Tet-a-tet. Virtual operator Danycom and the future of the company with free communication

Many of our readers are familiar with the Danycom mobile operator. Someone actively uses the famous free tariffs, someone connected to the network even earlier, during the time of the Oxygen and Neon tariffs. And someone was even among the first testers, whom the operator awarded with six months of free communication.

Danycom facts:

  • Krasnodar company Danycom appeared in 2013 as a service for aggregating SMS messages.
  • In December 2017, a virtual mobile operator based on Tele2 coverage was launched in test mode. All subscribers were offered six months of free communication.
  • In June 2018, the test period ended, after which the network was launched into commercial operation. The tariff line consisted of several package tariffs, one unlimited tariff, and one per-minute tariff.
  • In September 2018, due to lack of demand, the unlimited tariff was moved to the archive.
  • The first free plan was launched in February 2019.
  • In August 2019, package tariffs were updated, a second free tariff was introduced.

So, the test launch of the network took place two years ago. Since then, the operator has not stood still: rewrote the tariff scale from scratch and expanded the territory of presence to 56 regions.

We decided that this would be a good opportunity to find out in detail about the current state of the company and its future. Moreover, the mobile operator's business is not the only one in the company's portfolio, although it is the most prominent one. I had a chance to talk about it and other products of the company with Petr Kushikov, director of development and product management of the Danycom group of companies, and Elena Plekhanova, director of the marketing and PR department.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

During the conversation, I managed to learn about the strategy and prospects "first hand". And those who have not heard about this operator at all will get to know him at the same time.

You are positioning yourself as a socially oriented company, providing subscribers with free tariffs. But what made it possible to develop such tariffs? How does the end subscriber get that same "free"?

E. P. Due to the synergy of different areas of our business. In exchange for free basic packages, the subscriber agrees to receive promotional messages from our partners. The terms of subscription service stipulate that a subscriber can receive no more than five advertising messages per day. At the same time, the mailing is designed in such a way as to bring maximum benefit to the advertiser and subscriber: messages are targeted by behavioral and age categories, by geolocation and other factors.

How actively do subscribers of free tariffs use communication?

P. K. In 2019, we launched additional traffic, voice and messaging packages for subscribers of the current line. It is noteworthy that the main consumers of these packages are precisely the subscribers of free tariffs. For example, in December the share of users of "Free" from all connections of additional packages was 53%. Of these, 65% purchased Internet packages. Our additional packages do not differ much in cost from those directly included in the tariff, so even taking them into account, communication costs remain low.

What tools do you use to attract potential subscribers?

E. P. The main channel through which potential subscribers learn about us is the media. First of all, it is online media: telecom portals, industry publications, bloggers. After that, the client already comes to our website for details.

We practically do not use offline channels, since the investments in them are large, and the return is small. We rely on digital, and our target audience is the online community. Test launches of advertising campaigns have shown that promotion using online tools is more effective, and this is the most attractive channel for us.

When I was in Moscow in the summer, I paid attention to Danycom sales points. Was it an experiment, or will there be more of them all over the country?

P. K. At one time we worked with partners in Moscow who were selling our SIM cards offline. Such a scheme of cooperation worked, in which the client came to the salon and drew up a contract there. At first, the project developed well, but at some point we encountered fraud and dishonest behavior on the part of partners. This became a "bell" for the revision of the dealer strategy and the development of offline retail in general. Now the points of sale are solely responsible for issuing a plastic SIM card. The client picks up the SIM card at an office convenient for him, and the identification and activation procedure is already carried out at home on his own: through our website or the public services portal.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Danycom Point of Sale

Does it mean that online sales play the biggest role?

E.P. Yes. We have transferred all the main interactions with current and future subscribers to the digital environment. The client can perform all the necessary actions without leaving the site: order a SIM card, activate it, change the terms of service, and so on. In addition to the website, there are also mobile applications, as well as a help desk with a voice assistant. The client can receive a physical SIM card in a more suitable way for him, available depending on the location: delivery by Russian Post or courier, as well as at partner sales offices.

What about collaborations with major chain retailers, whether online or offline? For example, a person bought a brand new smartphone in an electronics store, and he received a free connection as a gift.

For example, in the field of broadband access, it is impossible to imagine an easy transfer of a subscriber to another operator. There are physical restrictions there, one way or another, requiring the departure of an employee, such as laying a cable, connecting to a wiring closet, setting up client equipment. In mobile communications, there are no such restrictions, except for the plastic of the SIM card itself. That is, by eliminating this link, operators will be able to ensure easy connection of new subscribers, as well as an absolutely seamless transition from one network to another. And all this will happen online. Therefore, it is not advisable to develop traditional retail and invest heavily in it. The return from it will be less every year, and the costs will be more.

A word about eSIM. How soon can we expect Danycom virtual SIM cards?

P. K. In the abstract, we can launch eSIM issuance right now, we already have an infrastructure solution provider for SIM card virtualization. We tested the technology in internal mode on individual employees and studied the principle of operation. But we are not ready to take the risks of its implementation as long as there are restrictions from the point of view of current legislation. Therefore, we are waiting for official permission to use this technology in the Russian Federation.

Recently, the so-called "MVNO factory" has become more active in Tele2, new virtual operators appear one by one. Danycom is one of the most prominent representatives of such networks. Tell us how in your case the interaction with the support operator takes place? Where does his area of ​​responsibility end and yours begin?

P. K. We work according to the Full-MVNO model, so Tele2 is only responsible for base stations and direct radio communications. All other processes - billing, assignment of identifiers, traffic routing, roaming arrangements - are already our area of ​​responsibility.

How well is the interaction with the core network?

P. K. Interaction with the host operator is built correctly - Tele2 has a special system for working with partners. In it, we can record the request of a client experiencing communication problems and receive a response to this request, according to the current SLA (“Service Level Agreement”. - Note ed.).

Does the very "virtuality" worsen the user experience of subscribers?

P. K. We record all customer requests. Even when a person complains about a poor connection, although the nearest base station is ten kilometers from his settlement. It must be understood that all telecom operators incur high costs for the construction of base stations, and at some point in time each station must pay off. Therefore, communication does not reach at all to some settlements. Complicating the situation is the fact that operators are required to support not only the current communication standards - conditional 4G / 3G, and in the future 5G, but also the outdated GSM. Accordingly, in this case, we, as a virtual operator, cannot directly influence the quality of communication.

In other cases, when a client complains about the deterioration of coverage where it should be good, we record complaints and receive adequate and prompt responses to them. The support operator notifies us of all scheduled repairs. If a subscriber contacts during this period from a specific location, we already know what could be causing his communication problems.

Not bad. As practice shows, some virtual operators lack such information. Something is happening with their network, the subscriber has no connection, and the support answers that everything is fine and there should be no problems.

You position yourself as a federal operator and plan to increase the number of regions of presence. But whatever one may say, Tele2 is not represented in all subjects of the Russian Federation, somewhere it has problems with coverage. At the same time, you can only use the infrastructure of the reference operator, but do not have your own. How much does it interfere with the development of the network?

P. K. In all regions where our host has coverage, we are also there. That is, it is really possible to issue a SIM card in 56 subjects, but this does not mean that our subscribers in other regions remain without communication. In addition, we have agreements with other operators to provide communications where there is no connection from Tele2 at all.

Let's take, for example, the Far East. Tele2 is present in the Jewish Autonomous Region, but not in the Khabarovsk Territory. At the same time, the specificity of the region is such that there is a large flow of labor from the JAO to Khabarovsk. Thanks to partnership agreements, we cover the entire Far East with our communications. Danycom subscribers not only do not remain without communication, but also retain all the conditions of their tariff.

Are there any plans to increase Danycom's coverage through collaborations with other host operators?

P. K. Not at the moment, and I'll explain why. When we started preparing for the launch in Europe, we studied the experience of local operators, including virtual ones. Some of them offer the ABC scheme - always best connection, or "always the best connection." They work with two or more host operators, which is possible due to the technical features of local networks. When a client wants to switch to the coverage of another carrier, he uses the MNP procedure (phone number portability. - Note ed.). According to the regulations in European countries, such a transfer takes no more than 10 minutes. The subscriber selects in the personal account of the MVNO operator the network in which he wants to be served, and the OTA platform (over the air, "over the air." - Ed.) sends the corresponding update to his SIM card. In parallel with this, the process of porting the number takes place so that it is already registered in the network equipment with a new identifier.

We could do something similar in Russia, but for this, the MNP procedure should be much easier and faster than the current eight days. So now our implementation is quite sufficient. We honestly declare to subscribers that they will not be left without communication where there is no our coverage, even if this is implemented through roaming. At the same time, this roaming does not affect the cost of their tariffs, for customers we have a single price throughout the country.

In the information field, such a concept as the Danycom ecosystem often appears. What services does it include, and how do they interact with each other?

P. K. First of all, we need to talk about the ecosystem for business clients, which combines all our b2b services. Those. is an international communication platform providing a full range of online business services. Subsequently, we will create a single entry point with end-to-end authorization linking several disparate personal accounts. At the same time, the platforms will not be combined into one, it will be a kind of “central” personal account through which the client will be able to log in to all our services. For ordinary subscribers, the main entry point is and will be the Danycom website itself.

And what is the place of the mobile operator in this whole structure?

P. K. If we talk about the share in the revenue of the entire group of companies, then the mobile operator occupies a relatively small percentage. But if we talk about the ecosystem, then its place can be called one of the most important. When we only considered the possibility of launching a mobile operator, its main advantage was that we would be able to increase the margin of SMS mailings. For example, at that time, our reward for sending an advertising message reached 10% at the most, depending on the operator. In the case of our own subscriber base, we bring this figure to 100%.

So the mobile operator is the key to Danycom's growth?

P. K. Exactly. Thanks to him, we increase the profitability of all other businesses.

Since we're talking about revenue. As far as I am familiar with the situation, the vast majority of virtual operators in Russia are unprofitable for their owners. Many of them exist not so much for profitability, but to maintain the notorious ecosystem. How is Danycom dealing with this?

P. K. At the moment, the mobile operator is slightly in the red. Interestingly, most of this unprofitability is generated by subscribers of archival tariffs, which we have about 22%. As in the Pareto principle (a method that allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular activity. - Approx. Ed.) - 20% of subscribers create 80% of the costs. At the same time, customers on free tariffs and on tariffs of the new line even bring a small income.

Interesting. And the owners of the old tariffs should already strain? Will you transfer them to new ones because of this?

P. K. It all depends on the market - like any operator, we focus on it. Conditions may develop in such a way that the cost of these tariffs will become too high for us. Rise in the cost of electricity, higher taxes, more complex requirements - all this, one way or another, leads to an increase in the cost. So far, there are no plans to categorically transfer subscribers from archival tariffs, but we cannot think of anything in advance either.

Pyotr, forgive my increased interest in the mobile operator, after all, this direction of your business is closest to our readers. But tell us briefly about Danycom's other areas of activity. What already exists, what else is planned to be released?

P. K. We currently have a couple of projects at the development stage: a payment system and an insurance platform. While we are studying the relevant segments and choosing a business model. So, we have been working on an insurance project for about a year, but there are a lot of bureaucratic difficulties in this segment. Direct creation of an insurance company is a difficult process associated with the study of many requirements of regulators. We have several prototypes for different niches.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Stub on the Danycom insurance site

What happened to the courier service? For some reason, SIM cards are now delivered by mail, although it would be more logical to use your couriers for this.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

P. K. We have closed our delivery division, because the agreement with Russian Post allows us to send SIM cards to subscribers many times cheaper. We also have agreements with partner courier services. If the client does not want to use the mail service, he can pay for courier delivery, which covers 29 regions of Russia at a single price.

Maybe the group of companies has some other ambitions?

P. K. Now we are actively promoting SMS aggregation services in foreign markets, a year ago we launched this service in Europe. At the beginning of 2020, we plan to bring our virtual operator to Europe as well. Well, we will continue to develop the ecosystem of business solutions both in Russia and abroad. For example, now we are testing mobile communications for b2b clients.

Is there anything else you want to say to readers?

P. K. I can invite readers to leave their questions, we will definitely answer them.

Great. We will wait for comments with questions and complaints.

P. K. I think that companies need to listen to their customers more often. Moreover, information does not always go beyond the support service, although it can be very important. From time to time I myself sit on the line of the contact center and communicate with clients, like a regular operator, this allows me to better understand the problems of users.

Tet-a-tet. Virtual operator Danycom and the future of the company with free communication

Many of our readers are familiar with the Danycom mobile operator. Someone actively uses the famous free tariffs, someone connected to the network even earlier, during the time of the Oxygen and Neon tariffs. And someone was even among the first testers, whom the operator awarded with six months of free communication.

Danycom facts:

  • Krasnodar company Danycom appeared in 2013 as a service for aggregating SMS messages.
  • In December 2017, a virtual mobile operator based on Tele2 coverage was launched in test mode. All subscribers were offered six months of free communication.
  • In June 2018, the test period ended, after which the network was launched into commercial operation. The tariff line consisted of several package tariffs, one unlimited tariff, and one per-minute tariff.
  • In September 2018, due to lack of demand, the unlimited tariff was moved to the archive.
  • The first free plan was launched in February 2019.
  • In August 2019, package tariffs were updated, a second free tariff was introduced.

So, the test launch of the network took place two years ago. Since then, the operator has not stood still: rewrote the tariff scale from scratch and expanded the territory of presence to 56 regions.

We decided that this would be a good opportunity to find out in detail about the current state of the company and its future. Moreover, the mobile operator's business is not the only one in the company's portfolio, although it is the most prominent one. I had a chance to talk about it and other products of the company with Petr Kushikov, director of development and product management of the Danycom group of companies, and Elena Plekhanova, director of the marketing and PR department.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

During the conversation, I managed to learn about the strategy and prospects first-hand. And those who have not heard about this operator at all will get to know him at the same time.

You are positioning yourself as a socially oriented company, providing subscribers with free tariffs. But what made it possible to develop such tariffs? How does the end subscriber get that same "free"?

E. P. Due to the synergy of different areas of our business. In exchange for free basic packages, the subscriber agrees to receive promotional messages from our partners. The terms of subscription service stipulate that a subscriber can receive no more than five advertising messages per day. At the same time, the mailing is designed in such a way as to bring maximum benefit to the advertiser and subscriber: messages are targeted by behavioral and age categories, by geolocation and other factors.

How actively do subscribers of free tariffs use communication?

P. K. In 2019, we launched additional traffic, voice and messaging packages for subscribers of the current line. It is noteworthy that the main consumers of these packages are precisely the subscribers of free tariffs. For example, in December the share of users of "Free" from all connections of additional packages was 53%. Of these, 65% purchased Internet packages. Our additional packages do not differ much in cost from those directly included in the tariff, so even taking them into account, communication costs remain low.

What tools do you use to attract potential subscribers?

E. P. The main channel through which potential subscribers learn about us is the media. First of all, it is online media: telecom portals, industry publications, bloggers. After that, the client already comes to our website for details.

We practically do not use offline channels, since the investments in them are large, and the return is small. We rely on digital, and our target audience is the online community. Test launches of advertising campaigns have shown that promotion using online tools is more effective, and this is the most attractive channel for us.

When I was in Moscow in the summer, I paid attention to Danycom sales points. Was it an experiment, or will there be more of them all over the country?

P. K. At one time we worked with partners in Moscow who were selling our SIM cards offline. Such a scheme of cooperation worked, in which the client came to the salon and drew up a contract there. At first, the project developed well, but at some point we encountered fraud and dishonest behavior on the part of partners. This became a "bell" for the revision of the dealer strategy and the development of offline retail in general. Now the points of sale are solely responsible for issuing a plastic SIM card. The client picks up the SIM card at an office convenient for him, and the identification and activation procedure is already carried out at home on his own: through our website or the public services portal.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Danycom Point of Sale

Does it mean that online sales play the biggest role?

E.P. Yes. We have transferred all the main interactions with current and future subscribers to the digital environment. The client can perform all the necessary actions without leaving the site: order a SIM card, activate it, change the terms of service, and so on. In addition to the website, there are also mobile applications, as well as a help desk with a voice assistant. The client can receive a physical SIM card in a more suitable way for him, available depending on the location: delivery by Russian Post or courier, as well as at partner sales offices.

What about collaborations with major chain retailers, whether online or offline? For example, a person bought a brand new smartphone in an electronics store, and he received a free connection as a gift.

P. K. We are in talks with retailers, but so far this scenario is unlikely. Speaking of large retail players, we are faced with the fact that the “big four”, due to their long work in the market, can offer much more rewards for networks than a young virtual operator. Accordingly, cooperation with small projects is unprofitable for retailers.

I believe that this would help to expand both your geography of presence and the client base in the current regions.

P. K. Yes, but here you need to look at the situation as a whole. We see the younger generation moving more and more online. Communication, music, cinema, ordering food and goods - one way or another, all these areas are shifting in his direction. The same is true for mobile communications - subscribers more often use their personal account on the website and in the application than call the hotline. We are sure that if the story with eSIM gets a full-fledged legislative basis, and enough subscriber equipment with its support appears on the market, then people will simply stop going to communication stores over time.

For example, in the field of broadband access, it is impossible to imagine an easy transfer of a subscriber to another operator. There are physical restrictions there, one way or another, requiring the departure of an employee, such as laying a cable, connecting to a wiring closet, setting up client equipment. In mobile communications, there are no such restrictions, except for the plastic of the SIM card itself. That is, by eliminating this link, operators will be able to ensure easy connection of new subscribers, as well as an absolutely seamless transition from one network to another. And all this will happen online. Therefore, it is not advisable to develop traditional retail and invest heavily in it. The return from it will be less every year, and the costs will be more.

A word about eSIM. How soon can we expect Danycom virtual SIM cards?

P. K. In the abstract, we can launch eSIM issuance right now, we already have an infrastructure solution provider for SIM card virtualization. We tested the technology in internal mode on individual employees and studied the principle of operation. But we are not ready to take the risks of its implementation as long as there are restrictions from the point of view of current legislation. Therefore, we are waiting for official permission to use this technology in the Russian Federation.

Recently, the so-called "MVNO factory" has become more active in Tele2, new virtual operators appear one by one. Danycom is one of the most prominent representatives of such networks. Tell us how in your case the interaction with the support operator takes place? Where does his area of ​​responsibility end and yours begin?

P. K. We work according to the Full-MVNO model, so Tele2 is only responsible for base stations and direct radio communications. All other processes - billing, assignment of identifiers, traffic routing, roaming arrangements - are already our area of ​​responsibility.

How well is the interaction with the core network?

P. K. Interaction with the host operator is built correctly - Tele2 has a special system for working with partners. In it, we can record the request of a client experiencing communication problems and receive a response to this request, according to the current SLA (“Service Level Agreement”. - Note ed.).

Does the very "virtuality" worsen the user experience of subscribers?

P. K. We record all customer requests. Even when a person complains about a poor connection, although the nearest base station is ten kilometers from his settlement. It must be understood that all telecom operators incur high costs for the construction of base stations, and at some point in time each station must pay off. Therefore, communication does not reach at all to some settlements. Complicating the situation is the fact that operators are required to support not only the current communication standards - conditional 4G / 3G, and in the future 5G, but also the outdated GSM. Accordingly, in this case, we, as a virtual operator, cannot directly influence the quality of communication.

In other cases, when a client complains about the deterioration of coverage where it should be good, we record complaints and receive adequate and prompt responses to them. The support operator notifies us of all scheduled repairs. If a subscriber contacts during this period from a specific location, we already know what could be causing his communication problems.

Not bad. As practice shows, some virtual operators lack such information. Something is happening with their network, the subscriber has no connection, and the support answers that everything is fine and there should be no problems.

You position yourself as a federal operator and plan to increase the number of regions of presence. But whatever one may say, Tele2 is not represented in all subjects of the Russian Federation, somewhere it has problems with coverage. At the same time, you can only use the infrastructure of the reference operator, but do not have your own. How much does it interfere with the development of the network?

P. K. In all regions where our host has coverage, we are also there. That is, it is really possible to issue a SIM card in 56 subjects, but this does not mean that our subscribers in other regions remain without communication. In addition, we have agreements with other operators to provide communications where there is no connection from Tele2 at all.

Let's take, for example, the Far East. Tele2 is present in the Jewish Autonomous Region, but not in the Khabarovsk Territory. At the same time, the specificity of the region is such that there is a large flow of labor from the JAO to Khabarovsk. Thanks to partnership agreements, we cover the entire Far East with our communications. Danycom subscribers not only do not remain without communication, but also retain all the conditions of their tariff.

Are there any plans to increase Danycom's coverage through collaborations with other host operators?

P. K. Not at the moment, and I'll explain why. When we started preparing for the launch in Europe, we studied the experience of local operators, including virtual ones. Some of them offer the ABC scheme - always best connection, or "always the best connection." They work with two or more host operators, which is possible due to the technical features of local networks. When a client wants to switch to the coverage of another carrier, he uses the MNP procedure (phone number portability. - Note ed.). According to the regulations in European countries, such a transfer takes no more than 10 minutes. The subscriber selects in the personal account of the MVNO operator the network in which he wants to be served, and the OTA platform (over the air, "over the air." - Ed.) sends the corresponding update to his SIM card. In parallel with this, the process of porting the number takes place so that it is already registered in the network equipment with a new identifier.

We could do something similar in Russia, but for this, the MNP procedure should be much easier and faster than the current eight days. So now our implementation is quite sufficient. We honestly declare to subscribers that they will not be left without communication where there is no our coverage, even if this is implemented through roaming. At the same time, this roaming does not affect the cost of their tariffs, for customers we have a single price throughout the country.

In the information field, such a concept as the Danycom ecosystem often appears. What services does it include, and how do they interact with each other?

P. K. First of all, we need to talk about the ecosystem for business clients, which combines all our b2b services. Those. is an international communication platform providing a full range of online business services. Subsequently, we will create a single entry point with end-to-end authorization linking several disparate personal accounts. At the same time, the platforms will not be combined into one, it will be a kind of “central” personal account through which the client will be able to log in to all our services. For ordinary subscribers, the main entry point is and will be the Danycom website itself.

And what is the place of the mobile operator in this whole structure?

P. K. If we talk about the share in the revenue of the entire group of companies, then the mobile operator occupies a relatively small percentage. But if we talk about the ecosystem, then its place can be called one of the most important. When we only considered the possibility of launching a mobile operator, its main advantage was that we would be able to increase the margin of SMS mailings. For example, at that time, our reward for sending an advertising message reached 10% at the most, depending on the operator. In the case of our own subscriber base, we bring this figure to 100%.

So the mobile operator is the key to Danycom's growth?

P. K. Exactly. Thanks to him, we increase the profitability of all other businesses.

Since we're talking about revenue. As far as I am familiar with the situation, the vast majority of virtual operators in Russia are unprofitable for their owners. Many of them exist not so much for profitability, but to maintain the notorious ecosystem. How is Danycom dealing with this?

P. K. At the moment, the mobile operator is slightly in the red. Interestingly, most of this unprofitability is generated by subscribers of archival tariffs, which we have about 22%. As in the Pareto principle (a method that allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular activity. - Approx. Ed.) - 20% of subscribers create 80% of the costs. At the same time, customers on free tariffs and on tariffs of the new line even bring a small income.

Interesting. And the owners of the old tariffs should already strain? Will you transfer them to new ones because of this?

P. K. It all depends on the market - like any operator, we focus on it. Conditions may develop in such a way that the cost of these tariffs will become too high for us. Rise in the cost of electricity, higher taxes, more complex requirements - all this, one way or another, leads to an increase in the cost. So far, there are no plans to categorically transfer subscribers from archival tariffs, but we cannot think of anything in advance either.

Pyotr, forgive my increased interest in the mobile operator, after all, this direction of your business is closest to our readers. But tell us briefly about Danycom's other areas of activity. What already exists, what else is planned to be released?

P. K. We currently have a couple of projects at the development stage: a payment system and an insurance platform. While we are studying the relevant segments and choosing a business model. So, we have been working on an insurance project for about a year, but there are a lot of bureaucratic difficulties in this segment. Direct creation of an insurance company is a difficult process associated with the study of many requirements of regulators. We have several prototypes for different niches.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Stub on the Danycom insurance site

What happened to the courier service? For some reason, SIM cards are now delivered by mail, although it would be more logical to use your couriers for this.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

P. K. We have closed our delivery division because the agreement with the Russian Post allows us to send SIM cards to subscribers many times cheaper. We also have agreements with partner courier services. If the client does not want to use mail services, he can pay for courier delivery, which covers 29 regions of Russia at a single price.

Maybe the group of companies has some other ambitions?

P. K. Now we are actively promoting SMS aggregation services in foreign markets, a year ago we launched this service in Europe. Already at the beginning of 2020, we plan to bring our virtual operator to Europe as well. Well, we will continue to develop the ecosystem of business solutions both in Russia and abroad. For example, now we are testing mobile communications for b2b clients.

Is there anything else you want to say to readers?

P. K. I can invite readers to leave their questions, we will definitely answer them.

Great. We will wait for comments with questions and complaints.

P. K. I think that companies need to listen to their customers more often. Moreover, information does not always go beyond the support service, although it can be very important. From time to time I myself sit on the line of the contact center and communicate with clients, like a regular operator, this allows me to better understand the problems of users.

Tet-a-tet. Virtual operator Danycom and the future of the company with free communication

Many of our readers are familiar with the Danycom mobile operator. Someone actively uses the famous free tariffs, someone connected to the network even earlier, during the time of the Oxygen and Neon tariffs. And someone was even among the first testers, whom the operator awarded with six months of free communication.

Danycom facts:

  • Krasnodar company Danycom appeared in 2013 as a service for aggregating SMS messages.
  • In December 2017, a virtual mobile operator based on Tele2 coverage was launched in test mode. All subscribers were offered six months of free communication.
  • In June 2018, the test period ended, after which the network was launched into commercial operation. The tariff line consisted of several package tariffs, one unlimited tariff, and one per-minute tariff.
  • In September 2018, due to lack of demand, the unlimited tariff was moved to the archive.
  • The first free plan was launched in February 2019.
  • In August 2019, package tariffs were updated, a second free tariff was introduced.

So, the test launch of the network took place two years ago. Since then, the operator has not stood still: rewrote the tariff scale from scratch and expanded the territory of presence to 56 regions.

We decided that this would be a good opportunity to find out in detail about the current state of the company and its future. Moreover, the mobile operator's business is not the only one in the company's portfolio, although it is the most prominent one. I had a chance to talk about it and other products of the company with Petr Kushikov, director of development and product management of the Danycom group of companies, and Elena Plekhanova, director of the marketing and PR department.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

During the conversation, I managed to learn about the strategy and prospects "first hand". And those who have not heard about this operator at all will get to know him at the same time.

You are positioning yourself as a socially oriented company, providing subscribers with free tariffs. But what made it possible to develop such tariffs? How does the end subscriber get that same "free"?

E. P. Due to the synergy of different areas of our business. In exchange for free basic packages, the subscriber agrees to receive promotional messages from our partners. The terms of subscription service stipulate that a subscriber can receive no more than five advertising messages per day. At the same time, the mailing is designed in such a way as to bring maximum benefit to the advertiser and subscriber: messages are targeted by behavioral and age categories, by geolocation and other factors.

How actively do subscribers of free tariffs use communication?

P. K. In 2019, we launched additional traffic, voice and messaging packages for subscribers of the current line. It is noteworthy that the main consumers of these packages are precisely the subscribers of free tariffs. For example, in December the share of users of "Free" from all connections of additional packages was 53%. Of these, 65% purchased Internet packages. Our additional packages do not differ much in cost from those directly included in the tariff, so even taking them into account, communication costs remain low.

What tools do you use to attract potential subscribers?

E. P. The main channel through which potential subscribers learn about us is the media. First of all, it is online media: telecom portals, industry publications, bloggers. After that, the client already comes to our website for details.

We practically do not use offline channels, since the investments in them are large, and the return is small. We rely on digital, and our target audience is the online community. Test launches of advertising campaigns have shown that promotion using online tools is more effective, and this is the most attractive channel for us.

When I was in Moscow in the summer, I paid attention to Danycom sales points. Was it an experiment, or will there be more of them all over the country?

P. K. At one time we worked with partners in Moscow who were selling our SIM cards offline. Such a scheme of cooperation worked, in which the client came to the salon and drew up a contract there. At first, the project developed well, but at some point we encountered fraud and dishonest behavior on the part of partners. This became a "bell" for the revision of the dealer strategy and the development of offline retail in general. Now the points of sale are solely responsible for issuing a plastic SIM card. The client picks up the SIM card at an office convenient for him, and the identification and activation procedure is already carried out at home on his own: through our website or the public services portal.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Danycom Point of Sale

Does it mean that online sales play the biggest role?

E.P. Yes. We have transferred all the main interactions with current and future subscribers to the digital environment. The client can perform all the necessary actions without leaving the site: order a SIM card, activate it, change the terms of service, and so on. In addition to the website, there are also mobile applications, as well as a help desk with a voice assistant. The client can receive a physical SIM card in a more suitable way for him, available depending on the location: delivery by Russian Post or courier, as well as at partner sales offices.

What about collaborations with major chain retailers, whether online or offline? For example, a person bought a brand new smartphone in an electronics store, and he received a free connection as a gift.

P. K. We are in talks with retailers, but so far this scenario is unlikely. Speaking of large retail players, we are faced with the fact that the “big four”, due to their long work in the market, can offer much more rewards for networks than a young virtual operator. Accordingly, cooperation with small projects is unprofitable for retailers.

I believe that this would help to expand both your geography of presence and the client base in the current regions.

P. K. Yes, but here you need to look at the situation as a whole. We see how the younger generation is increasingly moving online. Communication, music, cinema, ordering food and goods - one way or another, all these areas are shifting in his direction. The same is true for mobile communications - subscribers more often use their personal account on the website and in the application than call the hotline. We are sure that if the story with eSIM gets a full-fledged legislative basis, and enough subscriber equipment with its support appears on the market, then people will simply stop going to communication stores over time.

For example, in the field of broadband access, it is impossible to imagine an easy transfer of a subscriber to another operator. There are physical restrictions there, one way or another, requiring the departure of an employee, such as laying a cable, connecting to a wiring closet, setting up client equipment. In mobile communications, there are no such restrictions, except for the plastic of the SIM card itself. That is, by eliminating this link, operators will be able to ensure easy connection of new subscribers, as well as an absolutely seamless transition from one network to another. And all this will happen online. Therefore, it is not advisable to develop traditional retail and invest heavily in it. The return from it will be less every year, and the costs will be more.

A word about eSIM. How soon can we expect Danycom virtual SIM cards?

P. K. In the abstract, we can launch eSIM issuance right now, we already have an infrastructure solution provider for SIM card virtualization. We tested the technology in internal mode on individual employees and studied the principle of operation. But we are not ready to take the risks of its implementation as long as there are restrictions from the point of view of current legislation. Therefore, we are waiting for official permission to use this technology in the Russian Federation.

Recently, the so-called "MVNO factory" has become more active in Tele2, new virtual operators appear one by one. Danycom is one of the most prominent representatives of such networks. Tell us how in your case the interaction with the support operator takes place? Where does his area of ​​responsibility end and yours begin?

P. K. We work according to the Full-MVNO model, so Tele2 is only responsible for base stations and direct radio communications. All other processes - billing, assignment of identifiers, traffic routing, roaming arrangements - are already our area of ​​responsibility.

How well is the interaction with the core network?

P. K. Interaction with the host operator is built correctly - Tele2 has a special system for working with partners. In it, we can record the request of a client experiencing communication problems and receive a response to this request, according to the current SLA (“Service Level Agreement”. - Note ed.).

Does the very "virtuality" worsen the user experience of subscribers?

P. K. We record all customer requests. Even when a person complains about a poor connection, although the nearest base station is ten kilometers from his settlement. It must be understood that all telecom operators incur high costs for the construction of base stations, and at some point in time each station must pay off. Therefore, communication does not reach at all to some settlements. Complicating the situation is the fact that operators are required to support not only the current communication standards - conditional 4G / 3G, and in the future 5G, but also the outdated GSM. Accordingly, in this case, we, as a virtual operator, cannot directly influence the quality of communication.

In other cases, when a client complains about the deterioration of coverage where it should be good, we record complaints and receive adequate and prompt responses to them. The support operator notifies us of all scheduled repairs. If a subscriber contacts during this period from a specific location, we already know what could be causing his communication problems.

Not bad. As practice shows, some virtual operators lack such information. Something is happening with their network, the subscriber has no connection, and the support answers that everything is fine and there should be no problems.

You position yourself as a federal operator and plan to increase the number of regions of presence. But whatever one may say, Tele2 is not represented in all subjects of the Russian Federation, somewhere it has problems with coverage. At the same time, you can only use the infrastructure of the reference operator, but do not have your own. How much does it interfere with the development of the network?

P. K. In all regions where our host has coverage, we are also there. That is, it is really possible to issue a SIM card in 56 subjects, but this does not mean that our subscribers in other regions remain without communication. In addition, we have agreements with other operators to provide communications where there is no connection from Tele2 at all.

Let's take, for example, the Far East. Tele2 is present in the Jewish Autonomous Region, but not in the Khabarovsk Territory. At the same time, the specificity of the region is such that there is a large flow of labor from the JAO to Khabarovsk. Thanks to partnership agreements, we cover the entire Far East with our communications. Danycom subscribers not only do not remain without communication, but also retain all the conditions of their tariff.

Are there any plans to increase Danycom's coverage through collaborations with other host operators?

P. K. Not at the moment, and I'll explain why. When we started preparing for the launch in Europe, we studied the experience of local operators, including virtual ones. Some of them offer the ABC scheme - always best connection, or "always the best connection." They work with two or more host operators, which is possible due to the technical features of local networks. When a client wants to switch to the coverage of another carrier, he uses the MNP procedure (phone number portability. - Note ed.). According to the regulations in European countries, such a transfer takes no more than 10 minutes. The subscriber selects in the personal account of the MVNO operator the network in which he wants to be served, and the OTA platform (over the air, "over the air." - Ed.) sends the corresponding update to his SIM card. In parallel with this, the process of porting the number takes place so that it is already registered in the network equipment with a new identifier.

We could do something similar in Russia, but for this, the MNP procedure should be much easier and faster than the current eight days. So now our implementation is quite sufficient. We honestly declare to subscribers that they will not be left without communication where there is no our coverage, even if this is implemented through roaming. At the same time, this roaming does not affect the cost of their tariffs, for customers we have a single price throughout the country.

In the information field, such a concept as the Danycom ecosystem often appears. What services does it include, and how do they interact with each other?

P. K. First of all, we need to talk about the ecosystem for business clients, which combines all our b2b services. Those. is an international communication platform providing a full range of online business services. Subsequently, we will create a single entry point with end-to-end authorization linking several disparate personal accounts. At the same time, the platforms will not be combined into one, it will be a kind of “central” personal account through which the client will be able to log in to all our services. For ordinary subscribers, the main entry point is and will be the Danycom website itself.

And what is the place of the mobile operator in this whole structure?

P. K. If we talk about the share in the revenue of the entire group of companies, then the mobile operator occupies a relatively small percentage. But if we talk about the ecosystem, then its place can be called one of the most important. When we only considered the possibility of launching a mobile operator, its main advantage was that we would be able to increase the margin of SMS mailings. For example, at that time, our reward for sending an advertising message reached 10% at the most, depending on the operator. In the case of our own subscriber base, we bring this figure to 100%.

So the mobile operator is the key to Danycom's growth?

P. K. Exactly. Thanks to him, we increase the profitability of all other businesses.

Since we're talking about revenue. As far as I am familiar with the situation, the vast majority of virtual operators in Russia are unprofitable for their owners. Many of them exist not so much for profitability, but to maintain the notorious ecosystem. How is Danycom dealing with this?

P. K. At the moment, the mobile operator is slightly in the red. Interestingly, most of this unprofitability is generated by subscribers of archival tariffs, which we have about 22%. As in the Pareto principle (a method that allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular activity. - Approx. Ed.) - 20% of subscribers create 80% of the costs. At the same time, customers on free tariffs and on tariffs of the new line even bring a small income.

Interesting. And the owners of the old tariffs should already strain? Will you transfer them to new ones because of this?

P. K. It all depends on the market - like any operator, we focus on it. Conditions may develop in such a way that the cost of these tariffs will become too high for us. Rise in the cost of electricity, higher taxes, more complex requirements - all this, one way or another, leads to an increase in the cost. So far, there are no plans to categorically transfer subscribers from archival tariffs, but we cannot think of anything in advance either.

Pyotr, forgive my increased interest in the mobile operator, after all, this direction of your business is closest to our readers. But tell us briefly about Danycom's other areas of activity. What already exists, what else is planned to be released?

P. K. We currently have a couple of projects at the development stage: a payment system and an insurance platform. While we are studying the relevant segments and choosing a business model. So, we have been working on an insurance project for about a year, but there are a lot of bureaucratic difficulties in this segment. Direct creation of an insurance company is a difficult process associated with the study of many requirements of regulators. We have several prototypes for different niches.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom's virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

Stub on the Danycom insurance site

What happened to the courier service? For some reason, SIM cards are now delivered by mail, although it would be more logical to use your couriers for this.

Tête-à-tête. Danycom virtual operator and the future of the company with free communication

P. K. We have closed our delivery division because the agreement with the Russian Post allows us to send SIM cards to subscribers many times cheaper. We also have agreements with partner courier services. If the client does not want to use mail services, he can pay for courier delivery, which covers 29 regions of Russia at a single price.

Maybe the group of companies has some other ambitions?

P. K. Now we are actively promoting SMS aggregation services in foreign markets, a year ago we launched this service in Europe. Already at the beginning of 2020, we plan to bring our virtual operator to Europe as well. Well, we will continue to develop the ecosystem of business solutions both in Russia and abroad. For example, now we are testing mobile communications for b2b clients.

Is there anything else you want to say to readers?

P. K. I can invite readers to leave their questions, we will definitely answer them.

Great. We will wait for comments with questions and complaints.

P. K. I think that companies need to listen to their customers more often. Moreover, information does not always go beyond the support service, although it can be very important. From time to time I myself sit on the line of the contact center and communicate with clients, like a regular operator, this allows me to better understand the problems of users.

Tet-a-tet. Virtual operator Danycom and the future of the company with free communication

Many of our readers are familiar with the Danycom mobile operator. Someone actively uses the famous free tariffs, someone connected to the network even earlier, during the time of the Oxygen and Neon tariffs. And someone was even among the first testers, whom the operator awarded with six months of free communication.

Danycom facts:

  • Krasnodar company Danycom appeared in 2013 as a service for aggregating SMS messages.
  • In December 2017, a virtual mobile operator based on Tele2 coverage was launched in test mode. All subscribers were offered six months of free communication.
  • In June 2018, the test period ended, after which the network was launched into commercial operation. The tariff line consisted of several package tariffs, one unlimited tariff, and one per-minute tariff.
  • In September 2018, due to lack of demand, the unlimited tariff was moved to the archive.
  • The first free plan was launched in February 2019.
  • In August 2019, package tariffs were updated, a second free tariff was introduced.

So, the test launch of the network took place two years ago. Since then, the operator has not stood still: rewrote the tariff scale from scratch and expanded the territory of presence to 56 regions.

We decided that this would be a good opportunity to find out in detail about the current state of the company and its future. Moreover, the mobile operator's business is not the only one in the company's portfolio, although it is the most prominent one. I had a chance to talk about it and other products of the company with Petr Kushikov, director of development and product management of the Danycom group of companies, and Elena Plekhanova, director of the marketing and PR department.

During the conversation, I managed to learn about the strategy and prospects "first hand". And those who have not heard about this operator at all will get to know him at the same time.

You are positioning yourself as a socially oriented company, providing subscribers with free tariffs. But what made it possible to develop such tariffs? How does the end subscriber get that very “free”?

E. P. Due to the synergy of different areas of our business. In exchange for free basic packages, the subscriber agrees to receive promotional messages from our partners. The terms of subscription service stipulate that a subscriber can receive no more than five advertising messages per day. At the same time, the mailing is designed in such a way as to bring maximum benefit to the advertiser and subscriber: messages are targeted by behavioral and age categories, by geolocation and other factors.

How actively do subscribers of free tariffs use communication?

P. K. In 2019, we launched additional traffic, voice and messaging packages for subscribers of the current line. It is noteworthy that the main consumers of these packages are precisely the subscribers of free tariffs. For example, in December the share of users of "Free" from all connections of additional packages was 53%. Of these, 65% purchased Internet packages. Our additional packages do not differ much in cost from those directly included in the tariff, so even taking them into account, communication costs remain low.

What tools do you use to attract potential subscribers?

E. P. The main channel through which potential subscribers learn about us is the media. First of all, it is online media: telecom portals, industry publications, bloggers. After that, the client already comes to our website for details.

We practically do not use offline channels, since the investments in them are large, and the return is small. We rely on digital, and our target audience is the online community. Test launches of advertising campaigns have shown that promotion using online tools is more effective, and this is the most attractive channel for us.

When I was in Moscow in the summer, I noticed Danycom sales points. Was it an experiment, or will there be more of them all over the country?

P. K. At one time we worked with partners in Moscow who were engaged in the sale of our SIM cards offline. Such a scheme of cooperation worked, in which the client came to the salon and drew up a contract there. At first, the project developed well, but at some point we encountered fraud and dishonest behavior on the part of partners. This became a "bell" for the revision of the dealer strategy and the development of offline retail in general. Now the points of sale are solely responsible for issuing a plastic SIM card. The client picks up the SIM card at an office convenient for him, and the identification and activation procedure is already carried out at home on his own: through our website or the public services portal.

Danycom Point of Sale

Does it mean that online sales play the biggest role?

E.P. Yes. We have transferred all the main interactions with current and future subscribers to the digital environment. The client can perform all the necessary actions without leaving the site: order a SIM card, activate it, change the terms of service, and so on. In addition to the site, there are also mobile applications, as well as a help desk with a voice assistant. The client can receive a physical SIM card in a more suitable way for him, available depending on the location: delivery by Russian Post or courier, as well as at partner sales offices.

E.P. Yes. We have transferred all the main interactions with current and future subscribers to the digital environment. The client can perform all the necessary actions without leaving the site: order a SIM card, activate it, change the terms of service, and so on. In addition to the website, there are also mobile applications, as well as a help desk with a voice assistant. The client can receive a physical SIM card in a more suitable way for him, available depending on the location: delivery by Russian Post or courier, as well as at partner sales offices.

What about partnering with major chain retailers, whether online or offline? For example, a person bought a brand new smartphone in an electronics store, and he received a free connection as a gift.

P. K: We are in talks with retailers, but so far this scenario is unlikely. Speaking of large retail players, we are faced with the fact that the “big four”, due to their long work in the market, can offer much more rewards for networks than a young virtual operator. Accordingly, cooperation with small projects is unprofitable for retailers.

I believe that this would help to expand both your geography of presence and the client base in the current regions.

P. K: Yes, but here you need to look at the situation as a whole. We see how the younger generation is increasingly moving online. Communication, music, cinema, ordering food and goods - one way or another, all these areas are shifting in his direction. The same is true for mobile communications - subscribers more often use their personal account on the website and in the application than call the hotline. We are sure that if the story with eSIM gets a full-fledged legislative basis, and enough subscriber equipment with its support appears on the market, then people will simply stop going to communication stores over time.

For example, in the field of broadband access, it is impossible to imagine an easy transfer of a subscriber to another operator. There are physical restrictions there, one way or another, requiring the departure of an employee, such as laying a cable, connecting to a wiring closet, setting up client equipment. In mobile communications, there are no such restrictions, except for the plastic of the SIM card itself. That is, by eliminating this link, operators will be able to ensure easy connection of new subscribers, as well as an absolutely seamless transition from one network to another. And all this will happen online. Therefore, it is not advisable to develop traditional retail and invest heavily in it. The return from it will be less every year, and the costs will be more.

Speaking of eSIM. How soon can we expect Danycom virtual SIM cards?

P. K: In the abstract, we can launch eSIM issuance right now, we already have an infrastructure solution provider for SIM card virtualization. We tested the technology in internal mode on individual employees and studied the principle of operation. But we are not ready to take the risks of its implementation as long as there are restrictions from the point of view of current legislation. Therefore, we are waiting for official permission to use this technology in the Russian Federation.

Recently, the so-called "MVNO factory" has become more active in Tele2, new virtual operators appear one by one. Danycom is one of the most prominent representatives of such networks. Tell us how in your case the interaction with the support operator takes place? Where does his area of ​​responsibility end and yours begin?

P. K. We work on the Full-MVNO model, so Tele2 is only responsible for base stations and direct radio communications. All other processes - billing, assignment of identifiers, traffic routing, roaming arrangements - are already our area of ​​responsibility.

How good is the interaction with the core network?

P. K. Interaction with the host operator is built correctly - Tele2 has a special system for working with partners. In it, we can record the request of a client experiencing communication problems and receive a response to this request, according to the current SLA (“Service Level Agreement”. - Note ed.).

Does the very "virtuality" worsen the user experience of subscribers?

P. K. We record all customer requests. Even when a person complains about a poor connection, although the nearest base station is ten kilometers from his settlement. It must be understood that all telecom operators incur high costs for the construction of base stations, and at some point in time each station must pay off. Therefore, communication does not reach at all to some settlements. Complicating the situation is the fact that operators are required to support not only the current communication standards - conditional 4G / 3G, and in the future 5G, but also the outdated GSM. Accordingly, in this case, we, as a virtual operator, cannot directly influence the quality of communication.

In other cases, when a client complains about the deterioration of coverage where it should be good, we record complaints and receive adequate and prompt responses to them. The support operator notifies us of all scheduled repairs. If a subscriber contacts during this period from a specific location, we already know what could be causing his communication problems.

Not bad. As practice shows, some virtual operators lack such information. Something is happening with their network, the subscriber has no connection, and the support answers that everything is fine and there should be no problems.

You position yourself as a federal operator and plan to increase the number of regions of your presence. But whatever one may say, Tele2 is not represented in all subjects of the Russian Federation, somewhere it has problems with coverage. At the same time, you can only use the infrastructure of the reference operator, but do not have your own. How much does this hinder the development of the network?

P. K. In all regions where our host has coverage, we also have it. That is, it is really possible to issue a SIM card in 56 subjects, but this does not mean that our subscribers in other regions remain without communication. In addition, we have agreements with other operators to provide communications where there is no connection from Tele2 at all.

Let's take, for example, the Far East. Tele2 is present in the Jewish Autonomous Region, but not in the Khabarovsk Territory. At the same time, the specificity of the region is such that there is a large flow of labor from the JAO to Khabarovsk. Thanks to partnership agreements, we cover the entire Far East with our communications. Danycom subscribers not only do not remain without communication, but also retain all the conditions of their tariff.

Are there any plans to increase Danycom's coverage by partnering with other host operators?

P. K: Not at the moment, and I'll explain why. When we started preparing for the launch in Europe, we studied the experience of local operators, including virtual ones. Some of them offer the ABC scheme - always best connection, or "always the best connection." They work with two or more host operators, which is possible due to the technical features of local networks. When a client wants to switch to the coverage of another carrier, he uses the MNP procedure (phone number portability. - Note ed.). According to the regulations in European countries, such a transfer takes no more than 10 minutes. The subscriber selects in the personal account of the MVNO operator the network in which he wants to be served, and the OTA platform (over the air, "over the air." - Ed.) sends the corresponding update to his SIM card. In parallel with this, the process of porting the number takes place so that it is already registered in the network equipment with a new identifier.

We could do something similar in Russia, but for this, the MNP procedure should be much easier and faster than the current eight days. So now our implementation is quite sufficient. We honestly declare to subscribers that they will not be left without communication where there is no our coverage, even if this is implemented through roaming. At the same time, this roaming does not affect the cost of their tariffs, for customers we have a single price throughout the country.

In the information field, such a concept as the Danycom ecosystem often appears. What services does it include, and how do they interact with each other?

P. K. First of all, we need to talk about the ecosystem for business clients, which combines all our b2b services. Those. is an international communication platform providing a full range of online business services. Subsequently, we will create a single entry point with end-to-end authorization linking several disparate personal accounts. At the same time, the platforms will not be combined into one, it will be a kind of “central” personal account through which the client will be able to log in to all our services. For ordinary subscribers, the main entry point is and will be the Danycom website itself.

And what is the place of the mobile operator in this whole structure?

P. K. If we talk about the share in the revenue of the entire group of companies, then the mobile operator occupies a relatively small percentage. But if we talk about the ecosystem, then its place can be called one of the most important. When we only considered the possibility of launching a mobile operator, its main advantage was that we would be able to increase the margin of SMS mailings. For example, at that time, our reward for sending an advertising message reached 10% at the most, depending on the operator. In the case of our own subscriber base, we bring this figure to 100%.

So the mobile operator is the key to Danycom's growth?

P. K. Exactly. Thanks to him, we increase the profitability of all other businesses.

Since we started talking about revenue. As far as I am familiar with the situation, the vast majority of virtual operators in Russia are unprofitable for their owners. Many of them exist not so much for profitability, but to maintain the notorious ecosystem. How is the situation at Danycom?

P. K. At the moment, the mobile operator is slightly in the red. Interestingly, most of this unprofitability is generated by subscribers of archival tariffs, which we have about 22%. As in the Pareto principle (a method that allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular activity. - Approx. Ed.) - 20% of subscribers create 80% of the costs. At the same time, customers on free tariffs and on tariffs of the new line even bring a small income.

Interesting. And the owners of the old tariffs should already strain? Will you transfer them to new ones because of this?

P. K. It all depends on the market - like any operator, we focus on it. Conditions may develop in such a way that the cost of these tariffs will become too high for us. Rise in the cost of electricity, higher taxes, more complex requirements - all this, one way or another, leads to an increase in the cost. So far, there are no plans to categorically transfer subscribers from archival tariffs, but we cannot think of anything in advance either.

Peter, forgive my increased interest in the mobile operator, after all, this direction of your business is closest to our readers. But tell us briefly about Danycom's other areas of activity. What already exists, what else is planned to be released?

P. K. We currently have a couple of projects at the development stage: a payment system and an insurance platform. While we are studying the relevant segments and choosing a business model. So, we have been working on an insurance project for about a year, but there are a lot of bureaucratic difficulties in this segment. Direct creation of an insurance company is a difficult process associated with the study of many requirements of regulators. We have several prototypes for different niches.

Stub on the Danycom insurance site

What happened to the courier service? For some reason, SIM cards are now delivered by mail, although it would be more logical to use your couriers for this.

P. K. We closed our delivery division, because the agreement with the Russian Post allows us to send SIM cards to subscribers at several times cheaper. We also have agreements with partner courier services. If the client does not want to use the mail service, he can pay for courier delivery, which covers 29 regions of Russia at a single price.

Maybe the group of companies has some other ambitions?

P. K. Now we are actively promoting SMS aggregation services in foreign markets, a year ago we launched this service in Europe. Already at the beginning of 2020, we plan to bring our virtual operator to Europe as well. Well, we will continue to develop the ecosystem of business solutions both in Russia and abroad. For example, now we are testing mobile communications for b2b clients.

Is there anything else you want to say to the readers?

P. K. I can invite readers to leave their questions, we will definitely answer them.

Great. We will wait for comments with questions and complaints.

P. K: I think that companies need to listen to their customers more often. Moreover, information does not always go beyond the support service, although it can be very important. From time to time I myself sit on the line of the contact center and communicate with clients, like a regular operator, this allows me to better understand the problems of users.