ShortCut: Let's go platform





Making telco business models future-proof
Platform businesses have been the trailblazers of the early 21st century . Fueled by technological advances and ever-deepening pools of data , digital platforms have already successfully disrupted numerous industries . Telcos missed out on early opportunities and have seen the revenue streams of the telco ecosystem shift in the process . They must act now . Platform business models have reached the telco industry – and they are here to stay .
A digital platform is more than just technology . It is a business model based on the concept of a multisided digital framework that redefines the way participants interact with one another . It radically reduces transaction costs and / or facilitates innovation within industries . With traditional value chains under pressure , companies are making platform business models a priority and a strategic decision for growth and long-term business viability .
In the past , many telco companies missed out on the opportunity to become a first mover and to create digital ecosystems and partnerships early on . Instead , they mainly kept their focus on building the required infrastructure and on monetizing connectivity services in line with the traditional telco value chain . But while data volume is continuously growing and consumers are demanding higher connectivity , customer willingness to pay is declining . The role of simple connectivity providers is no longer sufficient to be profitable and competitive . The same is true for infrastructure , an area that is also becoming a less relevant differentiator – with the constraint of high capex investments in addition .
Instead , the telco ecosystem is rapidly shifting toward new , increasingly important revenue streams . Providing customer value in the realm of IoT solutions , media content and software applications will make the difference and will generate the new business and revenues that telcos need . For this reason , they must now leverage their access to telco customers



( B2B , B2C ) and key ( technology ) partners to position themselves as ecosystem enablers . Only then , telcos will be able to make their business model future-proof and play a crucial role in innovating industries such as healthcare , heavy industry and everything regarding smart-city infrastructure .
Key considerations for platform transformation
The following key considerations have gained momentum and put telcos in a position that makes platform business models the inevitable next step :
POSITIONING : The large customer base maintained by telecos and their networks will enable them to become digital service enablers by curating and orchestrating services that use their own platforms . By taking this approach , they can turn the CSPs ’ success into an opportunity for new revenue streams by curating verticals and orchestrating an ecosystem for multi-domain secondlevel platforms . The CSPs ’ platform will become the center for other CSP and OTT services and facilitate access to other industries ( e . g ., digital healthcare ).

1 / 3

17 % 10 %
IoT Content Software platform-driven 19 %
5 %
19 %

1 / 2

10 %
19 %
10 %
18 %
13 %
TECHNOLOGY : Technological advances are a key driver of the telco business . Innovating at speed is therefore an important capability to scale business along new technologies – 5G acts as accelerator for platform deployment . The migration of 5G networks is driving connectivity in B2B and B2C and the requirement for services that offer an outstanding customer experience . For example , multiaccess edge computing ( MEC ) offers new potential revenue streams in partnerships with hyperscaling cloud providers .
Voice & SMS Data Devices Advertising Network equipment
14 % 9 %
7 %
8 %
4 %
20 %
INFRASTRUCTURE : Until recent years , a telco ’ s infrastructure was a key competitive differentiator . Today , many transactions designed to better manage CapEx and increase operational and capital
Source : GSMA , goetzpartners