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What is VAS?

The speed of current technological breakthroughs has no historical precedent. 

The fourth industrial revolution is disrupting most, if not all industries, but is presenting more urgency within telecommunications, and if companies are to survive, they must focus and cater to the consumer.

It is critical for telcos to offer more and be better than the next guys; VAS crosses the threshold of mediocrity.

What is VAS?

Value Added Services (VAS) is a term used in telecommunications to describe add-on products and services to the basic core functions a telecommunications company provides. 

VAS is cleverly used by telcos to:

  1. Create demand for core services and as a way to increase user time spent on a mobile device.
  2. Increase profit by “upselling” add-on services to their client base. 
  3. Provide synergy among the company’s range of services, and
  4. In a fiercely competitive environment, VAS for telecoms acts as a differentiating factor to attract more customers.

Value-added services benefit not only the service provider, but also their customers. 

There are two types of VAS:

  1. Standalone value-added services, and
  2. Adds value to existing services


Standalone VAS

Standalone value-added services do not need to be coupled with other services to work, although they do create synergy, and are developed to work with core services.

For example, SMS can be offered without the core voice calling service.

Works with core services

This category of VAS adds more value to core services. They need the “root” service in order to work. 

vas benefits for telcos

Benefits of VAS for telcos

The top challenges telcos face, include:

  1. Competition. Telcos exist in a fiercely competitive environment. How is your business different from your competitors? What is the competitive advantage?
  2. Privacy and security issues, especially with IoT growth. How ready is your telecom for IoT and other new technology? Can you guarantee subscribers with the necessary privacy and security?
  3. Development of 5G. Where does your telecoms company sit in terms of browsing experience advancement?

In order to survive, telcos need to continually redefine themselves against new developments in technology. To this end, here’s how VAS benefits telecommunication companies:

  1. By offering more value to subscribers, it gives telcos the edge and separates them from their competitors. 
  2. When carriers provide more value than their competitors, it results in decreased churn and increased loyalty.
  3. Gives telcos a way to “upsell” to current customers and increase profit.
  4. Most VAS lead to users spending more time on their devices, which means increased need of data, which also leads to higher profits.
  5. It enhances the customer experience by improving quality, touchpoints, and offerings.
  6. Provides telecommunication companies with more revenue streams which results in increased ARPU and higher profitability.

  7. Benefits of VAS for customers

How do the customers of telecommunication companies benefit from VAS?

To answer that, let’s take a look at what customers want from telecommunication companies (and often don’t get):

  1. A great shopping experiencehow does your telco make it easy for customers to shop your services?
  2. Convenience is key. People will pay more for it. How convenient do you make every operational touchpoint for subscribers?
  3. Speed. Consumers expect things to happen fast. How long do they have to wait for you to fulfill your internal processes?
  4. Because of companies like Amazon, consumers are more and more demanding personalisation. Do you give it to them?

In light of all that, let’s look at how VAS benefits customers (and when customers are satisfied, the telco also benefits):

  1. It gives subscribers alternative methods of connection, and the ability to do more from their devices.
  2. More convenience as there are more services to choose from, packages offer more value, and with some services, a tailored and personalised experience, or more efficient ways of connecting with the telco.
  3. Enhanced customer experience due to better offerings, improved quality and enhanced touchpoints.
  4. Customers are offered more value while paying less.

A final point to ponder

VAS is evolving to align with the fourth industrial revolution which will change the way we live, work, and connect with others, and the telecommunication industry is at the forefront of this radical alteration.

What is your business doing to evolve to meet what’s coming, and more importantly, to survive and thrive?

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