Survey reveals challenges faced by telecoms companies

The biggest challenge facing telecommunications companies is disruptive innovation coming either from non-traditional business models, or from innovative technological solutions, 37 pct of Chief Technology Officers and Chief Information Officers said in an Ernst & Young Digital Transformation for 2020 and Beyond survey released on Tuesday.

The survey, based on responses from 36 global companies – including those in Greece – showed that 74 pct of respondents consider disruptive innovation to be among the top three challenges faced by the sector, along with organisational flexibility (47 pct) and low return of investments (37 pct).

Telecoms providers are focusing their investments by 2020 on digital business models and the improvement of customer experience to deal with competition from third parties, such as over-the-top digital service providers.

Customer experience was a top priority for 39 pct of respondents, while 24 pct said that digital business models were a top strategic priority and 71 pct listed them as one of their top three priorities.

The survey showed that 31 pct of respondents consider the “smart home” to be one of the three basic future sources of income and 37 pct saw 5G as the technology with the biggest impact on the sector in the next five years.

Elias Vizas, partner in EY Greece consultancy services department, said: “Fixed and mobile telephony service providers, both globally and in the country, will continue facing strong competition from companies offering innovative digital communication and data services. Often, customers asks us to support them in order to adjust to new conditions and to remain competitive in the market. To manage this they must speed up their course towards digital transformation, focusing on customer experience, integrating subversive and innovative services and technologies, both in their business model and their daily operations”.