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Maximizing mobile operators’ distribution networks

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Thursday, March 04, 2010

In a recent post, I talked about how, In the physical world, there are many examples of distribution networks for consumer products and large retail stores such as Walmart and Tesco to global enterprises such as Coke.

But in today’s mobile networks, distribution networks have very little visibility, control mechanisms, and are not looked to, to drive incremental revenue.

Today, distribution networks are largely unmanaged sub-economies without the proper money-cycle control mechanism established to ensure the proper delivery of financial products through the ecosystem.

But mobile distribution networks can provide the means for mobile subscribers to recharge their mobile accounts, and more importantly act as a key vehicle in the revenue generation for the mobile operator.

The distribution network of merchants today can provide more, and are being augmented and shaped to create something new, especially in unbanked and under-banked areas of the world. Mobile operators need to ensure that their distribution networks are established and designed with the capability to seamlessly provide a multitude of other transactional services.

A single-switch mobile transactional architecture can provide this capability, along with the ability to create and control a wide range of network typologies. By adopting such an approach mobile operators can provide mobile-money services with ease and empower the distribution network to stimulate incremental revenue, while positioning their communications networks and distribution networks for the next wave of mobile financial services.

This technology can enable a full suite of electronic, transaction-based applications for mobile subscribers to recharge their mobile airtime without the use of physical cards or vouchers, facilitate P2P money transfers, allow for electronic bill payments, and more, using multiple channel interfaces.

In my next post I’ll explore how we can use this type of technology to grow from here. But in the meantime, share your ideas below.