Mobile telcos are held in higher digital regard by consumers than Spotify, eBay and Uber – with only Google, Amazon, Netflix and Apple are respected more for their digital leadership.
So finds new research commissioned by Openet, which validates the significant progress made by global mobile telcos in transforming to become digital service providers.
The study, completed by Sapio Research, gauges the perceptions of global consumers in five different countries, uncovering several welcome findings for operators, and also finds that more than two thirds (70%) of consumers believe their mobile operator to be ‘digital first’.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of consumers said they would be receptive to greater digital service choice from their mobile operators, while acknowledging the significance of digital service innovation when selecting or choosing to stay with their operator.
“To achieve digital parity with many of the world’s most recognisable technology brands underlines the significant progress mobile operators have made,” says Niall Norton, CEO at Openet. “The global operator community most certainly had some catching up to do in driving digital awareness and engagement in the face of new competition and approaches. Most operators launched strategic digital transformation projects to not only revolutionise how they create, offer and monetise new digital services, but also re-architect their networks. Our study reveals the significant value of these projects, and the exciting commercial opportunities that await them.”
The report also finds that mobile operators have surprisingly high levels of digital engagement and interaction with their customers – 32% of global consumers digitally interact with their operators daily.
The telecommunications sector was ranked 4th in terms of overall industry digital leadership (beaten only by technology, financial services and retail sectors).
Global consumers want more
While more than half (52%) consider their operators to provide a utility, almost a third (31%) view them as digital facilitators capable of effectively engaging with them to change this mindset.
73% consumers want more digital services from their operators, 69% want more digital innovation. This suggests a strong willingness, amongst consumers, for operators to succeed in winning more digital market share. Interestingly, consumers rate an operator’s speed of operation as the most valuable trait of a ‘digital first’ organisation, demonstrating the importance of fast time to market when deploying new services and offers.
Exciting times ahead for digital telcos
65% of global consumers would feel more engaged with their mobile operator if it offered more digital services, 79% would feel more loyal (as high as 85% in the 18-24 demographic).
64% stressed importance of digital partnerships in ensuring they remain with an operator which stresses the importance of relevance and choice.
Niall Norton continues: “The global operator community should be congratulated for these survey findings. Many of them have had their world’s turned upside down over the past few years and entered a period of re-education and re-invention. Our survey clearly shows that most have successfully completed a period of digital re-invention to forge new customer relationships according to the same values, albeit across new channels and through new services. What is most exciting is that global operators have only scratched the surface in terms of unlocking the full potential of the digital technology that enables these new working practices. Lucrative new revenues await all operators that have completed or are completing their digital transformations – and seeing their CAPEX costs for enabling technology infrastructure slashed at the same time. The game has changed forever.”