An analysis by E-commerce research and media journal, Digital Commerce 360 inferred that about 81 percent of buyers made use of various digital channels to initiate and close telecom-related purchases at the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic, with 36 percent of the buyers planning to use more digital channels this year. This entails that the sporadic rise of digitalization offers telecommunications opportunities and challenges.
With the opportunities abounding in various forms, the challenges are inherent as Telecommunications is a thriving industry battling continuous change. The changes aren’t short of its challenges with insufficient connectivity in rural areas; hurdles to the full fifth generation (5G) rollout and COVID-19 impact are just some of many challenges it must surmount to thrive.
That is just the tip of the iceberg in the litany of challenges bedevilling the multi-billion industry. With the increasingly competitive market, the populace would neck in to demand faster, efficient and more personalized services, putting the telcos on their toes to always adapt to be in the game.
It is in lieu of this that Mobilise, a renowned software provider, working in cohort with service providers like Virgin and Red Bull Mobile has enumerated some of the major challenges telcos faced this year 2021 running.
What are the major challenges?
We’ll take a look.
- Digitalisation: With the need to stay on course, the need for healthy competition between operators is not out of the way but that itself a challenge to various telcos, with the use of data analytics needing to be understood to overcome the various hurdles. Digitilisation greatly impacts every step of the customer journey with the constant appeal of digital imprints a constant attraction. eSIMs for example is projected to be only compatible in 60 percent of smartphones by 2025, representing a significant opportunity for providers. New smartphones being laced eSIMs, to replace traditional SIM cards, encourages a more streamlined activation process. With this, Telcos can have the opportunity to reduce logistics costs and then target the wider market for eSIM-enabled devices. Telcos without the eSIM leverage hence risking customers to other providers who may have incorporated it.
- Changing Customer Expectation: To stay in the game, telcos must as a matter of importance consider how customer expectations are changing. With new innovations and technology, the teeming populace would crave for more flexibility, personalization and meaningful interactions with providers on new product, software and hardware. The unending competition between mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) not abating, prompting smaller MVNOs making it a point of duty to keep up with their larger counterparts, with changing customer expectations. It therefore entails MVNOs must define their niche.
- Industry change with Shifting customer expectations: The telecommunication industry is evolving: new ideas are being birthed and thus a paradigm shift in the industry scope of operation in inevitable. This is a challenge Telcos face, constantly trying to adapt to this change, which also comes with more expectations from the consumers. Not to be left out, telcos must pay meticulous attention to industry changes and the shifting expectations of their customers. The integration of new technology by emerging Telcos , with predictive analysis will offer many operational and user benefits that would help to overcome major common challenges. The use of Analytical tools, which monitors customers interaction with a telecom provider helps in enhancing user’s experience and incorporate technologies like Artificial intelligence that can be used to predict and prevent churn and improve customer retention.
It is believed that with constantly seeking to improve, upgrade, develop their existing infrastructure to meet the emerging 21st century needs, Telcos will be able to overcome these challenges.