Edition #17: 2023 Year in Review: TLDR Edition

Can you believe 2023 is almost over? If you’re someone who’s in a hurry, here is a quick summary of our Telco Talk editions from the past year.

9 hidden impacts that eSIMs will have on the telco industry

In January, Grant Carstensen explored how eSIMs will change (or not change) the telco industry:

  • It’s anticipated that there will be 3.4 million eSIM enabled devices by 2025!
  • Supply chains may benefit – no more physical cards to stock and distribute – unless your market handles activations by scanning a printed QR code, then the impact will be negligible.
  • eSIMs will improve self-service shopping (ecommerce, kiosks, etc.) – no waiting for a SIM to ship.
  • eSIMs won’t impact postpaid markets too much, but in prepaid markets, SIM Swaps drive store visits – this revenue could disappear.
  • Prepaid customers may switch between multiple eSIMs on their device; telcos may become a utility provider.
  • Retail experience can’t be your main differentiator now that more transactions will take place outside of the retail store – find a new way to differentiate!
  • eSIM roll out will depend on your market – maybe digital or via scanning a paper-based QR code.
  • It will be easier for MVNOs to operate globally, and there may be renewed growth in this space.
  • eSIMs will drive IOT and MTM – there is a big opportunity to sell add-on plans for smart devices.
  • Expect a big fight over roaming revenue – why pay for a roaming packing if you can get an eSIM at your destination?

Read the full article here.

Looking for software customization? Here are 4 reasons you need a telco platform.

In February, Grant Carstensen explored why telco platforms offer the most flexibility and configuration options:

  • Telco platforms are purpose-built and have the features, abstractions, and pre-integrations that telcos need built in.
  • Platforms are modular, make it easy to select the solutions you need, and have the flexibility to add more later.
  • Platforms are highly configurable – just select the options you want, limiting the use of costly custom code.
  • Platforms keep you on the upgrade path – you get access to new features without rewriting software.
  • Platforms are more expensive upfront but save money over the long term. They’re also quicker to deploy.

Read the full article here.

The 17 Most Interesting Telco Value-Added Services You Need To See.

In March, Will Gibson detailed 17 interesting value-added services across many categories:

Telecom Add-Ons:


  • MTN - English Class - English lessons over the phone.
  • Orange Morocco - YouScribe - largest French-language streaming digital library.
  • Vodacom - e-School – free education app up to grade 12 curriculum with no data costs.


  • Etisalat - Super Sallefny – small loan borrowing service.
  • Ooredoo - Ooredoo Money – international money transfer to 200 countries.
  • Telkom - Telkom Lend – social lending service for entrepreneurs.


  • Telus - TELUS Health MyCare App – for doctor visits, Rx refills, and referrals. They also have SmartWear Security that enables calls to emergency services from smart accessories.
  • Etisalat - GoWell - rewards subscribers for meeting their fitness goals.


Read the full article here.

5 Emerging Trends in Telco Store Design You Can't Miss

In April, Will Gibson outlined 5 important telco store design trends:

  • Make your store inviting by opening windows and doors and give customers something to look at near the entrance so they will come into the store.
  • Streamline your store and invest in smaller sales pods to free up floor space. Pair this with a tablet POS to get rid of bulky desks and printers. There are big cost savings and experience benefits to be had.
  • The Sci-fi aesthetic is gone – earth tones and wood finishes are in, as are comfy furnishings like sofas, rugs and lamps.
  • Create a “third place” – that spot between home and work where people spend time. Think interactive areas, workstations, and charging stations so customers are comfortable spending time with you.
  • Stores have to look nice and feel nice as well – find ways to use sound, visuals and more to keep customers engaged.

Read the full article here.

Sustainable Supply Chain: Are You Implementing These 7 Green Strategies?

In May, Bradley Lapin detailed 7 green strategies that can help make your supply chain sustainable:

  • Re-use packaging that products arrive in for subsequent shipping – virgin packaging is expensive and negatively impacts the environment.
  • Harvest rainwater from your warehouse roof for non-potable uses, like flushing toilets.
  • Invest in solar panels to power your facility – this is a great option for non 24/7 operations.
  • Switch to electric warehouse vehicles – you’ll benefit from free charging from your solar panels.
  • Where you can, ship by sea to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by 47x per ton-mile.
  • Use route optimization planning software so deliveries take the most efficient route. Texting customers in advance of deliveries can reduce the number of delivery attempts.
  • Offer in-store repairs to minimize reverse logistics.
  • There are social considerations to sustainability initiatives to consider, but small initiatives like these are a great place to start.

Read the full article here.

Beyond Voice & Data: 5 Quick Wins That Elevate Telcos to Tech Leader Status

In June, Will Gibson explored the steps telcos must take to become tech leaders:

3 themes from Telecoms World Middle East were the widespread emergence of the metaverse, the rise of Gen Z, and intensifying competition from "Hyperscalers".

To become a Techno:

  • Differentiate yourself so you can attract your competitors’ customers.
  • Invest in new products & experiences, like IOT, and bring them to life in a physical world.
  • Constantly review your digital journeys and evaluate the effectiveness and penetration of your digital channels.
  • If customers aren’t using your digital tools, maybe they’re too difficult!
  • Focus your experiences on Gen Z customers – use sound, immersive experiences, and gaming.
  • Start to transition your B2B salesforce and product portfolio towards a commoditised subset of services.

Read the full article here.

What Is Telecom’s Fastest Growing Revenue Source? Hint, It’s Not 5G.

In July, Adam Baggs shared his thoughts on how telcos can quickly capitalize on fibre as a revenue source while 5G takes time to ramp up:

  • 5G has been hailed as the next telecom cash cow, but the pandemic delayed rollouts and revealed a new opportunity - home fibre.
  • The fibre industry is projected to reach USD 8.2 billion by 2027.
  • Fibre is usually sold in “blitz-style” campaigns, usually with door-to-door sellers. Today, this is uninspiring, and customers are required to phone a call centre to complete the sign up.
  • With a tablet solution, door-to-door sellers can show customers available plans, conduct credit checks and schedule installation right there.
  • When 5G becomes dominant, digital solutions will become key. Self-care apps will make it easy for customers to manage all their plans – with consolidated billing.
  • Don’t try to build your own solutions – be a telco, not a software company.

Read the full article here.

The Rise of the “Prosumer” – 5 Tips to Capitalize On This Growing Segment

In August, Will Gibson outlined 5 challenges in attracting the “Prosumer” demographic:

  • We are seeing the rise of the Prosumer – they’re a highly-connected group that desires home fibre connections.
  • The Prosumer is not being marketed to – telcos must create campaigns that tell the fibre story and get people upgrading.
  • Fibre isn’t sold well in-store – go all in and create prominent displays and showcase how easy it is to sign up.
  • Telcos have lots of data but aren’t using it – identify your heaviest users and train your outbound specialists how to upsell to this group.
  • Combine your billing and commerce systems so they can handle the complexity of B2B and consumer accounts.
  • When you’re laying new fibre in an area, get digital with your door-to-door teams. Use tablet solutions so they can review packages and schedule installation appointments right there. You can also install kiosks in apartment buildings with little effort as part of a blitz campaign.

Read the full article here.

4 Ways To Solve The Wait/Dwell Time Conundrum And Elevate Your CX

In September, Will Gibson explored the conflicting goals of reducing wait time and increasing dwell time:

  • You want customers to be serviced quickly, but encouraging dwell time is important too – how else will customers discover, try, and buy if they never spend any time in the store?
  • Choose the right queueing system that has multiple entry points – online, app, SMS, physical entry, etc. This makes it easy for customers to be served without waiting for a ticket.
  • Create great waiting areas that are comfortable. Provide educational materials, like TVs, to keep customers engaged.
  • Telco transactions are complex – invest in a telco platform that unites all backend systems and eliminates swivel steps so transactions are extremely fast. More transactions = more sales, a greater CX, and more.
  • A single front-end platform brings a consistent experience in physical and digital channels. When done right, this means fast transactions, more sales, and a better experience.

Read the full article here.

5 Steps That Will Boost Your Reseller Network And Drive Performance

In October, Bradley Lapin provided us with 5 tips to boost performance in your reseller network:

  • Give resellers a great digital POS system meant for indirect sales – not only are transactions easier, but they’ll see near real-time commissions which builds loyalty.
  • Select a sales app that leverages geofencing. This makes it easy to assign sales territories and manage them.
  • Invest in a Partner Management App to eliminate manual effort. The app will plan daily tasks, provide turn-by-turn navigation, and site inspections can be completed with built in checklists, saving hours of effort each day.
  • Choose solutions with in-depth reporting across all roles and actions. When resellers and partner managers use connected systems, it’s easy to compare performance at the local and country level.
  • Don’t overlook inventory management – choose a solution that shows real-time inventory levels and makes it easy for distribution staff to carry out their inspections.

Read the full article here.

It's Time To Get Human: 6 Tips To Increase Digital Adoption

In November, Will Gibson provided 6 tips to help telcos drive adoption of their digital solutions.

  • Invest in a telco platform that integrates all your systems to reduce transaction times.
  • Set up KPIs to measure important digital adoption metrics, like app downloads, and self-help portal signups - if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
  • Incentivize the behaviour you want to see – pay associates when they help customers download your self-care app.
  • Train, train, train your people – gamify their world, send them quizzes – a PowerPoint just doesn’t cut it anymore.
  • Obsess about your digital customer journeys – conduct UX studies with real customers to understand their frustrations with your apps and portals, then follow through on their feedback.
  • Market your digital tools to your customer base – segment your CRM to target those that haven’t already signed up.

Read the full article here.

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