Global telecommunications industry revenue is stagnant. At the same time, there is growing pressure to invest in bigger network capacities, digital channels and 5G rollouts. The industry is experiencing a digital transformation that is being further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there is certainly room to cut expenses, revenue growth is the superior metric to focus on because it will cover upcoming 5G investments. To make that happen the average revenue per customer needs to grow by 50-100%. So, the search for growth is a priority. In turn, analysts expect new releases of non-telco services to increase revenue growth for the industry compared with core services which are generally growing slowly or even declining in revenue.

Telco Product Portfolio is Broadening

telecom-launching-smart-house-serviceOne of the most promising directions is adding more products and services to your portfolio. Telcos are becoming more open to exploring markets with little or no relationship to the communications side of their businesses. There are telcos selling car insurance, software, credit cards, assorted digital accessories, home security services, electricity and much more.

We are witnessing the industry shift its focus from a product portfolio with a few high-margin core telco services to multiple lineups with many lower-margin products. Telcos are becoming retail organizations with an ability to sell both digital services and physical products to a mass market.

What should telcos know to successfully launch a new product and avoid the failure that often happens in the industry?

Selecting the Right Product

The challenge is finding the best path to take. New opportunities are constantly emerging in the telco space and every company is either looking to make a move or has already done so. There are a variety of opportunities to launch new products and services in areas such as mobile payments, e-commerce, on-demand TV, music, digital advertising, and identity management. But which should you choose?

Graph showing revenue from digital services

Source: Global telecommunications study 2019. EY. P 15-16.

Based on what telcos have reported about their experiences when launching new products, there is a consistent method for success. The majority of them are moving towards a portfolio with tens of bestsellers or hundreds of strong niche products instead of a few high-margin telco products.

Such portfolios need active product management to ensure that the future bestsellers are not missed, the right niches are conquered and underperforming products are eliminated. Companies need to adjust how they view their product portfolio, understand what organizational capabilities they are missing and align new product launch strategies better with the realities of telco organizations, the consumer market, and the competition.

Telco can be a great platform to reach and capture customers given the right product portfolio.

The white paper: Launching Non-telco Services and Products in the Telecom Industry

To help you to understand this emerging trend better and take advantage of the opportunities it brings, Exacaster interviewed four experienced product management leaders at multiple mobile operators in Europe and the developing markets. Asking them to share their opinions anonymously – hoping to get more out-of-the-box ideas and insights.

We did multiple deep-dives into successful and failed cases of telcos launching into sectors like finance, healthcare, home security and entertainment.

During in-depth interviews, the experts exposed several key themes that the industry is grappling with today. Launching any new product for a telco is not an easy thing to do. Venturing outside the industry is even harder. There are many obstacles to deal with, many of which are self-inflicted. A clear commercial discipline, data-driven learning and a results-oriented mindset is what separates successful companies from those that fail.

The white paper covers the following areas:

  • Mobilizing the organization: get support and alignment
  • Leveraging partnerships: reduce your risk
  • Niche, trendy or disruptive? Choosing the right battleground
  • How to solidify a successful product launch

How can you select the right product, form a clever partnership and transition into a digital retailer successfully?

Read the white paper!

Meet the Author


Sarunas Chomentauskas is the CEO & Co-founder of Exacaster and has more than 20 years of telco experience. The company specializes in delivering marketing automation solutions based on big data, currently crunching data on nearly 40M telco and retail consumers each day globally.


What’s next? 

Leverage technology to adapt faster!

As product portfolios grow, managing products in the same way as before is becoming increasingly difficult. Most products will be created by partners. The launch process needs to be streamlined. More automation across the lifecycle is needed. New tools for customer data management and analytics, such as Customer Data Platform or Campaign Management Platform, become mandatory.

More and more telcos are using off-shelf software to profile individual product users, generate personalized up-sell and cross-sell recommendations; as well as understand market needs better and create new personalized experiences. With the right technology, telcos can provide a great experience to their consumers while carrying broad product portfolios across digital and physical channels.