Ten years ago, at the height of the financial crisis, Telecoming launched in Spain. It might have seemed a terrible time to start a mobile billing company, but today Telecoming is flourishing all over the world. MEF spoke to the company’s COO Roberto Monge.

In October 2017, Telecoming closed a new content deal with Axiata Digital in Malaysia. The Spanish firm signed on to power multi-device mobile billing services for Axiata’s four million subscribers. It says it expects to invest $4m investment in the region over the next two years.

This is just one deal among many that confirms Telecoming’s position as a one of the most enduring survivors of the first wave of mobile billing specialists. Today, ten years after its creation, the firm offers content, billing and advertising services all over the world.

How did Telecoming get started?

Telecoming was born in 2008, one year after the start of the financial crisis. We have grown ever since. We began by developing billing gateways, as a means for the users to buy content. We focused in making these gateways functional and well designed, but above all secure.

It worked, and we went from a €10m turnover in 2011 to €51M in 2016. Our aim is to provide the best content and billing solutions and the most effective digital advertising campaigns.

  We are firmly commited to technological innovation. Looking ahead, we have blockchain projects on the horizon. This technology offers unlimited transactional possibilities within the digital environment. We are really keen on investing in these sort of projects.

What is the split between them? Which is growing fastest?

Actually, all three business areas are experiencing growth. These divisions employ almost 70 per cent of our workforce.

We have managed to implement a business model with full control of the overall value chain. So although we started mobile billing, we diversified and created an extremely comprehensive content portfolio, which we began to promote through marketing campaigns too. Today, we monetise digital content for more than 400 million users.

In terms of mobile advertising, we are 100 per cent performance focused and we deliver accurately targeted campaigns, thanks to a result-oriented marketing team.

What size is Telecoming now?

We are at more than 110 employees, working in 10 markets worldwide. The HQ is in Spain.

Is the content/gaming business doing well? How is this business affected by the app stores?

The content business is booming. I think this is thanks to the multi-device transformation behind content consumption. Users want to enjoy quality content at any given place and time.

Games are a big part of this. In 2016, the Spanish gaming industry turned over £1.163m, which was a 7.4 per cent increase on 2015.

One of your offerings is direct carrier billing. Which sectors do you work with?

We deploy DCB for a wide variety of digital goods such as editorial, music, gaming, movies and TV. But when PSD2 regulation comes into force, we will start to look at new billing solutions. We hope to apply our DCB services to new applications, including transport, events and parking.

We are always looking out for growth opportunities in new areas and we have the resources to deploy them, as efficiently as we do with digital goods.

Are you confident DCB will grow?

Smartphone penetration figures are at peak levels and DCB is the perfect answer to the mobile user’s habits. Users want simple, agile, easy and above all, secure payment solutions. DCB as a stable and reliable payment solution among a huge user market.

What is your view of programmatic advertising? 

Programmatic is a unique technology from a targeting point of view and it’s without doubt a strategic opportunity for all performance oriented businesses.

We have an very active role. Over the past six years, we developed a powerful in-house DSP, which guarantees a full cross-device solution that targets the multi-device user. We are extremely proud of it.

Is mobile advertising suffering because of ad blockers or click fraud?

People use adblockers to avoid intrusive advertisements so we, as advertisers, should work to guarantee the end users a real value exchange and the best user experience.

Which new technology are you excited about – which could transform Telecoming the most?

We are firmly commited to technological innovation. Looking ahead, we have blockchain projects on the horizon. This technology offers unlimited transactional possibilities within the digital environment. We are really keen on investing in these sort of projects.

What was the best day in the history of Telecoming? 

We’re proud to have received a number of meaningful recognitions over the past years. One that stands out being listed among the 1,000 Most Inspiring European Companies by the London Stock Exchange in 2016.

Tim Green

Features Editor, MEF Minute

  

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