Digital First - The New Normal for Telecom Operators

June 18, 2020
Digital First - The New Normal for Telecom Operators

In the digital age, time spent on mobile is growing each day. Most of this time on mobile is spent in ‘OTT’ (over-the-top) apps which let people communicate, transact and consume rich media on a small screen.

Leading OTT players have not only reaped the majority of the economic benefits of the mobile revolution, they have also created an entirely new breed of customer experience: always-on, intuitive and personalized. Their digital services are customizable, frictionless and easy to manage: it is possible to subscribe to Netflix without a fixed contract, or enhance one’s music experience in one click with paid access to Spotify.

Digital is now the new normal – for everyone. What does this mean for Telecom Operators?

The pressure is on for Telecom Operators to go digital faster.

While data traffic on the network has increased exponentially, Telecom Operators are struggling to drive growth in ARPU and build a clear ROI from 4G and 5G investments in spectrum and infrastructure. Being historically focused on providing calling minutes and MBs of data, many Telecom Operators aspire to become digital lifestyle brands.

What are the benefits of Digital Transformation for Telecom Operators?

Telecom Operators can now become digital lifestyle brands. Successful Operators are able to offer core connectivity and a range of new services to customers, from third party streaming video, to enterprise productivity tools - all via a 5-star rated digital channel. No need for customers to visit retail shops or call a call center. The result? Reduced costs, higher customer loyalty and higher margins.

How can Telecom Operators redefine their relationship with customers to provide a 100% digital customer experience?

Having an app that customers can use to register, port-in their numbers, order a physical SIM or activate eSIM (embedded SIM) and choose their personalized plan would be a life-saver. Being able to complete this journey with a few clicks would not only provide a delightful user experience and save time, but it would also provide considerable cost savings for Telecom Operators.

What will digital Telecom Operators look like by 2023?

Telecom Operators’ networks are being upgraded to 5G. In the next wave of digital transformation, is the focus on a new air interface and core network technology the right approach? Network capacity and speed are necessary for advanced digital services, but where exactly is the ROI on the massive cost of a 5G upgrade? Many Telecom Operators say that they haven’t recovered their investment in 4G network upgrades yet.

The real opportunity lies in improving the digital customer experience. Most customers prefer digital customer experience, with Millennials considering it a must. Based on a recent research study, customers who use 100% digital channels for support and transactions experience 33% higher customer satisfaction vs. customers using traditional channels like call centers or retail shops.

What’s more, the recent pandemic showed us that high performance digital channels are no longer a ‘nice to have’, but rather ‘must-have’ for business continuity. By 2023, successful Telecom Operators will be handling over 40% of all sales and customer support via their digital channels. And 20% of all smartphones will connect to the network via eSIM.  Digital will become the primary channel for many customer segments.

The time for transformation is now. What will happen to Telecom Operators if they don’t transform?

Companies like Netflix and LinkedIn are moving fast. We didn't know the names of these companies a few years ago, and now they’re leading players in their segments. Everyone needs to move quickly if they want to stay relevant to customers and maximize future opportunities. We know that speed of product development, execution and decision making is today’s competitive advantage.

If Telecom Operators want to break the status quo, they need to focus on enabling digital services. If Telecom Operators focus only on selling voice, data and SMS via the same old retail channels, supported by a legacy IT backend, double-digit top-line revenue growth is not likely to happen.

Meet Digital Network Operator®: the next-generation IT platform for telecom.

Leveraged by Telecom Operators globally to power a 'telco in an app' experience for customers, DNO™ lets them enhance the existing brand or launch an entirely new brand with minimal cost, no retail presence and a fast time to market. Digital first, intuitive and personalized - this is the experience that customers expect today. DNO includes the most innovative features in the market: a Unified Product Catalog, Next Best Offer, Reward and Referral, eSIM activation and Campaign Management.

Want to know how LotusFlare helps Telecom Operators embrace Digital Transformation and help their customers reach their full potential?