Over the past years, several telecommunications markets around the world have become increasingly competitive.
People are constantly looking for better-value deals and operators are looking for new and innovative ways to attract and retain their customers.
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One strategy employed by some operators is fixed-mobile convergence, whereby operators offer both fixed and mobile services to the consumer in one, simplified bill.
For a household of many people using multiple services – mobile phones, home fibre internet, TV, fixed phone – it can be much easier to have everything on one bill, from one provider.
When operators offer this successfully with a streamlined customer service experience, it can reduce the incentive of customers to switch providers.
(Fixed-mobile converged household = household subscribed to one or more fixed services (voice, broadband and pay-TV) and one or more mobile services (mobile voice/data and mobile broadband) provided by one service provider on one bill)
This strategy has gained traction in some parts of Western Europe, where many operators have placed convergence at the centre of their strategies.
The penetration of converged households in Western Europe will reach 29 percent by 2021, up from 24 percent in 2017, according to GlobalData numbers.
In France, Spain, and Portugal, for example, it is now normal to see operators offering various converged bundles, where customers can choose the selection of services that best fits their household needs.
Outside of Europe, fixed-mobile convergence has also disrupted several markets in North America and Asia Pacific, where competition is fierce and operators are looking for new ways to grow.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, operators are mainly offering fixed and mobile services separately. However, interestingly, some operators in the region have begun offering converged services as well.
In Turkey, for example, both Turk Telekom and Turkcell, two of the country’s main operators, are offering converged services on one bill.
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In Bahrain, the state incumbent operator, Batelco, has recently begun offering the Gulf region’s first fixed-mobile converged offer. In Egypt, both Vodafone and Orange offer various types of converged services.
These markets are generally competitive and dynamic.
As a market trend that can significantly change the way consumers use telecommunications services, as well as the way operators run their business, fixed-mobile convergence is a trend to look out for, not only in Europe, but also in the MENA region.