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Telecom growth story is led by proliferation of 4G & low cost devices

Markus Doetsch, MD & CEO - Sicap Group talks to VARINDIA to share more about the company’s operations in India, the competition faced, its solutions to cater to the domestic market and its roadmap to fortify its presence here -


With the growing competition in market, what is the strategy of Sicap to differentiate its solutions from the rest?


Since Sicap was founded we have differentiated through our strong know-how in core mobile network technologies, device and SIM management and accurate and always up-to-date mobile device intelligence data. We have systematically continued developing the most essential parts of our technology stack while complementing it with the latest big data technologies and real-time analytics. Thanks to our sustained technology strategy, we clearly differentiate our solutions by merging the network and device intelligence, big data and real-time analytics capabilities. By using Sicap solutions, our mobile customers monetize their network, SIM, device and customer data through real-time business intelligence, customer insight, customer engagement automation and service activation. In the IoT Service Enablement market we will differentiate by capitalizing on the same recipe; combining accurate network, SIM and device data with big data and analytics capabilities. Embracing innovations in technology has always been at the core of our company.


At present, we are on an expansion spree in the Indian market, aiming at improving efficiency and competitive advantage through our Global Development and Support Centre (GDSC) in Kolkata. This will ensure better access to marketplace, drive new business opportunities and strengthen the technological competences of the company while supporting international teams and global operations.


With reference to your global reach, what kind of a growth do you see in markets around the globe? Share some light on your different approaches towards these markets, more specifically on the India market.


Today Sicap operates in 76 countries for 120 customer sites. We have a strong global presence through our international teams in 9 locations including India which helps us to map the global growth opportunities.


Emerging APAC, India and Africa are the World’s fastest growing mobile markets in the next 5 years. The telecommunications market in these regions is estimated to grow approximate 10% year on year. The growth is predominantly driven by heavy 4G rollouts and proliferation of low-cost smartphones. According to SIM Alliance report, SIM card shipments grew by +14% in APAC, mainly due to 4G card shipments.


However, today these markets are characterised by very low smartphone penetration which is one of the biggest 4G growth challenges for service providers. Our TargetMe solution detects 4G and non-4G device users enabling operators to speed up service adoption through targeted and automated real-time promotions. As an example, Tunisie Telecom tripled its 4G service adoption in just 8 months via Sicap’s TargetMe and we strongly believe service providers in the APAC are able to achieve similar growth figures through Sicap’s technologies.


According to a recent Analysis Mason research, some of the more developed telecommunication markets in APAC region, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, will see vast amounts of mainstream subscribers adopting bigger multi-play service bundles. Partly government subsidized fiber-to-the-home networks also feed the appetite for richer, converged fixed-mobile service bundles. This again is an area where our TargetMe customer and device insight and real-time engagement solution will help operators to cross-sell services more efficiently.


When it comes to Europe, the telecommunication market has slowed down already for a number of years. According to the SIM Alliance report, the traditional SIM card shipments decreased -5% in the region during 2016. However, at the same time embedded SIM shipment grew by +49% in Europe and the US, which suggest rapid growth in M2M and IoT applications.


MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) space is a fast growing telecommunication segment throughout the world. According to a recent study by Global Market Insights, global MVNO market including the APAC grows nearly 10% year on year until 2022. Sicap’s APN Setup cloud solution is popular among MVNOs around the world.


In India, Sicap has now a global development center (GDC) in Kolkata which provides better customization, software support, developing and delivering state-of-the-art solutions across the globe. To date we have invested millions of dollars in India market which is high growth opportunity market and the fastest growing for Sicap.


How do you see the Indian telecom market today? What are your future plans to fortify your position in the Indian Market?


The Indian telecom market is one of the fastest growing markets across the globe which is expected to grow by 10.3% year on year to reach US$ 103.9 billion by 2020. There is no doubt that the market has tremendous potential to lift the Indian economy and Indian telcos are continually adapting and responding to evolving market trends and customer demands.


At the same time we have identified challenges which threaten profitability of mobile operators in the country. The past price wars and high-spectrum auction prices raise the pressure of getting customers on-boarded on 4G networks to speed up payback and return on investment. Unfortunately, at the same time the 4G smartphone penetration is as low as 10%, which slows down 4G service migration. This a key challenge for Indian operators. Our TargetMe customer engagement automation solution has a track record of tripling 4G service adoption, which makes it a lucrative investment among Indian service providers.


Sicap started its India operations in the second half of 2015 and we are already on an expansion spree in India. As of now, we have invested millions of dollars in India market as we are offering highly customized and innovative technology products and solutions to mobile operators. Sicap has also set up its global development center (GDC) in India to provide better customization, software support, developing and delivering state-of-the-art solutions across the globe. Deepak Mahajan, who has been recently appointed as the Executive Director for India and South Asia will lead the team to win new business, shape market opportunities and solidify the company’s position in the marketplace.


To meet our expansion plans we are moving to bigger office space to house our growing number of resources and to ensure exponential business growth with improved operational efficiency. Sicap is in a unique position in the Indian market to sense what is happening today and in the future in telecommunications.


What is the company’s strategy to strengthen contact with its customers and partners in the India market?


Sicap’s expansion plans in India for increasing capacity of talent and new innovative solutions reflect the long term commitment and great partnerships Sicap has built in the Indian region. We are taking a highly focussed approach to develop innovative and tailored solutions that best address the growing needs of the operators and their customers, as well as to strengthen our partner relationships through business outreach and talent acquisition.


In order to monetize, manage and secure mobile businesses, Sicap offers four main Products & Solutions, including Customer Insight and Engagement – TargetMe, Device and SIM Management, Security Solutions, and IoT Service Enablement, among others. Sicap’s Global Development and Support Centre in Kolkata will unleash innovation, while ensuring proximity to our customers by understanding the needs and environment they are operating in.


As with the recent development in technology the threats for cyber security have also increased, how is Sicap contributing in this and providing a better and secure mobile solution to its customers?


The trusted reputation of cellular services is becoming an increasingly important asset for operators. And, due to the growing general awareness of information security threats, operators increase investments into security to protect their brand and revenues.


To ensure customer privacy and safeguard their data, Sicap has recently introduced a new security solution SAFER for MNOs and MVNOs. Safer enables mobile operators to protect their clients effectively in the case of loss, theft or misuse of the equipment. Moreover, Safer can also provide public and homeland security as an operator can support authorized investigative authorities with the pursuit of preventing serious crimes or subverting terrorist attacks. Sicap Safer combines EIR with real-time device data analytics enabling mobile operators to conform even into the most demanding national and international homeland security regulations for tracing subscribers and devices.


Sicap EIR is a fully standard compliant and globally field proven solution enabling operators to protect their subscribers and networks from malfunctioning, fraudulent and stolen devices in cooperation with a national Central-EIR.


With the Government now investing in many infrastructure projects in the country, is Sicap eyeing to enter this area with any of its solutions?


With the Indian government’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart cities mission’ set in motion, end-to-end technology solutions will play a crucial role in building the right infrastructure in order to create a highly interconnected world. In smart cities, diverse users, devices, machines, systems and applications over all levels, will be connected by, and interact together, through the effective IoT platform.


Sicap offers IoT Service Enablement solution which makes mobile service providers the IoT providers of choice for enterprises and verticals, while unlocking new revenues without large investments. The IoT Service Enablement solution provides device and asset management through the commonly utilized IoT and M2M technologies and protocols. The platform can benefit mobile operators with a variety of protocols to interact with IoT devices and gives the capability to connect to IoT applications through open APIs (application programming interfaces). The entire process in turn allows for the collection of data, the update of IoT devices as well as eSIM and SIM OTA management for a multi-tenant environment.


Exceptional article...Well done Sicap Group!