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Next Telecom Frontier:Maximize the data pipe

Not going to talk about much but 1 week ago I read this article talking about Vodacom, South African Telco have secure license from the Financial Services Board to begin selling insurance products directly to its customers.

They are not the only one. Rogers Communications in Canada is also filling papers to start a bank.

With so much of the economy riding on their infrastructure, the telecom think they can do more. Monetize the customers, the suppliers but mobile payment would be the lucrative one.

Don’t be surprise if Starhub, M1 and Singtel start doing this.

Vodacom has secured a licence from the Financial Services Board (FSB) to begin selling insurance products directly to its customers as it seeks to broaden its portfolio and expand its revenue streams in a maturing mobile market.

There are few details available for now, but TechCentral has established that the cellular network operator intends to begin selling insurance products much more aggressively in the first quarter of 2012. It already has a limited portfolio of options available that includes insurance for phones, tablets and laptops.

Vodacom spokesman Richard Boorman confirms that the FSB recently granted the company a licence that will allow it sell insurance products directly to consumers rather than working through an intermediary. Until now, it has supplied insurance products through a division of Santam.

“The key reason for applying for the licence is to give us more control and flexibility when it comes to insurance services,” says Boorman. “We don’t have any specific new products or services to announce at this stage.”

Vodacom’s insurance team reports to its head of financial services, Mark Taylor, who is responsible for, among other things, Vodacom’s M-Pesa mobile transactions platform, which it launched last year in partnership with Nedbank.

In an interview with TechCentral in May, Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys said the company might seek its own banking licence from SA regulators if M-Pesa took off in the way it expects it will in the next few years.

He said Vodacom had decided to work with a bank to launch the service because it realised it could not launch it in the timeframe it had set itself without a partner. “We have a good partnership with Nedbank, [but we want to] start opening it up so you can transact with other banks,” he said at the time.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral


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Wednesday 28th of December 2011

Hi Drizzt,

What do you think of the potential of cloud computing has on the revenue of telecos in singapore?

Will you be doing a feature on cloud computing?

Thank you

Regards Phyllis


Thursday 29th of December 2011

hi Phyllis, welcome to my blog.

Look at cloud computing as not something that will benefit everyone. The telcos ride on the wave but may or may not benefit them.

- More things on the cloud means people on mobile needs data mobile. Enforces the utility aspect and the can't-do-without service economic moat. Singapore have the world's highest smartphone penetration - Cloud computing and app lifestyle will result in higher data usage which may create higher stress on infra. Depending on how technology manages it, this may have unfavorable impact - The 3 telcos need to make themselves look like a platform. Get the app and service suppliers to list on their "pipe" and charge them. They need to them not be seen as bloat ware so that users will use it. Charge both sides for delivering and consuming services. Make their "pipe" different. This will be part of their edge. Don't compete on cost but that their "pipe" is the best. - The main monetization i envision is really different QOS for different kind of data consumption. i give you an example. If you want fast you tube on your phone pay $3 per month to have faster QOS for that. If you do only web surfing and no gaming and latency is no issue, they get charge the base plan which is much lower. Telcos may charge based on the services provided not as a total data consumption.

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