Case study

Telekom scores big on compliance - and saves big on overhead costs in fast-tracked development project

Telekom

The telecommunications giant teamed up with Shiwaforce to make compliance with new industry regulations as painless as possible for staff and users alike

5.4 million

mobile customers

EUR 568,6 Million

total revenue in 2023

6,700

employees in 2022

The client

Telekom, short for Magyar Telekom Plc, is Hungary’s leading telecommunications service provider with over 5.4 million mobile users as well as almost 1.4 million fixed voice and more than 1.3 million broadband customers. 

In the third quarter of 2023, the company’s revenue totaled EUR 568,6 Million. Mostly driven by a strong growth in mobile data and fixed broadband revenues, this represents a 13.3% year-on-year increase and reflects a solid overall performance. The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary is committed to driving innovation to better serve people and businesses alike. Not to mention checking all security and compliance boxes, with the telecommunications sector being one of the highest-regulated industries.

The Challenge

In the waning months of 2016, news of a regulatory clampdown on prepaid SIM card misuse and fraud dominated headlines – and discussions among telecommunications industry insiders – in Hungary. With good reason: to strengthen the country’s national security, organized crime prevention and law enforcement efforts, especially in terms of combating terrorism, a decree by Hungary’s Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) was proposed to amend the Electronic Communications Act and limit how many prepaid SIM cards can be registered under a single subscriber’s name.

The legislation, which entered into force on January 12, 2017, allowed individual and business customers to have no more than 10 and 50 prepaid SIM cards respectively with a mobile service provider. It also prescribed that phone carriers must review existing agreements and verify their subscribers’ identity before June 30 and terminate any contract that cannot be linked to an existing person or organization. This meant that local phone carriers had to provide the means, online and offline, for some 4.8 million customers to complete the verification process before the deadline.

The Solution

Telekom turned to us for help with fulfilling the new regulatory requirements set forth by the NMHH decree. The idea was to build an identity verification interface through which SIM card owners could verify their personal details and link them to prepaid plans using the phone carrier’s existing domain and content management system. 

The solution had to be suitable for separating individual and business users and include a specific set of information, such as first and last name, nationality, date of birth, gender and identification document number. The data was then checked against the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services (KEK KH) system for authenticity. Once verified, the information was stored on Telekom’s on-premises infrastructure. 

To accomplish this, a multi-step authentication process had to be implemented where users were granted access to the platform only after successfully producing a combination of two or more forms of identification, such as a password, PIN or faceprint. In addition, as Telekom had partnered with several resellers to distribute its plans, such as international discount retailer chain Lidl, multiple branded designs had to be created for the solution.

The Result

The fully functional solution was delivered by May 2017, so Telekom customers had ample time to carry out the data verification process by the deadline through an easy-to-navigate online form. Shiwaforce’s teams worked side-by-side with in-house staff to speed up development and drive collaboration. As the interface was integrated with our eCMS solution, the business logic only had to be created once and wireframe designs customized to individual design and branding needs, saving everyone loads of time. 

Cost savings on Telekom’s part were just as substantial. Calculating with the average gross salary of a customer service agent (HUF 310,000) and the number of Telekom prepaid wireless subscribers (approximately 1.6 million) at the time, completing the verification process in person or via phone would have cost the phone carrier about HUF 5-600 per SIM card user. And that’s in wages alone. This means a saving of approximately HUF 900 million on overhead costs, courtesy of the low-cost, high-efficiency solution we delivered.

The results speak for themselves

After 20+ years with Central Europe’s leading IT and Telco stakeholders, we gathered a few instructive and inspirative stories worth sharing with those who are brave enough to dream big.