This article is our personal cheatsheet for anyone looking to keep up with the evolution of the telecom space in the new decade. From industry trends and analysis to practical advice for leveraging market opportunities, scroll down to uncover all the juicy research your heart desires.
Telcos are constantly changing and innovating, so we spend a ton of time reading.
Over at Brigr we’ve spent a lot of time in the world of telcos. I mean really, a lot. For the past 15 years we have partnered with telcos of all sizes around the world, helping to provide innovative mobile services to millions of users (for more on who we are, check out the Brigr website and our sister company, SimCredit).
Consumer behavior is evolving, 5G and the Internet of Things are bringing the next wave of technical innovation, and more people than ever have access to smartphones and the opportunities that come with them.
Without high-quality research and thought leadership, we couldn’t build products our partners value, or deliver services our users trust. So we thought we would pull back the curtain (and save you some valuable time) and share a few reports that are influencing our thinking for 2020.
The List: Our Top 5 Telecom Reports for 2020
- Ericsson -- Ericsson Mobility Report
- GSMA -- Global Mobile Trends 2020
- EY -- Global telecommunications Study
- EY -- Global Digital Telecoms Playbook
- Bain & Co -- Simple and Digital is Calling
These 5 only scratch the surface - there are countless blogs, interviews, reports, and channels that are well worth following, but for now let’s explore why these 5 stand out.
Industry Analysis: The Ericsson Mobility Report
Ericsson is one of our favorite go-to sources for current information on the mobile world.
The November 2019 issue of their Mobility Report is full of stats and predictions on mobile subscriptions (did you know that there are now more than 5.9 billion mobile subscribers globally, and that over 50% of these are LTE users?), devices, VoLTE, network traffic and more.
Ericsson’s other resources dig deeper into trends and opportunities. A prime example is the data-backed perspectives in their white paper Telecom IT for the digital economy, which reflect what we hear in the industry every day talking to telcos about improving customer experience, defending against fierce competitors, and increasing loyalty:
[operators must focus on transforming from a supply-driven, mass-market provider model to delivering the new demand-driven digital communication services that are required by increasingly digital lifestyles and business models] Source: Ericsson
Written in 2017, that thesis is certainly playing out today, and drives the way we think at Brigr about meeting subscribers’ changing mobile data needs. Ericsson publishes the Mobility Report twice a year with quarterly updates in between. To read the full November Mobility Report, click here.
You can also subscribe here to have every new report sent to you automatically (for free!), plus access their white papers, webinars, and more.
Written For Industry Pros: GSMA Global Mobile Trends 2020
If you’re in the telecom space you’re likely familiar with GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Their content is an inside look at the info telco professionals use to drive strategy, predict consumer behavior, and plan the future of their business.
The Global Mobile Trends 2020 report (full PDF link) is no exception, diving into major industry topics like ways to address declining revenue growth, the implications of 5G and IoT in major markets, and the opportunities for growth in developing markets as smartphone use continues to rise.
One insight driving our work right now is around the opportunity in smartphone penetration and data use - according to the report, around 65% of the world’s population now owns a smartphone, going up to 80% by 2025. But despite advances in 5G networks, only 1.5 billion of those will use it, leaving massive opportunities to leverage LTE customers in the next few years.
Check out this report and more from GSMA Intelligence here!
Insights from Execs: EY Global Telecommunications Study
EY’s telecommunications reports share firsthand what industry leaders around the world are prioritizing, and are a great read when planning strategic next steps for the 2020s. Some of the key findings from the 2019 report may resonate with you:
- Disruption remains the top sector challenge
- Customer experience leads as the top strategic priority
- Partnerships are the key route to digital services expansion, especially with startups
- Customer experience improvements lead as an AI rationale, with marketing and customer support as the main use cases
There’s a strong focus on emerging technologies and automation as key drivers for growth, with 62% of leaders ranking them among top three drivers of digitization.
For more insights directly from global telco leaders, check out the EY reports from 2015 and 2017 too!
2019 report: Accelerating the intelligent enterprise
2017 report: Digital transformation for 2020 and beyond
2015 report: Mapping the road to 2020
Practical Toolkit: EY Global Digital Telecoms Playbook
Yep, EY is so good they made it on twice. Their Digital Telecoms Playbook is a handy guide for actioning strategies that leverage the opportunities and trends happening right now. Topics include:
- Telco segments and digital maturity
- Value chain elements deep dive
- Solutions and mapping to digital offerings
- Digital maturity modeling toolkit
For more you’ll have to download the toolkit yourself (spoilers!), which I can attest is well worth the read. As a teaser, some of the areas they dig into are epayments, IoT, mobile advertising, and cloud computing. Frameworks like the below for mobile advertising outline distinct opportunities:
Download the full report here.
Expert Opinion: Bain & Company “Simple and Digital is Calling”
Written by 3 Bain partners specializing in telecoms, this brief called Simple and Digital is Calling -- Will Telcos Answer? is a call to action for the 2020s reminiscent of the ideas in EY’s report above, encouraging telcos to embrace their changing industry and the changing needs of their consumers.
According to the brief, telcos who digitize their products, services, customer episodes, and channels can reduce their addressable operating costs by as much as 30% and grow revenue by an additional 2% to 5%. Source: Bain and Company
These are major gains in a space where margins are shrinking, and they go a step further to identify “customer episodes” as the key driver of this value. Check out their proposed approach for digitizing the customer experience:
Image: Bain and Company
At Brigr our enterprise data and loyalty solutions connects radically lower cost technology with customer-centric change to 1. create a seamless digital experience for data users, and 2. allow telcos to generate a new revenue stream from users in situations that are common but traditionally difficult for telcos to manage. For example, suddenly running out of data trying to hail a rideshare home from work, or transferring money from a smartphone in a foreign country.
For more on how we help telcos harness all the opportunities above with our enterprise data and loyalty solution, shoot us an email!