Data Monetization is the process of exchanging and trading various kinds of data, emerging from customer’s behavior and habits of using a product or service. It has huge potential to mine data for tracking customer’s habits and behavior, research, social good and discovery, and achievement of business objectives. Telecom companies are becoming increasingly aware about huge amounts of under-utilized data and looking for ways to use it for increasing their business profits and customer experiences. According to Cisco’s VNI Forecast 2014 -2019, the global traffic in data is going to exceed the one zettabyte (1000 Exabyte) threshold by the end of 2016. This growth is due to new and faster networks, a decrease in the price of 3G/4G smartphones and increase in the demand for new data-intensive services like mobile video.

Yet, data monetization offers massive volumes of structure and unstructured data; falling storage costs; data-driven marketing advertisements and promotions that are customer centric. Moreover, business intelligence and processes are improved substantially by applying data analytics. However, there are some challenges in data monetization which is causing unparalleled growth in revenues for telecom operators who have invested their time and money in building the network pipes that are enabling data traffic today.

 Challenges with data monetization

Telecom companies are racing to figure out how their business can be driven forward to create new avenues while increasing their revenue and growth by overcoming major challenges involved in data monetization:

  • Conceptual understanding of one’s enterprise data and analyzing it to increase its value
  • Structuring the data to highlight important information about market trends and customers’ perceptions
  • Developing and implementing the right strategy to source relevant and reliable data
  • User-friendly tools and techniques to collect and analyze the data


Why is data monetization important?

Whether it’s a large or a small organization all have a reservoir of data. What they don’t is the wealth of this data i.e., its true potential value because technological challenges often stand in their way. Though, some organizations are leveraging their data for their own purposes, but chances are that the value of the data from an enterprise perspective may not yet be fully realized. The crux of importance of data monetization is that the big data could mean big business for all organizations. It serves the following purpose in an organization:

  1. Improvement in decision-making can result in action on services with speed and agility.
  2. Telecoms companies will be able to data to create new services by creating API’s that allow easy access, pressing on the need for developers to open up the data and create innovative new services and applications.
  3. With clever analysis the insights gleaned upon, have huge implications on everything from understanding traffic patterns to consumer buying habits. The decisions will be more impactful.
  4. As the data is dug up deeper and deeper, it gives more granular decisions- localized pricing, area-wise offering, individual plans and much more in high-value real-time service offering.
  5. Data monetization give way to product/ service bundling. The explosion in variations created by system limitations can be overcome. Services can be bundled-up together and a sub-allocation on cost basis, discount layering and pricing tiers is put in place.

Future with Data Monetization

A multi-tiered pricing regime will not only prevent data misuse and traffic congestion but also generate more revenues for the operator by providing uniform bandwidth after the cap. Similarly, by provisioning bandwidth on demand, like for example, a single flat fee, say $ 5 for increasing bandwidth for the next five hours for watching a movie, operators not only garner additional revenues but also improve customer experience significantly.

Other monetization opportunities include providing access to social media applications for a flat fee per month. Operators must realize that every customer is different and there is no one size fit all marketing strategy for customers. In order to maximize data monetization opportunities, they will have to cater to every individual with highly differentiated offerings catering to video, gaming, social media, VoIP, individuals, groups etc. For example, with Gartner forecasting mobile video to account for 60 per cent of the data traffic in 2018, operators could improve Quality of Experience (QoE) with video optimization for saving bandwidth and costs.


Many telecom companies have already started developing their partnership with third parties like software developers. By disclosing data to the software developers, they are enabling them to create new services for accessing and analyzing the data in a rationalized and relevant manner. The data showing how a customer is using company’s offered products and services; their analysis of habits and viewpoints can be a proven tool for a company to track events in real time and customize itself accordingly to the targeted customer segment. Thus, data monetization gives a company the ability to understand its business and customers while improving their decision making.



Mahindra Comviva is the global leader of mobility solutions catering to The Business of Tomorrows. The company is a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra and a part of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group. Its extensive...