Innovative Subscription Models to Come with the Help of Self-service Capabilities

What will 2021 bring us on the offer side of CSPs’ businesses? In 2020, saw an increase of Netflix-like successful subscription-based models with simplified services and products globally. Following the same principles as VAS providers, communication service providers can attract new customers on a crowded market with easy hop-on/hop-off products that come with full control of spending, especially on consumption and additional services.

First impressions are crucial

Polish Orange Flex is one of the first CSPs to successfully deliver an innovative subscription model with a fully mobile app-based user experience, from onboarding to offer and option selection, cost-control and payment. All customer-facing processes in this approach are and must be widely simplified, clear and carefully designed to be used directly from a mobile device.
Impeccable customer experience and smooth, almost seamless, processes result from carefully considered UX design of apps with crafted, built-in features. What matters probably the most, is the first impression. This means that the onboarding process is essential for the success of the whole service offer.

Inspiration from the big OTT players

If we take a look at how others operate, this is exactly the model chosen by popular OTT services such as Uber, Netflix and AirBnB, each of which built their entire business model on easy to use apps and digital portals. Good UX was and remains the key to success for businesses from startups to top-valued global companies. This truly digital approach has made more recent innovations even more popular. For example, customers can get instant help from chatbots, or receive AI/ML-powered recommendations based on profiling and previous choices.

The future of successful subscription models starts now

The emergence of innovative subscription models in telco is a perfect example of innovation opening a whole new market. If we consider that having an eSIM-enabled device makes it possible for customers to start using telco offers within minutes, and without a single human interaction, it is clear that such an approach will be appealing for many clients, especially younger ones.

The Polish Orange business case proved that their service came just at the right time, when physical stores were shut due to COVID-19 restrictions. What’s important, the offering performs pretty well even after shops reopened, as customers have already understood how much time they can save by using the intuitive app instead of making time-consuming store visit.

Development direction of innovative subscription models

We predict that this mindset-changing technology will gain in popularity throughout the year, and more operators globally will be launching such offers and apps, aligned to their local market specifics. At the same time, with ongoing globalization, we also predict that the growing popularity of this new business model will mean it will be picked up by new players. Convinced to use innovative subscription models?

Thus, we can expect an explosion of:

  • Subscription-based contract model for the main service and all options
  • Mobile app-only experience, especially for onboarding and management
  • Even simpler and clearer systems for customers on the contract level

If we add to this the competition between traditional CSPs and various VAS providers, we can conclude that market offers have never appeared more interesting. One thing is certain – customers will have a large choice of options. CSPs need to ensure they are the ones chosen.


Dominik Pacewicz

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