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- Prepaid customers represent important market for next-generation mobile
services


- Residential prepaid users to generate EUR16 billion in GPRS and UMTS
non-voice revenue by 2007 if operators enable such prepaid services by early
2003


- Operators held back by existing prepaid systems in enabling flexible
pricing and international roaming without risking revenue leakage


- Converged prepaid and postpaid systems one of many solutions available
to operators to meet new system requirements



CAMBRIDGE, UK, July 2, 2002 - The 170 million mobile phone customers
currently on prepaid packages across Western Europe are key to generating
increased revenue from data services, according to a new report released
today by Analysys, the global adviser on telecoms and new media
( http://www.analysys.com).




"Prepaid customers already account for 63% of active mobile users in Western
Europe and, despite operator efforts to convert them to contract
subscriptions, will remain a substantial segment of the mobile market for at
least the next five years," says lead author Emily Turnbull.




Figure 1: Proportion of active mobile customers on prepaid tariffs in
Western Europe and selected countries, 2001 - available to media
on request.



The report, Enabling Prepaid Mobile Content and Data Services: strategies
for operators and vendors, argues that prepaid customers are potentially
valuable users of next-generation mobile data services. However, despite the
dominance of prepaid users in terms of customer numbers, most operators have
only made new GPRS services, such as multimedia messaging and entertainment
services, available to their contract customers.




"Mobile operators have until now delayed launching the same content and data
services to their prepaid customers, due to a mixture of commercial
priorities and technical difficulties," says Turnbull. "It is now critical
that operators turn their attention to providing common services to all
their customers, if they are to succeed in tapping the full revenue
potential of new technologies such as GPRS and UMTS."




If operators make next-generation services available to prepaid customers by
early 2003, Analysys estimates that residential prepaid users could generate
EUR16 billion in GPRS and UMTS non-voice service revenue by 2007.




According to Analysys, operators need to evaluate the capabilities of their
existing prepaid charging systems, many of which are unequipped to deal with
the range of new requirements that mobile data and content services bring.




These new requirements include the ability to charge according to different
pricing models without risking revenue leakage, as well as enabling
international GPRS roaming. Operators should also gain a better
understanding of the usage patterns of their prepaid customers if they are
to succeed in improving customer care for this important segment.




Operators can choose from different types of solution to meet these new
requirements, including an upgrade to their existing prepaid platform or an
adjunct system. Many vendors are marketing converged prepaid and postpaid
billing and customer care systems that integrate the distinct systems that
currently support prepaid and postpaid customers separately. Such systems
enable operators to manage their entire customer base in a unified manner,
and potentially provide long-term operational savings.




However, the report stresses that there is no single preferred solution to
meet operator requirements. As Turnbull points out: "The most appropriate
solution for a particular operator will depend on the status of its legacy
systems, its immediate capital expenditure plans and its ongoing business
priorities."




For more information, telephone Analysys on +44 (0)1223 460600 or email
research@analysys.com .


About Analysys ( http://www.analysys.com)




Analysys, the global adviser in telecoms, IT and new media, works at the
forefront of the communications revolution, delivering advice and insight to
established and new entrant players. From offices in Cambridge, London,
Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Paris, San Francisco and Washington DC, Analysys
staff provide strategy and systems consultancy, conferences, information
services and start-up support to the companies that are creating the
networked economy. Analysys Research reports and database services provide
authoritative coverage of this convergent industry, based on an unrivalled
ability to fuse real-world experience, rigorous research and forward-looking
analysis.



Media contacts (for author photography, executive summaries and interviews):




Natalie Dargan
Analysys Research
Tel: +44 (0)1223 460600
Email: natalie.dargan@analysys.com


Martin Brooke
Martin Brooke Associates
Tel: +44 (0)1223 264050
Email: martin.brooke@dial.pipex.com

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