Network mix and match

Embedding a mix and match network model enables resellers and distributors to not only meet the requirements, challenges and opportunities of a changing marketplace but define its future too, according to Cellhire MD Matt Bennett.

Realigning portfolio strategies to sharpen competitive positioning and open doorways to new opportunities is a growing priority for channel businesses, and a key consideration in this, believes Bennett, is the revenue potential offered through what he calls ‘network mix and match’. “In the ever evolving landscape of telecoms, mobile solution resellers play a pivotal role in delivering network services to a wide range of customers,” he stated. “For wholesalers, offering a single network can seem like an obvious choice as it presents greater simplicity compared to managing the tariffs and offers of multiple networks. However, what many resellers in the channel soon experience is a number of challenges, including limited differentiation of their service leading to the inevitable threat of customer churn.”

Bennett noted that today, mobile customers’ desire for a personalised and reliable solution can be more important than paying the cheapest rate, as inconsistent mobile connectivity can lead to customer frustration and dissatisfaction. “The result is inevitable harm to the business through lost revenue,” he added. “But a mix and match approach provides options across multiple MNOs enabling mobile resellers to build solutions that meet customer requirements.”

The challenges mobile wholesalers face when offering single network solutions are many and varied, highlighted Bennett. “With a limited network portfolio, single network resellers are constrained by the range of solutions at their disposal,” he reiterated. “Resellers are limited in their ability to cater to diverse customer needs, preferences and budgets. In return, their customers choose to look elsewhere for their preferred pricing and coverage. Therefore, single network solutions lead to a competitive disadvantage.”

Choice matters
According to Bennett, multi-network distributors hold a distinct advantage by offering a variety of choices. “Customers appreciate the flexibility to be able to utilise several networks and to customise their plans,” he added. “Single network resellers must convince customers that their solitary offering is the ideal fit, which can be a difficult conversation. But the most prominent challenge is the difficulty in scaling business opportunity with a single network offering. Expanding a business can be a frustrating endeavour for single network resellers. Should they wish to add new services, they may need to engage with additional network providers, a process which uses a mass of time and resource. Scaling up becomes an uphill battle. For those suppliers who choose to the one network approach, the challenges are undeniable, which is why a multiple network approach is reshaping the industry.”

By embracing mix and match solutions, distributors and resellers alike are not only adapting to the changing needs of the industry but actively shaping its future

Bennett explained that multiple network solutions involve the provision of various mobile network options to the customer base, where each SIM card is intelligently assigned to the MNO that offers the most robust local coverage for the user’s designated location.

“This strategy not only addresses the limitations faced by traditional single-choice resellers but also encourages them to meet the increased demands of today’s customers with reliable connectivity and a better service,” he added. “Multiple networks enable resellers to tailor their offerings to individual customer needs, resulting in a streamlining of operations with much less need for customers to seek coverage from multiple sources, leaving the reseller with additional opportunities.”

Many industries and sectors include potential customers for multiple network solutions, pointed out Bennett. He broadly categorises them into two main groups – field workforces and businesses with multiple locations. In terms of tailored connectivity for field-based workers, the relevant industries include healthcare, delivery companies, real estate, film and TV, trade shows and expositions, catering services, construction and cleaning companies. “In many industries, field-based workers are a crucial part of the workforce,” added Bennett. “They work away from the traditional office settings and face individual connectivity challenges. Finding a single network that can effectively cater to the different needs of field-based teams, which may be spread across various locations and regions, is a difficult task.

“But offering multiple networks allows businesses to customise their connectivity solutions based on the specific requirements of each field team or location, ensuring the teams stay connected and productive in their often dynamic work environments. Businesses can now ensure their field-based workforce has access to connectivity solutions that empower them to work effectively in changing situations and a wide range of locations. This approach enhances productivity, communication and overall job performance for field-based teams.”

Turning to opportunities associated with diverse workforce locations, the key industries include banking, hospitality, construction, service providers, healthcare, manufacturing and retail. In these verticals, many organisations employ a workforce with varying location-based roles, including office-based and travelling teams that often require different connectivity solutions. “Travelling teams need consistent coverage across their operating locations, while office-based teams require optimal coverage at their premises,” stated Bennett. “Furthermore, field sales teams may be divided into regions, each with its own unique connectivity needs.

“The answer to these challenges is a multiple network solution that caters to the needs of businesses with dispersed workforces. This approach allows organisations to customise their connectivity solutions based on the specific requirements of each team or location, ensuring that every situation is adequately addressed. The outcome is that businesses in various industries can now ensure that their diverse workforce with different location-based roles has access to the connectivity solutions best suited to their specific needs. The result is an enhanced user experience, employee efficiency and overall service satisfaction.”

Bennett claims that the industry is undergoing a transformative shift, led by the adaptive concept of mix and match. “By embracing mix and match solutions, distributors and resellers alike are not only adapting to the changing needs of the industry but actively shaping its future,” he added. “The approach is not merely a response to challenges, it’s a gateway to new possibilities, offering resellers and their customers the flexibility, connectivity and choice needed to thrive in the digital era.”

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