Digitization for Telecoms in South America
Digitization is making the telecommunications sector a truly global industry, one in which geographical location is no longer a barrier to reaching world markets with innovative services. One such area in which we are seeing a shift in mindset among South American telecom companies.
For organizations involved in telecommunications in South America, the European market has traditionally been another world – one too distant and complicated to reach, and best left to the operators on the ground “over there”-. Now, though, they are eyeing the progress of their counterparts on the other side of the globe, in order to bring best practices in European digital transformation to telecommunications in Latin America.
In a very short period of time, the whole telecommunications market in Europe has changed from the traditional model of fixed-network operations upon which CSPs hosted services. With digitization has come virtualization and the self-organizing networks that not so long ago looked like the “smart” technology of the future. At the same time, operators have begun implementing new, collaborative business models that are light years ahead of those relying on undercutting the competition in the fields of SMS and voice calls. The digital revolution has given these CSPs the possibility to implement and sell new services – OTT and IoT in particular – quickly, automatically, scalable to any number of clients, and at low cost.
This is the kind of thinking, from the network infrastructure, business and service perspectives, that has proved of such great interest to South American Telecom operators.
Critically, these operators have learned that customers want the kind of services (streaming movies and sports events springs to mind) available in Europe, so are adopting policies to deliver on this. From the service side, there are different priorities in different parts of the region; companies are exploiting the data they collect to meet specific demands – maybe security in one country, and shopping in another. But, despite these differences, one thing that is fairly uniform across telecommunications in Latin America is that customer expectations are changing. There’s a new generation of clients who expect operators to earn their loyalty – and they’re not averse to switching if operators can’t or don’t provide the services they, as clients, want. There’s added pressure on South American telecoms operators, from new virtual operators who have never been locked in too expensive and slow, to alter physical networks.
From the physical network perspective, changes also differ from country to country. For example, there are some in which there is state funding for fiber networks, while in others CSPs themselves decide on making such investments. But, with the services that are in demand relying so heavily on good quality wi-fi and high-speed connectivity across the region – not just is urban centers – South American telecoms operators must all consider investing (perhaps collaboratively) if they are to be in a position to win new customers, open up additional revenue streams, and take advantage of the full range of possibilities that European CSPs are showing digital transformation has to offer.