The Emergence of the New Service Provider

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For the last six years, TM Forum has published the results of their Digital Transformation Tracker. In this, they ask CSPs about how their transformation is coming along, what the main barriers to change are as well as what their strategic plans are. One of the key questions they ask is ‘what do you want to be?’ Over the past few years, there was no clear answer. However, have a look at the 2022 results below and you’ll see that is changing. The majority of service providers now want to be a “full digital service provider offering a variety of end-to-end services".

TM Forum Chart v3
Figure 1: TMF Digital Transformation Tracker 6, June 2022

The figures above show that in 2020 CSPs were perhaps a bit unsure of what they wanted to be with 26% saying that they wanted to be a best-in-class connectivity provider and only 19% saying they wanted to be a full digital service provider. Fast forward to 2022 and the results are very different. Only 15% see their future providing best-in-class connectivity while the aspiration to become a full digital service provider has increased to 52.5%. This significant jump is probably down to several factors. In early 2020 we were at the start of the Covid pandemic and since then digitalisation of CSPs and society has increased dramatically. Also, the launch of 5G services and planned rollout of 5G SA has boosted confidence in CSP that they can become full digital service providers and open new revenue streams and markets from 5G services.

This change to become a full digital service provider isn’t just aspirational – it’s happening now. I’ve had the privilege of leading several large-scale transformation projects with service providers implementing Qvantel Digital BSS. The change has been amazing. These service providers are now selling so much more than connectivity. They provide entertainment, news, health and education, and many more services to an increasingly digital-literate customer base. As well as providing a wider and richer range of services for their customers this also opens up new revenue streams. In one service provider where we worked on their transformation, they are not only the country’s biggest mobile service provider, they are also the country’s leading digital company. This is significant.

We all go to conferences where we hear the phrase ‘beyond connectivity’ being used again and again and again. This is no longer just some marketing mantra being used to describe a shiny, digital future. It’s happening now and the rate of change is only going to accelerate.

Rubén López
Chief Delivery Officer, Qvantel

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