top of page

Transforming Customer Support to Lower Costs: A Priority for African MNOs

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Affordable pricing is now the biggest challenge to the growth of Africa’s digital economy.

SUBTONOMY, the leading Network Experience Platform provider in the Nordics, has announced it will be showcasing how African operators can vastly improve customer service without increasing their costs at AfricaCom in South Africa (8-10 November 2022).

Increased operational efficiency key to Africa’s digital future

In August 2022, one gigabyte of mobile data cost[1]:

  • USD29.5 in São Tomé and Príncipe

  • USD0.48 in Algeria, Africa’s cheapest data market

  • USD0.04 in Israel, the world’s cheapest data market.

Affordable pricing is now the biggest challenge to the growth of Africa’s digital economy. So why are prices so high? One factor elevating prices is mobile operators’ costs. Operators are being asked to roll out networks more widely, upgrade from 2G to 3G, to 4G and now 5G, and at the same time provide better support for their customers. All while charging a lower cost per megabyte. The only way they can meet these expectations is through increased efficiency throughout their organization. Doing this requires them to scrutinize all their costs – one of the biggest of which is customer service.

Customer support is both a cause of frustration and a big cost

African customers consider service quality to be critical [2] and are more willing than ever to vote with their feet if not satisfied. Operators are therefore challenged to develop innovative strategies to enhance service quality, as well as responsiveness when things go wrong[3].

The good news is there’s considerable scope for both greater efficiency and cost reduction. Research shows, for example, that 47% of customer complaints in South Africa are related to the quality of customer service itself[4], with time-to-resolve one of the biggest causes of frustration. Speeding queuing time, as well as the time taken to resolve queries, alleviates customer frustration, reduces costs, makes staff more productive and avoids customer churn. The question is how to increase efficiency while also minimizing the cost and disruption associated with change?

By reusing data sources they already have, operators can quickly and cost-effectively transform their technical customer support

Learning from others’ experience will turbo-charge customer support efficiency

Other mobile-first economies have already been down the path of optimizing digital customer support, meaning that African operators can benefit from their experience to accelerate change in their own customer support organizations. In the Nordics, for example, digital customer support provision is both efficient and effective at keeping customers happy and more engaged. This has resulted in operators experiencing 20% fewer calls to their contact centers, 47% reductions in the time taken to resolve a customer query, and 60% reductions in escalations[5]. All of which reduce costs.

Change doesn’t have to come at great cost

With the need to keep costs and disruption to a minimum, African operators can benefit immediately from the approach taken by Subtonomy, an expert provider of digital customer support applications. By re-using existing data sources – including passive probes (eg Amdocs, Anritsu, Commprove, Empirix, Exfo, Polystar, Radcom, Tektronix, Teoco or Viavi, Tektronix), BSS and OSS, cell data and device data – Subtonomy enables operators to deliver a 360 degrees real-time view of actual customer experience quickly[6] and at low cost. This empowers them to provide fast, efficient digital support 24/7.

“By reusing data sources they already have, operators can quickly and cost-effectively transform their technical customer support. Our solution not only future proofs them against further change but also enables them to squeeze more value out of what they already have - such as legacy probes and BSS/OSS solutions.” Andreas Jörbeck, CEO and co-founder of Subtonomy.


[1]Statista 1 August 2022.

[2]Ngwenya, M., 2017. Analysing service quality using customer expectations and perceptions in the South African telecommunication industry. In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM) pp. 1094-1097

[3]Mpwanya, M. F., 2019. An empirical examination of the overall customer satisfaction with the service delivery of mobile network operators in South Africa. Global Business Review, pp. 1-17. (

[4]BrandsEye (2019) revealed that 47% of complaints in South Africa were about the quality of customer service. Complaints related to the operator’s turnaround time (37%), and failure to attend to social media queries (44%).

[5]Subtonomy customers in the Nordics have shown remarkable improvements to their customer support efficiency. By increasing efficient support for digital self-service they have seen 20% fewer calls to the contact center, a 47% reduction in average handling time (the time taken by an agent to resolve the query) and 60% fewer escalations (the need to handover to more experienced or technical support staff). In fact 75% of queries are being automated via digital support channels. All of this substantially increases the efficiency while reducing the cost of customer support.

[6]Typically, Subtonomy’s platform and applications can be implemented in as little as 3-4 months.

About Subtonomy: Subtonomy’s ML-driven Network Experience Platform provides unprecedented real-time insight into the experience of customers on any network (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G NSA, 5G SA, broadband and gigabit fiber). Its easy-to-use applications utilize this rich data to enable customer support teams to isolate and resolve problems faster; operational teams to prioritize fault fixing and network build according to actual customer need; business teams to up-sell to both business customers and consumers; and wholesale teams to understand the service they’re delivering to MVNO clients. Founded in Sweden in 2012, Subtonomy’s technology helps network operators deliver more personalized support and more proactive care to help its clients deliver a premium network experience. We’re proud to have a 100% satisfied client base and to be finalists in the 2022 World Communications Awards for Customer Experience.

See also: Subtonomy’s website (

For more information or to set up an interview please contact: Tina Rosén


टिप्पणी करना बंद कर दिया गया है।
bottom of page