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Customer Data 2.0: Telcos Must Vie for a slice of the $Multi-Billion ‘PIE’

Facebook, Google and others are pioneering the creation of the Personal Information Economy (PIE) based on consumer/user data. Our new analysis outlines emerging participants’ roles, and why, where and how telcos could and should play.


In this first of a series of briefing notes, Telco2.0 sets out to describe the potential roles for Telcos within the trust networks that we believe will underpin the future personal information economy. We’ll also be discussing this at two important sessions on this topic at our Los Angeles (Oct 27-28, 2010) and London (9-10 Nov, 2010) events.

Personal Information - digital data relating to an identified or identifiable person - is being generated, transmitted and stored on a vast and increasing scale, primarily for internal use by organisations looking to better serve individuals, but increasingly for external use to support third-party organisations to better interact with those same individuals.

Still only a nascent industry, the business of using personal information to create value for individuals and income from third parties, holds considerable promise. For example, Facebook, only 6 years old and generating an estimated $1bn in revenues, somehow commands a $33bn valuation, by doing just this.

Personal Information Economics (PIE) isn’t just a new area for Telcos. It’s new for everybody, including individuals themselves and the regulators / legislators tasked with safeguarding personal freedom and privacy. Many disciplines cover aspects of PIE and the associated areas of Privacy and Identity (Law, Information Systems, Information Science, Economics, Public Policy, Psychology, Social Psychology, Philosophy) but few are geared to supporting those wishing to pursue it as a commercial practice. Subsequently, there are few frameworks to help Telco strategists and innovation practitioners to understand, communicate and quantify the opportunity.

To read more of this new analysis, please see the article on our research site here.

For other, related Telco 2.0 analyses, please see ‘World Economic Forum: Strategic Opportunities in Customer Data’, the ‘User Data & Privacy’ and ‘Adjacent & Disruptive’ categories on our research site. Other articles include ‘Can telcos Unlock the Value of their Customer Data’, and ‘Google - where to compete, where to co-operate’ and ‘Facebook: moving into Telco Space?’.

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