There’s an interesting dilemma facing CSPs (Communication Service Providers) today.

If you’re selling a client’s data, then that typically doesn’t engender trust with that client. If you have access to client data, but treat it with the utmost regard for privacy and security, not seeking to monetise it, that does engender trust.

Why then, are some Internet companies assigned greater levels of trust than CSPs, even though their business models are based on selling client data? Recent examples have brought to light examples of how client data has been misappropriated.


As a whole, CSPs have proven to be great custodians of client data. On this single dimension alone, CSPs should be amongst our most trusted brands. Local regulatory surveillance has undoubtedly helped to keep CSPs honest and held to the highest account. However, their business model has also played a part. CSP revenue models are generally built around subscription and/or consumption models, where customers pay for the service and billing is transparent. There has been no need to monetise by selling client data like some Internet companies.

This begs the following question.

Why are CSPs not more highly trusted?

There seems to be a number of mitigating circumstances, with the following being but a few examples:

  1. Altruism - There is an innate interpretation that we should admire companies that give away products / services for free. These companies appear to be altruistic, especially when the products have great perceived value without cost. This engenders trust. By contrast, CSPs are often large institutional corporations that are unlikely to have ever been trusted by being altruistic
  2. Benefits - Similarly, when products deliver outcomes, helping people do tasks, gain insights, make decisions, be entertained, derive an income, etc then the perception of benefit can be easily linked with trust. Unlike the days when telephony services were dominant, CSPs are now just a facilitator of benefits. They are largely seen as the provider of bitstreams that enable the services that provide benefits, not of providing benefits directly
  3. Sentiment – CSPs spend large advertising budgets promoting their brand, products and services. They often even promote contributions being made to their communities. However, they don’t tend to promote their role as stewards of data privacy and security, nor their proven records of doing so for decades in many cases. They simply don’t get the accolades for this contribution. It’s possible that track records on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives have counteracted gains made by CSPs on privacy and security in the past (although CSPs do appear to be making greater inroads on ESG initiatives and sentiments more recently)
  4. Customer service – For Internet companies, the best customer service is no customer service with products being intentionally designed to be self-supported. The complexity of CSP business models and diversity of human touch-points mean CSPs carry the burden of much greater customer support and community expectation. This comes at great cost to CSPs, which many attempt to deflect or ignore. CSPs do so at risk of alienating their client-base and diminishing trust


How can OSS & BSS strengthen a brand?

But this is a blog that focuses on OSS and BSS. Some of the factors above are beyond the sphere of influence of the humble OSS and BSS. However, there are certainly ways in which an OSS / BSS can enhance a CSP’s brand as it relates to being trusted:

  • Data protection - At a technical level, OSS and BSS, and the data lakes they help fill, can help to ensure client data is protected. Data can be secured (at rest, in motion and during transformation) by OSS / BSS architectures. Data models can be designed with abstraction and depersonalisation in mind to ensure data protection initiatives like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) are maintained without significant operational burden
  • Customer satisfaction – OSS and BSS can be designed to be more customer-centric rather than just internally, operationally focussed. Greater customer-centricity is generated by many little things such as providing contact centre staff with all data pertaining to a customer call. Assuming most customers only call because of some sort of problem, a clever OSS / BSS can change the mood from the outset if a contact centre staff begins a call with, “We can see you have a problem with X and we are doing Y to remedy the situation” instead of, “What can I assist you with today?”
  • Greater reliability – Similar to the previous point, customer satisfaction and trust also comes from having more reliable, robust networks and systems. They require less reason for customer contact and/or improve the customer experience when contact is required. OSS / BSS have a significant role to play to improve the ease / reliability of service activations and reducing service outages as well as many other user-impacting workflows.


Trust is a valuable commodity, arguably more so in our increasingly decentralised and depersonalised world of remote communications and experiences. Perhaps more so in a Web3 environment. CSPs have many of the attributes that could make them some of the world’s most trusted brands in our future online communities. OSS and BSS clearly have a role to play in increasing the trust in which CSPs are held.