10 Hashtags I will Watch in Barcelona, from Scotland.

I am not going to Mobile World Congress this year, I thought I would watch it on Twitter instead, from the comfort of my own sofa. This is what I will be tuned in to.

#billing – because it all comes back to billing. Why? As one VP of Billing at an enormous carrier said to me when I was under pressure to come up with a new name for billing, “you don’t need a new name, billing is huge. It covers everything from Order Management to Payments. Everything.”

#BSSOSS – because even #BSSOSS comes back to billing.

#pricing – because billing is where pricing strategy is implemented and therefore a reflection of how much Marketing works with #billing and #pricing and how much innovation and engagement (my word of the month) is actually happening.

#NFC – because MWC 2013 is NFC enabled and I am curious – OK, fascinated – by how well it works. I would also like to see a consensus, finally, that NFC is not just about #payments but about enhancing the digital infrastructure around us.

#OTT – because I am interested to see what new innovations are ‘going over the top’ and whether the operators’ fight back with services like Joyn are succeeding. After a presentation at the Big Data Summit, are others operators getting a cut from forensic analysis to better target OTT offerings and is Direct Operator Billing (DOB) going mainstream, as it should?

#bigdata – because we need to filter out the noise around Big Data and seriously address the ‘Accidental Architectures’ and myriad spaghetti networks that are everywhere. We need to work out how to create an end-to-end view of the customer in order to provide true engagement. You can think Disney-like engagement on a whiteboard in the Marketing Department, but it is tough to deliver if you have an infrastructure that looks as if Pluto went mad with his crayons.

#M2M and/or #IoT – because we need to start digging through the hype and highlight some of the threats, such as privacy and security, which the flood of new connections will bring. Right now, operators are doing what they do, looking at the top line when new business appears, not the bottom one.

#privacy – because privacy holds the keys to the kingdom. If operators cannot judge the balance between using #bigdata to offer true engagement, their customers will switch off those services and/or go to someone who understands the balance.

#mobileadvertising – because it is a huge potential revenue stream that could be terminally torpedoed by a lack of judgement about #privacy. Do operators truly understand this?

#policy and #realtime – because we should now all be thinking in #realtime, in fact we should be beginning to think ‘predictive.’ That, and because the #realtime and #policy control and charging relationship is a discussion that we must have, now.

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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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