European Telcos stop the lockdown freebies and focus on driving customers to digital services and channels, says GlobalData

The first round of COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe saw an immediate, high-profile and fairly universal response from European telcos announcing free consumer service benefits ranging from additional mobile data boosters to bonus family entertainment content. However, the second wave has, so far, seen very little such activity – with telcos instead encouraging customers to self-service and upgrade to higher-quality residential broadband services to take advantage of the new ‘working from home’ theme, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Emma Mohr-McClune, Service Director at GlobalData, comments: “In GlobalData’s research, which studied the key communications and sales channel of around 70 tier one and two operators and their secondary brands in ten European countries, around 60% had yet to promote any specific promotion or response to the second wave of COVID-19. In fact, the vast majority of telcos had limited their response to reminding consumers to use their hotline, e-care or online digital platform service platforms to self-service support, purchase new services or check up on the status of trouble tickets or deliveries. This result is in stark contrast to the immediate activity in response to the first wave.”

Digital provisioning has come into its own during COVID-19, and telcos are learning to see both lockdowns, and the era of permanent working from home, as an opportunity.

Mohr-McClune adds: “Clearly, the focus has shifted from the provision of free services for homes in lockdown towards encouraging customers to self-service and upgrade to higher-quality residential broadband services.”

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