Telcos to Digitize or Else!

Telcos to digitize
The Digital Telco is not a destination but a state of mind
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Tough times and competition will force Telcos to Digitize or face the consequences

Digitization is dramatically changing the way the we all consume services and purchase products. However, Telcos have remained largely untouched by this transformation. Slowly we are seeing Telcos to digitize some customer interfaces but the actual customer experience with telecommunications companies has changed very little over the past 15 years.

The 2016 CMT Journal, write about the transition from the current operator model into the digital world. Telcos to digitize given the will and the desire, and can find the right road where the customers and the companies will benefit.

Pierre De Mascarel from Oliver Wyman Middle East said “today’s customer experience is already obsolete by digital standards. Telcos who do not aggressively go digital will progressively lose the right to sell to their customers.

In the future, De Mascarel further said telecom customer’s experience “will be very different from today’s. Many Telcos will shift to giving customers more control over what they buy and how they use the service, and immediacy, transparency, simplicity and design will become more relevant. In that new world, marketing and promotions will need to be reinvented to become contextually relevant”.

Consumerism has changed in the past few years; watching movies, getting a taxi, staying in touch with friends, booking a restaurant table, listening to music, paying a bill, buying a book, or finding our way to a location – all have changed beyond all recognition. Telcos to digitize or will be left behind!

FreedomPop, free and GiffGaff are examples of successful Telco businesses that are very different to the established Telcos. But they are seen as smaller innovators that appeal to very specific segments.

Learning from others

Other industries have paved the way to online success, such as Amazon and Google, who have been quick to illustrate that the key to digital success lies in a customer-centric approach and that in order to keep up and be a competitor of note, CSPs are going to have to make the transition from a legacy CSP to a proficient Digital Service Provider (DSP).

The key to achieving this is data. CSPs have data in abundance and combining data collection with analytics will help in identifying new business models, which can in turn drive operational excellence. Telcos can use these insights to predict data loss or network deterioration, as well as prevent service disruptions, or simply make decisions faster, driving operational efficiencies.

Digital consumers expect OTT content as part of their mobile subscription, just like they expect a reliable service, faster speeds and always at lower and lower prices. It’s possible that exploring this process could highlight gaps in a CSPs offering.

With very little growth expected for core mobility connectivity revenue in the coming year, it’s essential that mobile operators diversify to find new revenue streams like connected technology for enterprises, IoT for smart cities, and apply business models of the digital world, if they wish to remain relevant in a transforming ecosystem.

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  1. Digitization began in the 1970s privately and hit the public networks in the 1980s. Voice, data, and wireless all scaled in the 1990s. So that makes this article about 2 decades late.

    What is really the crux of the matter is that networks are scaling horizontally and the vertically integrated edge ISPs (CSPs) don’t have a business model solution. As well, the internet stack lacked inter-network settlements which are necessary for universal service and rapid introduction of new technologies; to wit IPv6 taking 2 decades to get to <20% penetration. This every actor/network an island unto themselves is not sustainable.

    The core internet players are ahead on both fronts. So the edge ISPs are doomed.


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