Making a telco ecosystem play

9th January  |  
4 minutes
telco adtech adjucent

As businesses in all sectors look to deliver compelling propositions for the digital age, many are choosing to partner with other organisations in business “ecosystems.” By forming a telco ecosystem play with adtech partners, telcos can innovate new application-layer services that will transform the digital marketing industry and deliver a better service for consumers.  

What are business ecosystems? 

According to EY, a business ecosystem is “a purposeful business arrangement between two or more entities to create and share in collective value for a common set of customers.” According to the consultancy, participants in business ecosystems tend to create more value collectively than they could by going it alone. What’s more, businesses that fail to embrace the business ecosystem approach risk falling behind competitors.  

According to BCG, more than half of the S&P Global 100 companies are already engaged in one or more ecosystem plays, and in a 2022 survey of executives in multinational companies, 90% of respondents said that their companies planned to expand their activities in this field. 

Why operators should embrace telecom ecosystems 

Telcos worldwide are currently looking to generate new revenue streams to counteract the commoditisation of the voice and data business. And given their vast networks and subscriber bases, telcos would make a welcome addition to many business ecosystems.   

For their part, participation in a business ecosystem would give telcos rapid access to innovative technologies and business models, enhancing their ability to offer cutting-edge services and enabling them to rapidly launch into adjacent markets.  

Moreover, being part of a business ecosystem enables telcos to share risks and resources, reducing the burden of investment in new technologies. This is a collaborative approach that fosters a more agile and responsive business environment, allowing telecoms companies to better adapt to changing market demands and customer needs.  

Examples of telco ecosystem plays 

Leading telecoms operators are already involved in business ecosystems. Turkcell, for instance, is collaborating to deliver a payments platform and a messaging super app. According to McKinsey, Turkcell’s digital and financial services generated more than $150 million in stand-alone revenues, accounting for 8% of all revenue. 

Meanwhile, Globe, a Philippines-based telco, has created Mynt. This subsidiary is looking to become one-stop for mobile users’ financial needs. It offers services including wallet, payment, loan, and credit services. According to McKinsey, Mynt was valued at more than $2 billion in 2022. 

Telco ecosystem plays in digital marketing 

Digital marketing is another promising area for telcos to create innovative services in collaboration with other businesses. In particular, the deprecation of third-party tracking cookies means that the digital marketing industry is crying out for a new way to verify audiences on the open web so that they can be engaged with relevant and timely content. The challenge lies in doing so without impinging on user privacy, which is now legally protected in a growing number of jurisdictions worldwide. Privacy is also increasingly important to consumers themselves. By enabling privacy-first digital marketing, telcos can help elevate the industry so that it is better meeting the needs of modern internet users.     

Telcos can create verification services to achieve this goal. By partnering with adtech pioneers such as Novatiq, telcos can rapidly implement a powerful service-layer approach. In this case, the telco would integrate Novatiq Fusion into their networks.  

The platform brings together Novatiq’s two IDs. The first is the Zenith ID, which is a first-party publisher or brand-specific ID solution. The ID helps publishers and brands get a 360-degree view of their users by leveraging telco network intelligence to verify users across devices and over the open web. Importantly this is achieved without tracking individuals or even knowing who they are. What’s more, the Zenith ID is interoperable and can be used in partnership with other ID providers, making it ideal for ecosystem plays. 

The second ID is Novatiq’s Hyper ID. This is a transactional ID for retargeting and first-party audience delivery at scale and which is once again verified by telco network intelligence. Importantly, with Novatiq’s approach, there’s no inter-party personal data transfer – the Fusion platform simply matches the Zenith ID and the audience code from each publisher or brand to the telco-verified Hyper ID to deliver the audience response to the buy-side.  

Realise first-mover advantage 

There is a significant opportunity for telcos to deliver vital verification services to support the privacy-first internet of tomorrow. With the clock running down on the use of third-party tracking cookies, there’s no time to delay. Telcos have a one-in-a-generation to break into an important new vertical with a compelling business ecosystem proposition. Operators that set up their ecosystem partnerships first will be able to move fastest and capture the lion share of the market.  

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