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Helping Telcos Grow B2B

There’s been a definite trend in the telecommunications sector over the last few years where, across many countries and regions, average revenues per user (ARPUs) have been falling. With consumers increasingly expecting more for less, it’s almost become a race to the bottom, a downward turn that shows no sign of slowing, even with the introduction of 5G that’s continuing apace.

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Helping Telcos Grow B2B

Mark Collins looks at how communication service providers can develop their B2B offering

There’s been a definite trend in the telecommunications sector over the last few years where, across many countries and regions, average revenues per user (ARPUs) have been falling. With consumers increasingly expecting more for less, it’s almost become a race to the bottom, a downward turn that shows no sign of slowing, even with the introduction of 5G that’s continuing apace.

However, 5G is far more geared towards the under-served business and enterprise segments than previous generations of networks were, representing a distinct opportunity for telecommunications businesses. It’s only by addressing the B2B opportunities directly that Telcos will be able to stand firm, no longer ceding ground to Over-the-Top (OTT) players who are taking the real value from their network capabilities.

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B2B growth potential

So, just how big is the scope of B2B opportunities for the telecommunications sector? If you consider some projections of the size of the B2B telecoms market, which forecast an increase from $35.78 billion in 2018 to a staggering $98.61 billion by 2026, that equates to a compound annual growth rate of 13.44%. Crucially, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most important drivers of this growth. Clearly, the opportunities are there for the taking.

As consumer revenues continue to be put under pressure, many operators are looking to the B2B segment to provide lucrative new sources of revenue. This doesn’t look the same across the industry though and the sector has seen a great diversity in approaches taken by different operators. The maturity of the B2B offerings in the telco space varies considerably too. There are those focused primarily on phones, SIMs, and basic connectivity (mobile-only Telcos in particular); those who provide full vertical applications, and those who take on the role of systems integrators, which are often incumbents or Telcos with fixed networks. More operators are looking to take on this latter role, expanding on their existing offerings and increasing their foothold on the value chain, providing extended solutions such as managed services, for example.

More than connectivity

To achieve this, it’s imperative that Telcos change their mindset. B2B communications businesses have long been dominated by the one-to-one enablement approach, serving users who buy a bundle of services and/or connectivity for a single fee. It’s this traditional model that’s being rapidly dismantled and disrupted by OTT competitors, who often dismiss comms companies as ‘just’ connectivity providers operating in a whole marketplace of other services.

OTT players and other disruptors have seized on the communication sector’s delay in investing in B2B, a fact that’s evident in the figures. While B2B revenues represent up to 30% of the total revenues of some Telcos, digital natives, such as Amazon and Google, are revenue growth leaders, recording growth rates of over 30% each year. Against this backdrop, it would seem that companies who are able to scale, reduce network complexity, and speed up time-to-market for new services, are well placed to face any new challenges in their B2B business.

Added expertise

This is where working with the right partner is crucial for Telcos hoping to secure that all-important market share in the B2B space. At ZephyrTel, we leverage our expertise across multiple product areas to deliver a comprehensive suite of value-added and integrated solutions which are designed to meet the specific needs of Telcos.

These include multi-channel contact center solutions integrated with Telco CRM, ZephyrTel’s suite of tools to gather customer sentiment, and key OSS and BSS capabilities such as charging & billing, and mobile messaging. With sights firmly set on IoT, customers can also make the most of ZephyrTel’s long legacy of providing device management solution capabilities. These can then be resold by Telco operators, be it to virtual operators in many different vertical domains, or to enterprise and IoT-related business opportunities.

To take full advantage of the opportunities that the B2B market presents, Telcos not only have to shift their mindsets but transform their ways of working too. By working collaboratively with partners who have the expertise and experience to provide solutions that deliver tangible value, Telcos can rise to the challenge posed by industry disruptors and digital natives, all while securing their rightful place at the heart of a rapidly evolving and potentially lucrative sector.

For more information on how ZephyrTel can help you develop your B2B offering, contact Mark Collins at mark.collins@zephyrtel.com.