How Central and Eastern European telcos are exploring revenues outside core business areas

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Telecommunications operators in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region are realising revenue growth from their core business services aided by the improved economy. Yet in spite of this, they are exploring new sources of revenue in different fields that are not related to their core service portfolio. Consequently non-core-business revenues are set to see continued increase throughout 2017–2021, according to IDC’s most recent research report.

The IDC report, titled “CEE Telcos Beyond Telecoms in 2017”, found that in 2016 the combined revenues (reported by the 11 polled CEE incumbent operators) from all non-core business services constituted 15% of the total revenues.

Kresimir Alic, senior program manager at IDC, said: "Telcos are expanding operations outside their core business area and making additional investments into activities they find promising, but they are also pulling out of business endeavors that have not proved lucrative. The ability to dynamically pursue opportunities in any market often represents the difference between successful and unsuccessful telco operators.”

Similar to 2017, in 2018 also CEE telcos are set to see revenue increase from non-core business services basically due to the notable growth realised in three leading sections viz. energy services, ICT services, and terminal equipment sales.

Making a deviation from their core business services a number of incumbent operators in Croatia, Hungary, and Poland are taking up the role of gas and electricity distributors and are managing electric vehicle charging stations. At present, nearly all incumbent telcos in the region are offering IT related services such as datacenter services, cloud services, and security solutions.

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