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LATAM Telcos Lead in Digital Transformation Planning but 4 in 5 Still Heavily Dependent on Physical Channels

Telcos in LATAM alongside Europe for digitalization planning, but 80% still mostly rely on traditional physical channels

London, Mar 11th 2021 – More than seven out of every 10 telecommunications operators in Latin America have developed a workable roadmap toward digitalizing their sales channels, but nearly 60 percent are still heavily reliant on physical engagement and purchases. That’s according to a new report from the Technology Innovation Council commissioned by mobile technology specialists, Upstream.

The recently published report, titled “The Road to Digital”, uses results from a worldwide survey of telco operators to offer one of the most detailed insights yet into how the industry is adapting to digitalization following the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite unprecedented demand for digital services in the past 12 months, six in ten telcos in the Latin America region are still more than 80 percent reliant on physical sales.  This represents a huge, missed opportunity as telcos around the world – particularly in Europe and Asia-Pacific – take full advantage of digital engagement, automation and customer self-service.

The report, which peels back the layers of digitalization and looks at what progress telcos are making from planning to implementation, found that despite being behind the digitalization curve, the Latin America region was in fact ahead of Europe and second only to Asia-Pacific in establishing a workable digital transformation blueprint.

Cost a barrier to entry

While drilling deep into the motivations and barriers to planning for a digital-centric future, the report found that operators in the Latin America region were the most cost-conscious worldwide. A decisive 100 percent of telcos in the region said that cost was their primary reason for not acting on their digital innovation blueprints.

Technology a concern

The report also looked at the technological capabilities of telcos around the world and assessed them against their plans for digitalization. It found that telcos in Latin America have reservations about the integration of new technology, with 57 percent expressing concern about compatibility with legacy systems and equipment.

Perceived benefits of digitalization

Nearly two-thirds (57 percent) of telcos in the Latin America region say that their primary motivations for digitalization are improved revenue growth, reduced costs through automation, and dramatic improvement to the customer experience. When asked how they would use data gathered by digitalizing their sales process, 57 percent of telcos said they would attempt to digitally acquire new customers, and 71 percent said they would begin cross-selling and upselling. Other data-driven strategies included the introduction of dynamic, targeted pricing (29 percent), the creation of retention models (43 percent), and the ability to re-target customers online (29 percent).

Upstream CEO, Dimitris Maniatis, said of the report’s findings: “Latin American telcos have an excellent grasp of digitalization and the steps needed to achieve it, but cost and poor infrastructure continue to be a huge barrier to progress. Despite this, operators have worked tirelessly to keep communities connected during a period of unprecedented demand. Telcos that are able to act on their plans for digitalization will be able to do even more for their customers while dramatically increasing engagement, sales and revenue.”

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For more information please contact:
Upstream Corporate Communications
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