Mobile communication into a new entrance for Internet companies
A few years ago, the caller ID at the beginning of "170" was often seen as a scam. Today, there are more and more people using this segment, and the role of virtual operators is more familiar to users.
On July 23, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially issued a mobile communication resale business license to 15 companies that signed a contract with China Unicom, including 15 companies including Alibaba, Jingdong, Xiaomi and other technology Internet “stars”. Became the first batch of virtual operators "regular army." The Internet giant is constantly expanding its business layout, and this time it will reach out to the mobile communications market. Internet companies may prefer to "open source" their traffic portals rather than changing the market.
"Low price" enters the market, mobile communication costs drop and fall again
Among the 15 “virtual operators” who were “certified to work”, distributors of old-fashioned communication products such as Dixintong and Tianyin Communications occupied the majority quota, and the business license for the mobile communication business was also in line with the expansion of the main business of these enterprises. demand. In contrast, companies with technology and Internet backgrounds such as Ali, JD, and Xiaomi have also made their “incoming” more people pay attention to this traditional field.
Seizing the market share and attracting more users, adopting the "low price" strategy is the most simple and direct method, and it is also the main point of view for virtual operators in product tariffs. Shortly after the “licensing”, Xiaomi Mobile announced the tariffs for communication services. Mainly unlimited flow of "eat full" package, monthly fixed tariff of 9 yuan, 1 yuan per day to enjoy unlimited traffic throughout the country, calls and text messages and billing. This means that if used only as a flow card, the user's monthly communication fee is about 39 yuan.
Under the competition of unlimited flow packages, the three major operators are not to be outdone. The original monthly fee of hundreds of yuan is gradually reduced to the 60 yuan mark.
For the operator services in the past, where the package fee is too high and the network speed service is not good, the participation of the virtual operator has “accelerated” the overall tariff reduction of the mobile communication industry. However, it should be noted that, unlike the foreign unlimited traffic service, the traffic services of the virtual operators and the three major operators are not “unlimited”, but the measures of speed limit or even network disconnection after more than a certain amount are adopted, and the next month is restored. service.
Virtual operators "turn positive" to open up "new entrances" for product growth
At the Leshan Seminar on the 2018 Mobile Resale Industry held earlier, Yu Jing, deputy director of the Information and Communication Administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, said, “The first batch of enterprises have obtained formal licenses, marking the new development of mobile communication resale business. stage."
In fact, the virtual operator has been proposed and tried for five years. In June 2012, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the “Implementation Opinions on Encouraging and Guiding Private Capital to Further Enter the Telecommunications Industry”, proposing “encouraging private capital to carry out mobile communication resale business pilots, promoting service promotion and lowering tariff levels through competition, providing users with more Convenient, preferential and diversified mobile communication services, etc. In May of the following year, the qualified enterprises began to apply for the pilot qualification, and we often said that the virtual operators appeared. According to the data of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, since May 2013, private enterprises have begun to apply for pilot qualifications in batches. As of December 2014, a total of 41 companies participated in pilot operations in five batches, and finally 15 companies. Obtained the first batch of official licenses.
Today, whether it is the three major operators or virtual operators, the core of their service is often traffic. The demand for mobile traffic, including mobile games, long video short videos, and social apps, has gradually become the "main force" for users to purchase mobile communication products.
For Internet and technology companies such as Ali, Jingdong, Xiaomi, the business of mobile communication is actually providing import and support for its related business. According to industry insiders, mobile communication services perform better and increase the cost of adding new users and improving user stickiness compared to Internet channels. One of the most common ways is to attract users through the "unlimited flow of their own products." In this regard, Tencent and Unicom jointly launched the "Wangka class package", Ali Baoka and Snail Mobile launched "communication package to send game coupons" and other products, have played a role in their products and mobile communication services. .
In addition to the traffic portal, the IoT layout is also the focus of the various virtual operators. In the existing IoT business, Ali, Xiaomi and various communication companies have different levels of layout. Coupled with the acceleration of 5G communication technology, getting an operating license also means taking the lead.
Yu Pengwu, general manager of Ali Communications, said that obtaining a formal license is a new starting point. In the mobile communication resale business, Ali Communications will continue to integrate the communication business into Ali Eco with scene-based technology to provide users with integrated e-commerce, logistics and new services. Communication products such as retail that enrich Ali's ecological elements.
For the three major operators, the emergence of virtual operators means that their products have more exports. Previously, China Unicom had once launched a related package service through cooperation with Internet companies such as Ali, Tencent, Baidu and JD. This is also intended to attract more users. Especially the main consumer of young people. The “turning positive” of virtual operators is a win-win trend for both parties.
It is still too early to impact the pattern of the three major operators.
Many analysts believe that the introduction of virtual operators will "activate" the mobile communications market, which is divided by the three major operators, and promote the development of the entire industry in terms of tariffs and services. This is also the starting point for the relevant departments to open up corporate capital into the communications field. But perhaps, in the mobile communications business, virtual operators do not have the strength to grab the share of the three major operators.
The so-called resale business is essentially using the equipment and traffic of the three major operators, combined with its own processing and packaging, and sold to users, the virtual operator is more like a sales point of communication business. The mobile traffic, calls, text messages and other services used by users are still from mobile, China Unicom and telecommunications.
Although the number of users using virtual operators has been rising in the past two years, the total number has exceeded 50 million, but from the perspective of the overall communication market size, this figure is very small. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, as of the end of 2017, mobile resale users accounted for only 4% of the total number of mobile users nationwide. In addition to the long-term use of the existing mobile phone number by the user, the willingness to change the card and change the number is not strong.
From the price comparison, as the three major operators continue to adjust the tariffs and package content, the virtual operator's "price station" is also difficult to say that there is an advantage. In addition to harassing text messages, harassing calls, etc., the services of virtual operators still need to be improved. It is reported that in management, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will manage virtual operators through annual report disclosure and credit constraints.
The 15 companies that obtained the license are only the first batch. I believe that more companies will join the mobile communication market competition in the future, and users will have more service options.