M1 shapes the future of telecommunications to unlock new consumer experiences in the cloud

 |   Singapore News Center

M1 shapes the future of telecommunications to unlock new consumer experiences in the cloud

COVID-19 has shown very clearly the critical role that telco operators play in our society and economy. The accelerated shift to virtual models – from remote working to online learning – has driven up demand for connectivity services on an unprecedented scale. Furthermore, the rapid evolution of the internet into a primarily mobile platform has also changed consumer behaviors and their digital consumption habits. Consumers now expect digital services to be seamlessly available – anytime, anywhere, and on any device – prompting telco operators to embrace digital transformation in their operations and evolve their service offerings to deliver new, integrated experiences for consumers.

M1 Limited (M1), a fully owned subsidiary of Keppel Group, is Singapore’s most vibrant and dynamic telecommunications company, providing mobile and fixed services to over 2 million customers. Since the launch of commercial services in 1997, M1 has achieved many firsts, including the first operator to offer nationwide 4G service, as well as ultra-high-speed fixed broadband, fixed voice, and other services on the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network. With a continual focus on network quality, customer service, value, and innovation, M1 is responding to the shift and paving the way for new consumer experiences.

Evolving from an operator into a digital services provider

In today’s interconnected world, telco operators like M1 no longer serve as just a network service provider. The increasing demand for always-on connectivity, communication, and collaboration – from mobile and entertainment to daily needs such as online banking and shopping – has driven telco operators to double down on innovation to stay ahead in the digital landscape. Coupled with the shift towards an era of high-speed 5G networks, telco operators are now more challenged than ever to deliver faster connectivity, immersive experiences, and differentiated services to its customers.

In February this year, M1 unveiled a new brand identity with made-to-measure offerings to accelerate its digital transformation journey and achieve its vision of becoming a digital-first telco. For example, the new interactive ‘My M1+’ lifestyle app will allow customers to tap on M1’s data analytics to access real time insights to their bill and usage, select value-added services and explore exciting lifestyle options. Augmenting its customer service experience, M1 has also introduced an in-store virtual ambassador, ‘Megan’, to engage customers and provide personalized recommendations.

Empowering innovation through Azure cloud and driving industry-wide transformation

Powering a full suite of digital offerings and services, it was crucial for M1 to build a strong ecosystem of partners who can provide a cloud platform that is not only extensive and secure, but also customized to the unique needs of the telco industry. As such, M1 has partnered with several leading technology service providers, including Microsoft, to develop a new technology stack that will integrate its systems onto one digital platform. Powered by Microsoft Azure, the platform will allow M1 to harness the power of the cloud to streamline its operations through intelligent processes and automation. Microsoft will also leverage the strength and expertise of its trusted partners to accelerate M1’s cloud adoption – from deploying workloads onto the cloud to co-creating digital capabilities and services. For instance, the integration of Openet’s cloud-native solution on Microsoft Azure will provide M1 with access to real-time usage data of their customers, thus allowing them to create seamless and personalized digital experiences across all touchpoints.

This partnership with M1 marks a new chapter in Microsoft’s collaboration with the local telecommunications industry to unlock the power of 5G and bring cloud and edge closer than ever. The introduction of Microsoft’s technology to the operator’s edge, coupled with its strong developer ecosystem, will help operators future proof their networks, reduce costs, and pave the way for new services and business models. M1 is now leveraging Microsoft technology to innovate and derive new digital revenue models, products, and services for enterprises, which will in turn be able to do the same for their customers, creating a trickle-down effect for industry-wide transformation.

As we move into an era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge that is driven by massive technology shifts in ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, and people-centered experiences, the telco industry has taken on a unique role in the realization of 5G and next-generation digital experiences for consumers.
Microsoft believes that the use of digital technology can automate and accelerate not only the 5G core network, but also expand the reach of programmable networks, delivering new edge solutions that offer advancements in cost, speed, and security for operators. The rise of 5G will also open new frontiers for developers to unlock new use cases and create a next wave of edge applications to benefit end users.

Unlocking new consumer experiences

With 5G set to roll out by 2025, there is no better time to innovate and pivot towards cloud and edge technologies. The ability to harness the high speed, high capacity, and low latency of 5G technology will open up new possibilities and a proliferation of innovative cloud-based applications across the telecommunications industry.

By infusing data, artificial intelligence and mixed reality into the cloud and power it with 5G, we get an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge that presents tremendous potential for the industry to come together to nurture a local ecosystem that provides real value to customers through enhanced digital services. In the long run, these partnerships will also drive the development of sustainable developer and commercial ecosystems, accelerating the delivery of exciting new capabilities at the edge, including pervasive IoT intelligence and immersive mixed reality.