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March 4, 2015

CSPs must win consumer ‘trust’ on intelligent devices

New Accenture research shows CSPs well-placed to gain from burgeoning market.

By Alexander Sword

Communication service providers are well placed to take advantage of the growth in consumer demand for intelligent devices, according to research by Accenture.

Respondents to Accenture‘s annual global survey, ‘Engaging the Digital Customer in the New Connected World’, named telecom operators in the top three of providers from which they would wish to buy intelligent devices in the future.

When purchasing smart thermostats, telecom operators were the second preferred provider, with 40 percent of respondents naming them, behind device-makers at 52 percent and ahead of handset or PC manufacturers at 39 percent.

Meanwhile, for home surveillance systems, telecoms providers came third with 38 percent of respondents, behind device-makers at 55 percent and handset or PC manufacturers at 39 percent. For in-vehicle entertainment systems, telecoms providers were also third.

79 percent of respondents also indicated they would like a single provider to manage all of their communications and entertainment products and services.

However, there were barriers to adoption, with 83 percent of consumers who currently use intelligent devices finding it difficult to set them up.

Other findings of the survey included the fact that 33 percent of respondents named CSPs as their first choice alongside banks to handle and protect their data.

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In addition, 60 percent preferred CSPs for wireline voice services and 54 percent for wireline data, while 53 percent preferred CSPs for wireless voice and 50 percent for wireless data.

CSPs’ increasing role as broadcasters was also illustrated, narrowly following TV broadcasters as preferred pay-TV providers with 35 percent to their 37 percent.

"It’s clear that consumers are considering CSPs as their facilitators for the digital goals they want to achieve," said Tom Loozen, managing director and global Communications Industry lead, Accenture. "A few years ago, it was thought that CSPs could succeed by expanding more aggressively to provide a broader range of digital offerings.

"Now, the complexity of the digital ecosystem is creating opportunities for CSPs to claim a holistic role as customer-centric digital facilitators, backed by their inherent strengths in local distribution channels and building and running high-performance networks."

"Steering one’s way through the digital ecosystem can be a daunting task for consumers," Loozen added. "CSPs who establish themselves as ‘trusted providers,’ enabling customers’ products to function effectively within this ecosystem are not only providing a valuable service, but helping drive digital for mass adoption."

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