year; what are the key ways Mobitel are driving revenues from their LTE network?”

“Other mobile operators in our market, except Dialog, have not yet launched LTE and Mobitel was the first operator in South Asia to demonstrate LTE in 2011. The high speeds associated with LTE are a real service differentiator. We have decided to keep our data plans the same which is a real draw for subscribers as no additional investment is required to upgrade.”

How are Mobitel using OTT partnerships?

“We have established partnerships with Twitter & Facebook – Promoting twitter and facebook via special offers which has led to increases in data penetration.

“Certain OTT players pay Mobitel for the usage of their OTT service instead of charging the customer.”

How does the LTE business model need to change to accommodate new services that are being developed?

“I believe we need to have a flexible architecture which enables partnering with software companies to provide an end to end solution to customers, such as Directory Services, Localized Auction Services, Tourist Guides, etc…

Also we need to consider the Support for M2M partnerships – For an example it is required to develop infrastructure to provide M2M based services to partners. We also need to change our Marketing strategies and focus more on B2B relationships.

“We should move away from charging customers directly to other charging models such as partnerships, sponsored traffic and service based charging instead of volume based charging

Finally company organization culture should move away from the traditional cages to embrace the ever changing technological landscape, which I believe is easier said than done. Most companies fail in this step. I believe that OTT became a threat mainly because of this.

What do you think will be the biggest opportunities for LTE growth and expansion in 2015?

– Lower costs of LTE devices
– Penetration of large screen devices as this makes the customer more data hungry
– Success of OTT applications such as You Tube, Facebook
– Customers are becoming more information hungry – They are memorizing less and do more googling

Why do you think the LTE Asia event is so important and what are you hoping to learn from the show in 2015?

“I’m looking to find out how middle income countries leverage LTE for their advantage. Discovering the latest device trends? And analysing the penetration of new LTE features such as proximity services”

Shavin is one of the featured speakers at this year's LTE Asia Congress, in Singapore on October 5th-7th.

Shavin is one of the featured speakers at this year’s LTE Asia Congress, in Singapore on October 5th-7th.

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