Telco data monetisation: COVID-19 insight services

A key area of interest for telecoms operators seeking to build new businesses from their core assets is data analytics, aggregating their rich customer insights to bring value to customers in advertising, government, and other industry verticals.

Singtel’s DataSpark has had some success in telco data monetisation with propositions for customer groups such as:

  • Land-use and transport planners to understand when, how and why people travel;
  • Out-of-home media companies to understand user location and travel habits around outdoor advertising assets;
  • Radio network planners to optimise site capex.

These capabilities have been particularly valuable to its government customers during the COVID pandemic. In the example below, DataSpark provided this visualisation of local population movement for the Australian Transport and Tourism Forum (TTF), which shows the impact of TTF’s decision to close its border with New South Wales on the 8th July 2020 to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Location data used here was collected from network probes and enriched by GPS signals, leveraging software that DataSpark has been developing since 2017.


telco data analytics

Source: DataSpark

While DataSpark has built up a range of internal and external data analytics capabilities, scaling the business remains a key challenge.

DataSpark has been set up as an autonomous business unit within the Group Digital Life business division of Singtel. This has given it the benefit of being able to shape its own destiny, but has also limited its access to core Singtel assets and made it more difficult to win business. In our research we explore DataSpark’s options within Singtel going forward, drawing lessons for other telcos building new businesses in analytics and other adjacent markets.

See our in-depth research on telco data monetisation: