Traditional telcos need to future-proof their business against the commodisation of their services by using convergence and value-added services (VAS). Convergence entails diversifying the ways in which operators engage customers through multiple service offerings. This can happen over several levels. At the lowest level, we see the bundling of services, an example of this would be the bundling of fixed line and Wi-Fi connectivity. At the highest level, full technical convergence, bringing technology from two visibly different industries together to create something new.
Fixed-mobile convergence is driven by operators leveraging their infrastructure capabilities and combining these with partners in adjacent areas. It usually entails discounted bundling of various products, such as mobile and fixed line services plus fixed broadband or pay-tv services. However, operators must advance beyond pure price-plays to gain a sustainable advantage.
Convergence is growing between industries, moving beyond same industry partnerships and acquisitions. This is a fast moving area, telcos are forging partnerships in media, banking and health services, with some successfully acquiring established companies. For example, connected health devices like wearable baby monitors and e-wallet solutions for the unbanked are being explored in the European and African markets. These investments and partnerships emphasise the fact that mobile is the de facto distribution mechanism for many value added lifestyle services.
For telecommunication operators, value added services need to evolve beyond basic content. Only by doing this will operators be able to avoid being disintermediated by ‘over the top’ (OTT) innovators. For example, cloud, cybersecurity, IoT, virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI), fintech, and smart homes are areas of huge growth that compliment operator core offerings. Typically these operations have been taken up by third parties, but in view of a convergence strategy they are areas that can offer great value add to an operator.
We develop disruptive convergence strategies and architectures to ensure customer stickiness and sustained service delivery.
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