VAS Roundup: Our Favorite Innovative Partnerships in Telecoms

VAS Roundup: Our Favorite Innovative Partnerships in Telecoms

Telco giants AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile know consumers want more from their telecom providers than ever. That’s why they, and their international peers, have spent the last few years building partnerships with industry leaders that let them offer the extras subscribers are actually looking for.

Telcos can’t just offer new data and voice plans anymore, their subscribers want a one-stop digital shop.

Consumers look for a digital experience that is seamless and easy to manage, so telcos are partnering with players outside the arena of data and calling (known as value-added services) to add perks and benefits to their plans.

Subscribers get more access to the services they want.

The most popular value added services requested by consumers are:

  • Video streaming
  • Gaming, and
  • Banking

...from the telecom provider they already know and trust. In the pros column, this strategy helps subscribers feel like they’re getting more value for their money, and keeps them connected to all their favorite services, making them more loyal.

But telcos beware -- adding VAS that comes with extra fees or limitations can actually damage the customer relationship.

That being said, we scoured the internet and wanted to share a few of the partnerships we’ve seen that add real value. Read on!

T-Mobile enables our binge-watching desire, without burning through our data plan.

Image: T-Mobile

I stream, you stream, we all stream… for free! Well, kind of. T-Mobile’s partnered with some of the top streaming services around to let subscribers stream without cutting into their monthly data allowance. And if you have unlimited data already, streaming through your phone’s personal hotspot won’t cut into your hotspot allowance.

Functional, easy-access streaming for the data-conscious is something we can definitely get behind. At Brigr we work with global telcos to make sure users who run out of data can still connect to the apps they need the most (we see you, Uber) - but more on that in another post.

Microsoft wants you to play Project xCloud games on whichever screen you want - anytime, anywhere.

For lucky consumers in South Korea, SK Telecom has partnered with Microsoft on their new Project xCloud, announced in 2019 and rolling out fully this year. Players can stream their favorite games over 5G/LTE and across devices, operated on SK Telecom’s powerful network.

Gaming partnerships can mean significant ad revenue, which is a boon in today’s super competitive market. Time to get our game on.

Verizon crosses over into banking with its new Synchrony credit card

Image: Verizon

We don’t know much yet, but given the last few years of fintech innovation and the increasing popularity of mobile pay, we see big things for Verizon on the… horizon (pun definitely intended).

Americans now do most of their banking on mobile, so offering innovative, streamlined ways to manage money on our phones is a game-changer. This is also super important when subscribers are abroad and need to make sure they can keep on top of their finances while they’re away from home.

Stay on top of your DMs with MTNs discounted social media packages

Social media is one of the top activities happening on our phones all day every day, but it can eat up data quickly without an unlimited monthly plan. South African telco MTN has launched data bundles specifically for messaging and social media apps like WhatsApp and Twitter so you can use your data where you really need it (hello, CandyCrush).

IoT is out in force: Audi and Verizon partner to keep your car connected

Image: Verizon

Last month Verizon announced a partnership with Audi to bring unlimited data connectivity to Audi CARE customers, perfect for streaming all those podcasts and Spotify playlists that make long road trips bearable. We recently identified transportation as a top area where telcos can impress subscribers in 2020, and we’re guessing Verizon agrees!

Now that you’ve seen the all-stars, how can you make sure you’re doing this right?

For all the telcos out there, VAS partnerships can be a major source of revenue and customer loyalty. But to build something great, we have a few tips:

  • Do your homework: make sure the partnership is delivering what consumers want!
  • Run the numbers: how will this generate ROI?
  • Keep it simple: make sure implementation is easy to manage, UX is seamless, and success easy to track
  • Whip the votes: make sure you have buy-in from the key players in your organization who will help get it done!

Want to learn more? Talk to us.

Brigr is a mobile network technology that integrates with partnering apps to ensure telcos can reach consumers and keep them connected anytime, anywhere. That includes your subscribers who run out of data, or foreign travelers who come into your network on a business trip. Reach them all and connect them to their favorite apps in banking, gaming, and more. We’re always sharing the newest trends and opportunities we notice in telecoms, plus top learnings from over 10 years working with telcos around the world. Check out the rest of our blog here!