Etisalat, Ooredoo and MTC in top 20 telco value creators globally

16 May 2024 3 min. read

Etisalat (UAE), Ooredoo (Qatar), and Zain (Kuwait) have ranked among the top 20 ‘value creators’ in the global telecoms industry, measured in terms of total shareholder return.

According to the 2024 Telco Value Creators Report from Boston Consulting Group, the world’s top performing telecom companies delivered a median annualized total shareholder return of 6% in the five years from 2019 to 2023.

These companies have managed to successfully defend their core business, invest wisely in network upgrades, control costs and efficiency, and command a frontrunning position in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and advanced analytics.

Etisalat, Ooredoo and MTC in top 20 telco value creators globally

For its report, Boston Consulting Group assessed around 60 public companies in the telecom sector globally on the basis of their returns. The top 20 performers were earmarked as leaders, with Bharti Airtel from India and Etisalat from the UAE stealing the show – both achieved a total shareholder return of over 20%.

“Our findings reveal that top-performing companies, like Etisalat, have excelled by safeguarding their core business and expanding -sometimes through partnerships - into new markets and technologies. This dual focus has driven their significant value growth over the past five years,” said Nuno Gomes, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group.

Ooredoo from Qatar ranked 9th in the list, in between two operators from Brazil, while MTC from Kuwait (which does business as Zain) ranked 15th with a total shareholder return of 9%.

Generating value

Based on its analysis (and extensive experience as a strategy consultant), the authors present a roadmap for value generation in the telecommunications domain:

Etisalat, Ooredoo and MTC in top 20 telco value creators globally

Defend the core
Strengthening foundational services with technology to enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Drive growth outside the core
Capturing revenues adjacent to the core network business.

Maximize asset leverage
Getting better returns from assets can be vital to boosting returns, so some telco’s are looking hard at infrastructure such as fiber, legacy fixed networks, and mobile towers

Optimize costs
Implementing end-to-end cost transformation programs that go far beyond simple cost-cutting to create a new and more efficient culture.

Adopt core-to-cloud transformation
Replacing on-premises, legacy applications can reduce time-to-market, enhance customer experience, and simplify and automate processes.

Next-generation architecture
Moving to the cloud is a key step in building a next-generation network – but after the transition, there’s still more to do. Build network capabilities that can facilitate the swift introduction of innovative services.

Generative AI
The potential gains from Gen AI are extensive, ranging from enhancing customer service via AI-driven chatbots and boosting operational efficiency by automating various processes, to creating innovative products and making the life of employees more enjoyable by removing mundane tasks.

Commenting on the value creation levers, Gomes said: “The telecommunications industry is undergoing considerable shifts, with digitalization, innovative offerings, and strategic market positioning becoming more critical than ever.”

David Panhans Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, added: “The telecommunications sector is at the forefront of digitalization. To perform and outperform, telco’s need to be agile in introducing novel offerings, and robust market-entry strategies are essential.”