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Telecom Industry vs. Car industry? Who owns the customer?

The telematics (mobile communication for the car and its users) case. Examples from Japan/Germany/Korea/Finland

06.07.2004

Sed Saad , Doctor of Sciences Candidate in Telecommunication at Waseda University, Visiting Researcher at Ewha W. University (Korea)

Abriss

 Mobile communication technology is fast becoming the Car industry's favorite new toy. The combination of Mobile Communication, Internet and Car is defined as Telematics.

Telematics combines three main areas: in-car navigation, communication and entertainment.  As a result, it is attracting major players from the telecom industry, and of course, vehicle manufacturers.

For carmakers, offering telematics capabilities is an added value in an extremely competitive industry. It’s a way to enhance brand image and stimulate customer loyalty.

Vehicle manufacturers and telecommunications industries are at loggerheads over who will provide what to whom and who will make the most money

Who own the customer?

It is imperative that carmakers retain ownership of the customer (vs. telecom operators) if they want to dominate the telematics industry and maximize profits.
Because carmakers control the distribution channel to the consumer, they should be able to own the customer.

The dynamics of competing for revenues, branding and customer ownership

Car makers:

  • Control the technology that a new car is equipped with.
  • View telematics as a way to generate recurring revenues and to build a stronger relationship with customer.
  • Have no experience in service development for mobile voice and data traffic.
  • Want to prevent ending up providing the hardware that operators exploit through delivering services

Mobile network operator

  • Control mobile voice and data traffic. Enable and facilitate services.
  • View telematics as a way to expand service offer and increase network usage.
  • Need Car makers because they can acquire new telematics users and can equip cars with mobile communication technology.
  • Want to prevent that mobile communication becomes a commodity, i.e. do not want to end up being a 'bit pipe'

Short CV:
Sed Saad, from Brussels (Belgium), is a Senior Consultant in Mobile Internet Strategy, since 1995, with extensive experience in West Europe, Brazil and Japan.
He has been studying economics and international studies undergraduate and graduate courses in Belgium (Brussels) and Germany (Cologne). He is currently a Doctor of Sciences Candidate in Telecommunication at Waseda University (Tokyo-Japan). His main research topics are Mobile Internet Business Models in Japan, Globalization and Value Chain Strategy. He has been hired by Waseda University, as COE Research Assistant (Japan), in its 21st century Center of Excellence, to work on Telematics (mobile internet for vehicle and its users). Additionally he is a Visiting Researcher in Ewha W. University (Korea), looking to the Korean Mobile Internet players globalizing strategy to China. He is planning as well to be a Visiting Researcher in Peking University of Telecommunications (China).

Koordination: Andreas Moerke; René Haak

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