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Enric Sabate, Head of Sales at Freenet Digital outlines where carrier billing goes next – geographically and evolutionarily

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With more than 14 years’ experience in the online industry, Enric Sabate, Head of Sales at Freenet Digital has worked for several medium size companies around the world leading and managing sales & marketing Teams as a Head, Director and C level positions.

Who are you and what is your current role?

My name is Enric Sabate, Head of Sales at Freenet Digital. Freenet Digital is part of the German Freenet Group.

Which countries or regions do you feel represent the greatest opportunity for telemedia services?

Africa and Latam are the greatest opportunities, because they are emerging markets with strong audiences and ready for content. As a German company we are already strong in Europe, so the main opportunities lie in discovering new potential markets. Africa and Latam are emerging markets and we are investing heavily to meet these opportunities. For Latam we have people in the US who are our eyes on this part of the world and they can tell us how different countries here are rapidly expanding and why. It is interesting to understand how they grow.

See more on Freenet Digital’s German and Latam strategy in this video interview with Thomas Kothuis, CEO, Freenet Digital at MWC19

Which content and/or applications do you see being the most likely to benefit from telemedia billing and/or marketing technologies?

The main area that will benefit from carrier billing and telemedia marketing is new content generation focus that provides high value based on customer’s needs. A few years ago the carrier billing guys had their own content and we just optimised it. We weren’t creating new fresh content. Now industries are selling different content to that which they did five years ago, so we need to define what we sell now – what content can we provide that offers value. This is very hard to do. In order to charge them through carrier billing as we have to compete with content being sold in-store and online and through apps. We are almost there and we see lots of opportunities and we are providing the content that people want. Some of the new countries in Africa and Latam are young and they don’t all want the same content. We need to have the right content for the right regions and markets. Based on this decision we can select and bill the right content for that region.

Do you think that Direct Carrier Billing can become mainstream and in which markets?

Currently carrier billing works for small and micro payments for digital goods. It will be matter of time that telcos will be aligned with the new online generation wave and payment processors.

What are the key drivers and inhibitors for growth?

The model has not changed in many years and it has become obsolete. For the transformation to the new digital era, it will be necessary to adjust and align all the partners that are part of the chain, to improve processing, security and reliability. The interests of this chain must also be aligned.

Do you see affiliate marketing being a primary, trusted channel for telemedia propositions or do you think alternative routes to market will become more popular?

Affiliate marketing was there because it was accepted and paid. Since a few years ago, step by step and slowly, the industry is looking for more transparency, a new ways and safety acquisition.

What are they likely to be?

Every market is a different story with their own rules and regulations, so different acquisition routes.

How likely is it that crypto currencies will become popular telemedia/mobile payment mechanisms for premium content, services and applications?

It can be matters of weeks, months or years, but it will happen for sure. Facebook launching its Libra cryptocurrency will help and it is now something that is part of online digital evolution. It was quite a different thing but now Facebook and its customers – and right through the carrier billing chain – are all younger and they will see all the rules we set 10 years ago are not working if you want to be in the top of the market. These people will make it change. Young people want to pay for anything easily with their mobile devices. We see anyone already doing these things – including cryptocurrency – doing well, so it will have to be embraced. It will be very interesting when carrier billing people see that the biggest bit of the cake is these new customers and new ways of doing things.

Your words of wisdom: On a more personal level, what is the most inspiring piece of advice that has seen you through a life in business to this day and who gave that advice to you?

There are many tips that I receive every day from my closest work Team, I could not say one in particular. Definitely, all the cases and battles of the first (Sun Tzu) and second part (Sun Bin) of the Art of War, have marked me a direction in my business life.

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Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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