2G is now a 26-year-old technology that is incompatible with the digital transformation of our society. Telcos from Canada to South Korea and Japan have shutdown their 2G services and Thailand will eventually join them. This means that customers using 2G must be migrated to 3G or 4G services, which requires both new SIM cards and devices that support them. If not, they will not be available to use their mobile phones at some point in the future.
Although switching from 2G to 4G is a clear upgrade, it’s not easy getting customers to make the jump. To accomplish this critical mission, dtac has formed a special team, comprised of Virat Jaruchoktaweechai, head of customer call service, Pinchuda Tinakorn Na Ayudhaya, head of training and communication and Tassanee Thechapitchaya, head of advanced customer service.
The last migration
The shutdown of 2G service is a major turning point for the telecom industry, ushering in a new era of telecommunications. 3G and 4G services provide much faster internet connections in line with consumers’ demand. dtac is committed to ensuring 2G customers are not left behind.
“The use of 2G is going to come to an end as customers consume massive amounts of data and strongly require a faster internet connection. Globally, many countries already shut down the availability of 2G service,” said Mr. Virat.
In 2105, dtac formed a team called “Harmony” to help migrate 2G customers to 3G and 4G, but the transition was mostly via SIM card replacements. This year, dtac is focusing on device replacement by offering discounted handsets.
“The most difficult thing is that they [2G subscribers] don’t trust what we are doing. They think it’s a scam. This is the challenge we need to cope with, the lack of confidence. We need to convince them this offer is bringing a better future,” added Ms.Tassanee.
“First of all, we reach out to our target customers via the call center, explaining why they need to change your device in a bid to let them understand our purpose. Subsequently, we distribute a new handset via delivery outsources. It seems easy, but actually it’s very difficult, especially with this group, who are mostly the elderly and migrants. They lack the technological literacy and that’s why it’s very time-consuming,” said Mr.Virat.
The special team adopted a “whatever it takes” strategy, intensifying their proactive approach to reach out to this last group of 2G users under dtac’s operation, such as via call center, field work and even some tactics by offering eggs or instant noodles in exchange for their 2G handsets.
“We are doing our best and this is the nature of dtac people,” added Ms.Pinchuda.
With a tight migration time frame, ending in Sept, the team is under pressure, which could lead to anxiety, fear and tensions, possibly resulting in inefficient tasks. Hence, the three musketeers must tame the rising temperature to make a stable working climate.
“As a collaborative team, each member has their own specialties and different backgrounds. We need to leverage their strengths to reach our ultimate goal of migrating 2G to 3G and beyond,” said Ms. Pinchuda.
Currently, dtac has a total number of 2G users in the hundreds of thousands, down from 10 million in 2015.
“This 2G migration project is like we are moving homes. As a homeowner, we want every member of this house moving together to a bigger house with a faster connection,” said Ms.Tassanee