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East Asian Telecom Giants Transform Digitally and Expand Services

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Telecom operators worldwide are adopting digital transformation and developing new services, with East Asian players leading the charge, according to recent research by Omdia. Out of the top four telecom operators in Omdia’s service provider digital strategy benchmark, three are from East Asia, featuring global mobile market leader China Mobile, which ranked first. SK Telecom came in second, while NTT DoCoMo tied for fourth place with Deutsche Telekom.

China Mobile scored 27.5 points out of a maximum of 35, owing to the large-scale deployment of high-speed broadband and the use of that infrastructure to develop new services. “China Mobile is showing a particularly impressive speed of change, with digital transformation services now accounting for more than 25% of service revenues,” stated Dario Talmesio, Research Director, Service Provider Strategy & Regulation, at Omdia. This growth in digital transformation revenue is attributed to the rapid expansion of 5G applications, mobile cloud, digital content, smart home, and other businesses.

SK Telecom’s second-place ranking is based on its efforts to reinvent itself as an AI company and develop services in areas including the metaverse and urban air mobility. The Asian telecom has transformed its ifland metaverse into an open platform, collaborating with other operators on metaverse content and technology, including Singtel and NTT DoCoMo.

NTT DoCoMo’s strong performance in digital transformation is bolstered by its expertise in technology and digital services. Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates-based e& (formerly known as Etisalat) ranked fifth in the benchmark. Matthew Reed, Chief Analyst, Service Provider Markets, at Omdia, noted that e&’s position is based on its vigorous pursuit of its 2022 strategy to transform into a global technology and investment group. This transformation involves focusing on next-gen technologies, digital experiences, financial services, the cloud, IoT, and AI in addition to telecoms.

As telecom operators increasingly emphasize digital transformation, Omdia’s rankings provide a valuable tool for measuring their progress and cutting through marketing rhetoric.

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