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Achieving Product Excellence in Telecom Summit: Innovations and Strategies

14 MAY 2019


Head of Business Development I IoT and Emerging Products
Turk Telekom

Questions For Orhan Akyurek

How to price the incoming 5G and 5G related products?

4G technology was introduced to the market before the deployment of smart devices in some pioneer countries. The remaining countries were able to implement a wide range of 4Gs long after the predecessors. The expansion of the process over time has caused difficulties to operators at the point of pricing. On the other hand, currently known concepts such as M2M, IoT, AI, AR, VR, have already created the need of 5G. The earlier emergence of the need and the accompanying consumer awareness seem to be an early predictor of more favourable launch prices and faster penetration than the past spectrums (unlike 3G and 4G).

How will the new technologies affect telecoms? What is the best strategy to adjust to the market with new technologies?

Especially the telecom companies that offer mixed service are going through challenges day by day. Implementing revenue sharing model and collaboration strategies instead of over-costing new product investments will provide significant contributions to telecom operators at cost-benefit points.

What are the biggest impacts of 5G on the IoT sector? How can we benefit from 5G in product development?

The problem of latency will disappear. In the field of health, where milliseconds are important, new business fields will emerge and remote treatments will increase. Areas such as agriculture, automotive and education will also offer important use cases after the health area. Operators will try to be a service providers in these areas by going out of providing traditional business areas and setting up micro companies or investing in start-ups.

  • Graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Engineering Management
  • Sales, IT and Business Development functions in Turk Telekom Group Companies
    2007 – 2012
  • Business Development Executive in TTNET between 2012-2015
  • IoT Services Executive at Turkcell 2015-2018
  • Head of Business Development/IoT & Emerging Products at Türk Telekom Group 2018-cont’d


Director Entertainment Products

Questions For Ivor Micallef

How to choose and develop the best products for the telecom customers?

Keeping user expectations and where we want to bring customers in the future is the key in defining what to build. Nowadays, customers have access to a plethora of technology and services outside of what we provide as telecom which increases the expectations that they have from us, so ensuring that we bring the necessary gel around their broader expectations remains a core focus.

How will the new technologies affect telecoms? What is the best strategy to adjust to the market with new technologies?

The technology industry is in exponential flux and keeping up with all the changes is not always easy. Staying in control of the user experience whilst opening up our platforms to other ecosystems, like being ubiquitously present on 3rd party platforms, has been core to our strategy.

What are the biggest impacts of the digital products? How can we benefit from 5G in product development?

The biggest impact, in my view, is that consumers are now empowered to achieve heights that they probably never dreamed of achieving through the device in their pockets. New technologies like 5G should allow us to serve extremely real-time sensitive experiences like Live Sports and being able to interact with what’s happening on the field and with other supporters.

Ivor Micallef has built his career fully around TV & Entertainment products within the cable operator business. He is currently leading the Entertainment Product Team at Telenet, which brings exciting innovative platforms and features to keep 2 million Belgian households engaged and entertained on their ever-growing range of devices. His main focus is to constantly strike the right balance between running fast with innovation and bringing the mass market habits forward for everyone to enjoy entertainment their way. Ivor enjoys blending his passion for photography with exploring new countries, cultures and local cuisines.


Vice President Business and Strategy Controlling
Deutsche Telekom

Questions For Irena Sekirica

How to price the incoming 5G and 5G related products?

Prices of 5G as part of regular mobile business (or eMBB) will likely be similar to any new mobile generation, which would mean it is part of regular tariff when customer pays monthly fee with possible premium on top for a 5G option at the time of the introduction. We can already see operators promising to introduce premiums for 5G, however, a question is – would the industry and competition keep the same logic and for how long?
If we are discussing 5G new use cases as products, their pricing will depend on each specific use case. There are promising use cases already (e.g. Campus NW) where we expect new technologies to deliver additional revenues.

How will the new technologies affect telecoms? What is the best strategy to adjust to the market with new technologies?

5G is the next generation of communication networks designed to serve the Digital Society. By delivering extreme broadband, ultra-low latencies and massive internet of things networking, 5G goes beyond high speed mobile connectivity to enable real-time interactions that bridge the physical and virtual worlds. Unlike previous generations, 5G will fundamentally change the role that telecommunication technology plays in the society by enabling massive digitalisation of a fully-connected society, where not only people are connected, but also a massive number of machines and things. This creates what is often called the Internet of Everything – a new era beyond smartphones.
New Technologies are always an opportunity to reduce the production costs vs. current technology generation. 5G would enable cheaper production cost of data volumes and speeds which is critical when looking into how traffic projections look like (with 45% CAGR YoY increase). Older technologies will not be able to efficiently cope with such rising demands.
New Business opportunities will rise with new capabilities. New technologies should be adopted wisely (First 5G – Smart 5G) with commercial rollout following technical trials and costs of the equipment decreasing.

What are the biggest impacts of 5G? How can we benefit from 5G in product development?

5G will improve the performance and capabilities of previous generations in several dimensions including latency, peak data rates or connection density in a rather evolutionary way. These improvements will drive new use cases in the categories of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), benefiting from higher data rates, massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC), with more devices being connected massively, and ultra Reliable and Low Latency Communication (uRLLC) suitable for critical and low latency applications. Example use cases include those relevant in the context of smart manufacturing, immersive media, automotive, smart logistics or public safety.

Irena Sekirica works in Deutsche Telekom Group since 2002 where she held various management positions in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Germany. In her current role she is responsible for business controlling of Technology & Innovation Segment of the Group, which includes finance business partnering role as well as controlling of capex intense strategic projects and risk management. Prior to her career in DT, she worked in Ernst & Young as auditor. Irena holds MBA from IE University in Spain.


Head of Telecom Services
Elisa Estonia

Questions For Mailiis Ploomann

How to price the incoming 5G and 5G related products?

The first thing is to realise that 5G will not be just another G. And that traditional telecom products are commodity services. Therefore, the focus should turn onto the services that will run on that network.
It will not be connectivity business, but service/entertainment/productivity business and therefore requires a mind-set shift from product management in the first place.

How will the new technologies affect telecoms? What is the best strategy to adjust to the market with new technologies?

It will largely depend on what the telco’s strategy and overall target will be. New emerging technologies (ML especially) will allow numerous ways of improvements in operational excellence. Customer service automation, Fraud detection, biometrics, process improvements and others are just tools in your toolbox. Either build a house or bring it down, it is always up to the builder.
It is my strong belief that both 5G and ML will start a shift in product management towards lean product development.

Mailiis Ploomann has worked in telecom industry for 10 years. Starting from the position of product manager and now being the Head of Telecom Services in Elisa Estonia – in charge for all products and services for the consumer customer market and also all the end-user devices for the whole customer base. She is also a licensed DISC trainer and a member of the consumer customer strategy board.
With her background in business management and marketing she finds the telecom industry one of the most fascinating areas in today’s economics – basically a wonderland were everything is possible and what isn’t today – will be in a year’s time.
Starting from 2017, AI and Machine Learning as a strategical tool has been one of the youngest but highest priority members of her portfolio. Rebuilding the idea of product management, customer service automatisation, user experience monitoring and facial biometrics are already live and this is just the beginning.



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