The COVID-19 pandemic drastically augmented a call for quick advancement of both core broadband and value-added services. This means that telco players must find new ways to chase (and catch) sustained growth, in order to stay relevant in the industry.
With a somewhat increased burden on the network, due to a current epidemiological situation (most people now work remotely and stay connected with colleagues, friends, and family via video conferencing) and having in mind that the consumers have high expectations and even higher dependencies on quality connectivity – these changes in strategies should come ASAP.
Coronavirus or no Coronavirus, consumers simply expect always more from their broadband provider, which allows telecom companies to thrive. If everything is done right.
What is new in the telco industry is the fact that nowadays more and more people are becoming technically aware. As the GSMA – industry association representing mobile network operators – predicts, the number of mobile Internet users will grow from 51% to 60% of the total world population by 2025!
The users are people of all ages and that also including non-digital natives. More people on-grid means more purchased services beyond core connectivity from their broadband provider.
However, this also means that the expectations are rising, too. Especially those directed to the performance. Consumer’s knowledge and understanding of the products and offers – are growing!
For example, we all demand skyrocketing rates of successful message delivery over any communication channel, that the network latency (delays in the communication) are almost non-existent, that Wi-Fi needs to deliver quoted broadband speeds throughout the house and not just in proximity to the router, etc.… And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg holds both opportunities and challenges at the same time.
What are some strategies that can help? Let’s take a quick look at some.
- Exploring new “in-home” products beyond connectivity
The smart home market is developing very quickly because people want reliable and safe homes. This leads to the exploration of new services and solutions within the smart home market, but to the coordination and integration of solutions from multiple third parties, which will make this ongoing party even more complex!
Second, in line is cyber-security. A strong and reliable solution within this issue is something every single consumer inclines to. No one is safe anymore. You don’t need to be a huge company just to be aware of the threats associated with cyber-attacks. It can happen to anyone. Literary, anyone. An increasing technical maturity and a push towards digital services made the very single person who lives on-grid somewhat vulnerable to the attacks. For that, the issue of safety is more important now than ever.
This situation and demands that are the result, give every telco company a very important homework to do – they need to find a price point and model that is alluring to the majority of customer segments, while also moving towards zero-touch and automation for delivery and management of the service!
- Focusing on delivering a high-quality and high-reliability service
What pandemic made perfectly clear – is that continuous and high-quality connectivity is a priority service. Customers truly value the high reliability of service in their home, understanding it now as a basic need and not some sort of luxury or rarity. It became a bare necessity.
When a telco company delivers what was promised, it is a real added value and point of difference within the industry. This is how you win the market – by being honest and reliable. Consumers are not willing to wait, they want everything here, now, immediately! No excuses. No nos. No buts.
The most important dimensions of quality are availability, reliability, security, flexibility or choice, simplicity, and assurance.
In order to improve the trustworthiness of home broadband services, telco players could lean on several viable strategies.
Though 5G is growing, 4G still has room aplenty to grow too. 4G LTE Failover or Failover to Cellular (F2C) – allows enterprises to efficiently change over to an always-available connection when a disruption occurs on the primary, wired internet line.
- Mesh and extender networks – Even though mesh networks and Wi-Fi extenders both improve wireless coverage, mesh networks are a lot smarter, work a lot better, and can expand any Wi-Fi signal much further than extenders.
- Network automation – the process of automating the configuring, managing, testing, deploying, and operating of physical and virtual devices within a network.
- Drive simplicity in the customer journey
People simply don’t have time or nerves for complicated things. We live in a very, very, very interesting time and that means our mental state requires less information whenever possible. What we all (as consumers) want is simplicity and ease. The ease of adoption, ease of maintenance, ease of change, and configuration…
Every telco brand today must reflect this exactly.
This means that aggregating and collapsing services, making it easy for the consumer to find the product or service which best matches their needs – is the industry’s must.
Ok. But, how?
First of all, operators need to become even more automated. But that is not the end of demands put on telco players. Not even close. Let’s think about how every telco can and should make a difference in the consumer market?
- Of course, always the price – 30% of respondents selected the lowest price as the key rationale for selecting their broadband provider
- New products beyond connectivity – Smart homes and Cyber-security
- Reliability of service – Despite similarities in infrastructure, performance is still a differentiator!
So, what are the key recommendations?
- Diversify to create a holistic entertainment proposition.
- Explore new “in-home” products beyond connectivity.
- Build a brand based on simplicity and trust.
- Carefully consider differentiating on price.
- Focus on reliability.
However, as the telco industry is directly affected by innovations in technology, many new issues arise every day. We will address in more detail each one of the mentioned above – through our future posts. So, stay tuned. And come back.