we’ll cut you a deal on the transmission costs

English translation: see explanation

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13:47 Jul 9, 2018
English to English translations [PRO]
Business/Commerce (general)
English term or phrase: we’ll cut you a deal on the transmission costs
Hello everyone,

The paragraph below is from the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

What happened to AT&T was that the supernova transformed its business overnight. Its decision to virtualize networks to expand its capacity made it more of a software/networking company, and then it really struck gold with the rise of big data, which meant that the data and voice traffic AT&T was carrying over its wires could be aggregated and anonymized and then mined for trends. So suddenly, as noted earlier, AT&T, using wireless cell phone data, could tell a signage company how many people who drove by their sign on the freeway ended up shopping in the store advertised on that sign—and if the sign became digital, and changed every hour, they could tell them which message was most effective. AT&T started telling some customers, heck, ***we’ll cut you a deal on the transmission costs*** if we can mine the data and use it to solve customer problems or puzzles. In the blink of an eye your friendly phone company became an all-around business solutions company, also competing with IBM or Accenture.

Well, the phrase "cut a deal" (https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/cut a deal) is clear to me by itself, but I can't understand what it implies in this particular context.

Does it mean that AT&T can make a discount on the cell phone data transmission price, if a company orders the data analysis (when, who, why, and which customers come or don't come to a particular store) from AT&T.

Or does it mean that it will be profitable for a company to use the data analysed by AT&T, i.e. a company pays AT&T money to analyze the data and by using the info (from that analysis) the company can cover the data transmission and data analysis costs?

I asked a question about this phrase on another forum, but the doubt is still there.
https://www.translatorscafe.com/tcterms/RU/question.aspx?id=...

*Supernova is Mr. Friedman's term for the cloud (cloud technology).

Thank you.
klp
Local time: 15:21
English translation:see explanation
Explanation:
The data truly becomes valuable when they combine the data from more than one customer. In the example given, they are combining the data from the shop owner (which customers came in) with the data from somebody else (which people drove by the sign). In this example, they would offer the second user a discount on their transmission costs if they (AT&T) are allowed to mine the data and use it to solve the first user's question. Effectively, they are selling the second user's data to the first user.

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Note added at 16 hrs (2018-07-10 06:25:18 GMT)
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Yes, the first user would be the shop owner. The second user could be anybody, or even a group of people, that has the data they need. In this case, the data needed is the fact that they were in a position to see the sign.

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Note added at 1 day 22 hrs (2018-07-11 12:31:12 GMT)
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It could conceivably be phone plans but I don't think so. It's more like data transmission (between data centres, for example).
Selected response from:

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 14:21
Grading comment
Many thanks to everyone.

Thank you, Terry.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4see explanation
Terry Richards
4Offering deals on their phone plans
webguru


  

Answers


8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Offering deals on their phone plans


Explanation:
I don't think it is as complex as combining data from store owners and the public. The "deal" is simply for those who have phone plans with AT&T. This is because the scale and margin of profit would be much higher than the first scenario described there where they approach store owners - that has higher sale cost for AT&T. Also - they only have "transmission cost"deal with customers on phone plans, not with store owners.

Aggregating big data is a very profitable business... While this offer is to customers on phone plans - in return for permission to mine their traffic data, they would also later make money from selling the data reports to business owners. Privacy has become a big thing and now the permissions have to be explicit, and if a customer was able to prove that they use their data against their will they can sue - but that would be nearly impossible to prove...


    https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_-_Big_data:_changing_the_way_businesses_operate/%24FILE/EY-Insights-on-GRC-Big-data.pdf
webguru
Local time: 22:21
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SlovakSlovak
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AllegroTrans
12 hrs

disagree  Daryo: "phone plans" is the terminology used for individual/retail customers - this kind of deals would be offered ONLY to SOME of their biggest corporate clients + privacy wasn't any kind of big deal AT THAT time.
1 day 2 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
see explanation


Explanation:
The data truly becomes valuable when they combine the data from more than one customer. In the example given, they are combining the data from the shop owner (which customers came in) with the data from somebody else (which people drove by the sign). In this example, they would offer the second user a discount on their transmission costs if they (AT&T) are allowed to mine the data and use it to solve the first user's question. Effectively, they are selling the second user's data to the first user.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 16 hrs (2018-07-10 06:25:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yes, the first user would be the shop owner. The second user could be anybody, or even a group of people, that has the data they need. In this case, the data needed is the fact that they were in a position to see the sign.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 22 hrs (2018-07-11 12:31:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It could conceivably be phone plans but I don't think so. It's more like data transmission (between data centres, for example).

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 14:21
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Many thanks to everyone.

Thank you, Terry.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Terry. And could I ask one more thing about this phrase? If I've understood youcorrectly, the first user could be, say, the shop owner. But who could be the second user?

Asker: Thank you again, Terry.

Asker: Terry, I'm very sorry to disturb you again, but what could I ask one more thing? What is meant by "transmission costs"? Is it phone plans, as webguru suggests? Or could it be anything else?

Asker: Thank you again, Terry.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  GILOU
12 hrs

disagree  Daryo: that's not how big data operates - they won't offer this kind of deals to individual / retail customers // the companies involves would be chains with hundreds and thousands of retail unit, not your local corner shop.
1 day 7 hrs
  -> Nowhere did I mention them giving the retail store a discount. They are selling the data (or, rather, the results of its analysis) to the retail store. The discount is given to the entity that generated the data in the first place.
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