Is now the Right Time to Outsource Your Shops as a Telecom Operator? Benefits and Risks Exist Making the Decision not Straight Forward

By Delta Partners, PRNE
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DUBAI, UAE, November 24, 2010 - Delta Partners, the leading telecom advisory and investment firm in
emerging markets, released its latest 'Delta Insight' today, "Outsourcing a
telecom operator's shops - can the opportunity become a threat?" The
publication discusses opportunities and potential risks for telecoms
operators in outsourcing their branded shops.

Operators worldwide are looking at outsourcing models as a way to focus
on the key areas of the business. One of the popular strategies is the
outsourcing of the so called 'branded shops', the management of their own
shops. This represents an important sales channel for an operator and a
relevant share of opex at 1-3% of an operator's revenues and capex where one
shop can cost around USD 100k. MTN, Etisalat, Zain and many other regional
key players have already followed this strategy.

"Next to achieving the roll out at reduced timelines, shop outsourcing
also allows operators to transfer some of the roll-out costs to external
partners thus reducing capex," says Josep Que, partner and co-author of the
report. "On top of that, external partners typically manage the shops more
efficiently and in alignment with local dynamics. In countries like Jordan
operators have even opted for regionally-focused partners to manage the
branded shops."

In a stage of the telecom industry development where differentiation is
key as the easy days of growth are over in many parts of MENA, to have a well
run sales channel is key. However, outsourcing is not without its risks.

"The benefits of outsourcing are evident and tangible but one has to bear
in mind the potential threats," adds Miguel Moreira de Cruz, manager. "First,
an operator can be in a potential hostage situation with a strong sales
partner that has become too dominant, which needs to be carefully managed."

"Second, the outsourcing of shops does not necessarily imply cost
savings, but rather efficiencies and has to be assessed in that light.
Thirdly, customer service can suffer when outsourcers are chasing profits and
sales and neglecting support services and last but not least it is key to
ensure the proper back-end support to the sales partner in order to ensure

Relevant benefits have been captured by operators that have outsourced
their own shops in terms of efficiencies, rollouts and costs, and although
challenges exist, identifying and realizing them is the first step to reap
the benefits of the model.

The current level of competitiveness in telecom markets is making this an
increasingly attractive option for operators to consider, thereby following a
currently popular trend worldwide.

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About Delta Partners

Delta Partners is the leading TMT advisory and investment firm in
emerging markets. With more than 160 professionals the firm operates across
50 markets in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Emerging Asia.
Delta Partners provides three synergistic services: management advisory,
corporate finance and investments from its offices in the UAE, Bahrain, South
, Spain and Singapore. Delta Partners delivers tangible results to its
clients and investors through its exclusive sector focus on telecom, media
and technology, and a unique approach to services, combining strategic advice
and a hands-on pragmatic approach.

    For further information and media relations please contact:

    Mia Mutic, Delta Partners, +971(4)369-2999

For further information and media relations please contact: Mia Mutic, Delta Partners, +971(4)369-2999, mmu at

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