BELTUG/INTUG paper International Mobile Services and the Multinational Customer - A Dysfunctional Market



Managing and supporting international mobile communications is increasingly challenging. The challenges include managing multiple relationships with mobile service providers,
managing the ever-expanding fleet of devices, managing secure data applications, checking hundreds of bills and allocating costs back to departments or end users.
Multinational companies as represented by INTUG are DISSATISFIED with CURRENT international mobile services.

Sourcing mobile communications at a regional or at a global level is very challenging. A comprehensive international mobile operator would be one who owns the network,
offers consistent service, is able to set homogenous tariffs makes no charge for roaming. No such operator exists today. There is lack of competition, which needs to be addressed
by regulation as if a cartel was operating. There are inconsistent tariff structures, prices are too high and action on wholesale tariffs alone is not sufficient to reduce retail tariffs.
Operators must take a global view of MNCs acknowledging their international scope and the global markets in which they operate. Some can provide international agreements but
these are often simply bundles of local offerings. Even in countries where operators have full control, they still fail to offer significant international service deals. MNCs need to work
internationally and expect mobile suppliers to have a global approach. This would offer a single contract, a single ordering point, a single delivery point, a single support contact
centre and a single billing centre for the maximum of countries worldwide.

The global market is a fragmented PATCHWORK of NATIONAL MOBILE SERVICES.

International service providers today piece together national offerings, using various forms of partnership, ranging from full subsidiaries and investment holdings to looser alliances.
The level of control in partnerships varies from wholly owned subsidiaries over partners in whom they hold a majority or a minority stake. The outcome of this situation is major
country-to-country variations in service, products and pricing.

Today’s international service offerings are, in effect, simply virtual arrangements to help customers deal with national operating companies and their service/support structures.
Whilst such arrangements do align some contractual terms and conditions, and help customers gain a better view on their global mobile spend, they do not represent the true
competing one-stop-shopping offerings, which international companies seek today.

There is no reason why international service providers have to simply continue to define their MNC offerings based on the ‘lowest common denominator’ of what they can get some co-marketing partner to agree to in a country where they have no presence.

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