In a coronavirus epidemic, selected telecoms operate procliently and provide users with additional free services. Moreover, operators may gain from promoting selected offers and undoubtedly from interconnect billing.
Telecoms under a protective umbrella
While other industries are losing out on the coronavirus pandemic, telephones seem to be under a protective umbrella. This is due to the functioning of their business mainly based on periodically paid subscriptions. Moreover, increased demand for telecommunication services in a pandemic may cause customers to switch to higher subscription plans or buy additional data packs. All the more so as customer service can be provided remotely. This would primarily increase the ARPU of telecommunications services.
Operators support the action #stayathome
For the time being, telecoms have been operating procliently and provide users with additional free services. Orange was the first to take the initiative and decided that as of 13 March all individual customers of subscription and prepaid offers can receive an additional 10 GB free of charge on the Internet. The package will be valid in Poland until 31 March 2020. Orange also announced a two-week extension of the time to pay for current (issued between 26 February and 14 March) telecommunications bills.
Other operators have followed Orange in a similar way. T-Mobile decided to make available to individual customers (post-paid as well as MIX and pre-paid offers) a 10 GB mobile Internet package. The data package will be available from 20 March as part of the weekly Happy Fridays campaign, until further notice. Additional bonuses for the duration of the quarantine have also been prepared for their customers by the Cyfrowy Polsat Group – maximum acceleration of the speed of fixed-line Internet and exclusion of data transmission fees for mobile Internet users when using the Tidal music service (for a period of 30 days), as well as Play – 10 GB of additional data transfer for individual and business customers (the package can be launched by 31 March, and its validity is 14 days from activation).
Netia has also announced that in the coming days it will speed up all fibre-optic accesses to the maximum technically possible value, free of charge, per month. In this way, operators support quarantine times and additionally encourage Poles to stay at home.
Pandemic is also an “opportunity”
Pandemic is also an “opportunity” for telecoms to promote certain offers and services. For example, Orange reminds about the possibility of subscribing to the Flex offer “without leaving home”. T-Mobile, on the other hand, has launched a new package dedicated to Ukrainians staying in Poland under the Heyah brand. Such activities promote customer loyalty.
On the market of fixed-line business solutions, however, there is an increased interest in solutions supporting teleworking, such as virtual switchboards or tele- and videoconferences. For example, Orange promotes software for online meetings, presentations, training and videoconferencing and document sharing. The service is available for free for the first three months. From smaller operators we can also hear that among customers we can see interest in upgrading Internet connections to higher throughput due to quarantine and teleworking.
It will definitely gain interconnect
With increased voice traffic (as we have written about here), telecommunication operators will certainly also gain in the carrier segment. Significantly increased traffic in the retail market (business calls due to remote working and individual calls) will result in higher revenues from interconnect services. This will be visible primarily in mobile networks, but also in fixed-line networks – mainly the number of called minutes to elderly people, who are currently the most frequent owners of traditional telephony.