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Circles at M360 APAC: Delivering Digital Telco Experiences


07 September 2023

Circles at M360 APAC: Delivering Digital Telco Experiences

With GSMA’s M360 APAC set to begin tomorrow in Seoul, South Korea, Tara Neal, Executive Editor of The Fast Mode spoke to Rameez Ansar, CEO and Co-Founder, Circles in a brief interview on the company’s participation in the upcoming event. Ansar also reveals Circles’ recent achievements, plans for the future, as well as his thoughts on the development of digital nations and the concept of a ‘digital-first future’.

Tara: What are you looking forward to most at the event? Does Circles have any exciting activities planned?

Ansar: With 75% of the global workforce predicted to be digital natives by 2025, there is tremendous pressure for mobile network operators (MNO) to accelerate their digital transformation strategy. The theme for 2023’s M360 APAC edition could not be more apt, as it zeroes in on key topics to how organisations should harness their people and innovative technologies to support the demands of digital nations.

I look forward to the learning exchange with like-minded industry experts and sharing of best practices on how Circles has been able to crack the code to deliver delightful digital telco experiences to people. But most importantly, I look forward to connecting with our customers, partners and friends from the industry.

Tara: What are some of your recent achievements?

Ansar: 2023 has been an extremely exciting year for the business, where we have announced key strategic partnerships and ventures into new markets, as well as grown our service offerings to customers.

Firstly, I’m thrilled to share that Circles has recently signed a joint venture with Middle East’s telco giant, e& international, to bring the best in digital solutions to e&’s footprint across 16 markets and beyond. This not only marks our first foray into the Middle Eastern market, but also the expansion of our global network of operations into our fourteenth market. As part of the partnership, we have just launched onic, our first digital telco into Pakistan. With our partner e&, we look forward to accelerating digital transformation across their markets, to bring transformational digital experiences and services to the people.

We also celebrated the impressive net-promoter-score (NPS) of +30 for povo2.0, KDDI Corporation’s digital telco brand. This is higher than Japan’s industry benchmark, and a reflection of customer’s satisfaction towards the greater mobile freedom and personalisation povo2.0 delivers. The launch of povo2.0 was a pioneering effort, entirely accomplished remotely from Singapore into Japan within a short span of 16 weeks, during the COVID-19 pandemic when international travel was limited – a novel occurrence in Japan’s telecommunications history.

On the side of our consumer business, we have expanded our service offering for Jetpac, the travel eSIM plan which grants people global connectivity across 50 countries. Anyone can purchase a Jetpac, regardless of their current mobile plan, which brings hyper convenience to customers, eliminating the hassle of swapping physical sim cards and bill shocks. People can travel with a peace of mind, knowing that they are connected anywhere. What I personally love about this product is the endless possibilities to provide non-telco digital services, such as the automatic free lounge access for flight delays. This also serves as a launchpad for our telco partners to launch new innovative services at scale and speed.

Tara: Are there any speaking opportunities that Circles will be taking part in? What are some of the key points that Circles will be delivering?

Ansar: Circles disrupted the telco market in 2014, by introducing Singapore’s first digital telco, Circles.Life, promising a customer-first digital experience and services that the digitally savvy generation wants and needs. The Circles.Life platform is powered by Circles X, the world’s first cloud native SaaS platform that is ‘built for operators by an operator’.

On the back of the success of Circles.Life in three different markets, we have quickly expanded our Circles X offerings to empower other MNOs, such as KDDI Corporation and e& international, to launch their own digital telcos through a clean sheet approach, away from their incumbent legacy systems and infrastructure. Powered on our Circles X full stack SaaS platform, MNOs can better deliver business growth, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

We look forward to sharing our operator and technology experiences at the M360 APAC event, where we are participating in two speaking sessions – ‘Digital transformation strategies & case studies in the 5G era’ and ‘Accelerating digital growth across industries’. I will also be participating in the Digital Nations CEO roundtable, where together with global influential leaders, we will discuss key challenges and opportunities to build a world of sustainable Digital Nations of tomorrow, expedite digital transformation and close the usage gap.

Tara: What are some key considerations when it comes to the development of digital nations?

Ansar: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the demand for, and supply of, digital goods and services. As more customers become digitally empowered through faster internet connectivity and digital services at their fingertips, governments and businesses are forced to adopt a more digitally resilient business strategy at greater speed and depth.

At Circles, we are driven by our mission to give the power back to the people. This goes beyond providing reliable connectivity to customers, to helping MNOs adopt essential cloud-based applications through disruptive digital technologies such as Circles X, in order to reach the growing population of digitally savvy customers.

Taking the learnings from operating our own digital telco, Circles.Life, on our own Circles X technology, we provide partner MNOs with a playbook to successfully run their own digital telcos from Day 1. By shifting telco services online, it unlocks unlimited non-telco services through strategic tie-ups with lifestyle, financial and travel service partners. For example, our Circle of Joy loyalty program allows customers to earn points and redeem rewards. By having access to all customers’ content consumption habits and preferences, operators can deliver personalised and delightful digital experiences to their customers.

Tara: What does the term ‘digital-first future’ mean to you? How do you see this playing out in the APAC region?

Ansar: With 83% of the global population connected to a smartphone, governments and businesses have a common goal of harnessing digital technology to improve people’s lives. As businesses adopt a digital first strategy, it enables them to be more agile and adaptable, being able to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs.

Based in Singapore, the smartest Asian city and the seventh-smartest in the world (2023 Smart City Index), gives Circles the leading advantage of being at the forefront of innovation and being able to hire the best talents in the industry. To foster an innovative-mindset across the organisation, we launched our first research and development centre in Singapore, dedicated to testing, launching and bringing innovation to the market quickly. That said, we look forward to bringing more innovative technologies that will transform how people and businesses connect online, travel and live.

This article was originally published by The Fast Mode. Like what you read? Follow us for more news and insights from Circles.

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Circles.Life voted as #1 in Singapore’s Best Customer Service Award for 2nd Year Running


23 August 2023

Circles.Life voted as #1 in Singapore’s Best Customer Service Award for 2nd Year Running

Featuring photos of winners at our Circle of Joy event pop-up located at Tampines Central (Near MRT & Bus Interchange) and Orchard Road (Near Ngee Ann).

For the second year in a row, Circles.Life proudly stands as the undeniable leader in customer service, securing the coveted title of #1 in Singapore’s Best Customer Service Award 2023/24, in two categories “Online Services and Digital Products (Internet Service Providers)” and Online Services and Digital Products (Mobile Carriers and Telecommunications). This achievement, presented by The Straits Times in partnership with analytics firm Statista, is a resounding testament to Circles.Life’s unwavering commitment to its customers’ happiness and satisfaction.

At Circles, a customer is not just a figure on a balance sheet; they are at the core of every decision, driving the brand’s unwavering pursuit of excellence. This recognition shines a spotlight on Circles’ digital lifestyle brand, Circles.Life’s, relentless dedication to fostering meaningful connections with its customers and delivering an unmatched telecom experience.

“Our customers are not just subscribers; they are valued members of the Circles.Life family. This award is a reflection of their trust and loyalty, and we are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support,” said Jeanette Wong, Head of Marketing at Circles.Life.

In a rapidly evolving telecom landscape with no-contract plans, where customers wield the power to switch providers seamlessly, Circles.Life’s consistent #1 ranking underscores the brand’s prowess in delivering customer-centric solutions. Circles.Life’s commitment to customer experience is an ongoing effort. The brand’s data-driven strategy places customer insights at the forefront, enabling proactive issue resolution and continuous improvement.

On the company’s winning formula, Zhuo Libai, Head of Customer Happiness Digitalization says, “We need to be customer advocates to put on the hats of our customers so that their needs are not neglected.”

Circles.Life’s dedication extends beyond digital realms, evident in the innovative Circle of Joy loyalty program. Unlike conventional rewards schemes, Circle of Joy prioritizes customers’ stay, offering escalating rewards that mirror their loyalty. Points are earned daily just by being a subscriber, and they can be redeemed for rewards like bill waivers and tech gadgets.This unique initiative encapsulates Circles.Life’s promise to amplify customer experiences, making every interaction a moment of delight.

The pursuit for customer-centricity does not stop here – existing users can look forward to many more delight and perks coming their way – follow Circles.Life on social media and check in-app for surprises.

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Whitepaper: Launch Your Digital Brand


31 July 2023

Whitepaper - Circles x Evalueserve: Launch your digital brand

This whitepaper by Circles and EvalueServe examines the evolving telco demands by digitally savvy customers, how telco operators can create an edge over their competitors and build brand differentiation through innovation and agile infrastructure.

Today, telecom operators are hindered by legacy telecom infrastructure, dependencies on traditional channels, and mindset which serve as roadblocks. By launching digital brands through a ‘clean sheet approach’ (refers to developing a system in a new environment), operators are able to achieve cost-effectiveness and lean operations with faster-time-to-market, without carrying the legacy baggage of infrastructure and cultural mindset.

Exploring the Digital Frontier

Through this whitepaper, you’ll also delve into:


  1. Introduction
  2. Three Key Challenges – Know The Reality of Today’s Digital Natives 05
  3. Time to Realign Business Priorities
  4. Telecom Operators Launching Digital Brands
  5. Charting The Right Path to Launch a Digital Brand
  6. Recommendation to Telecom Operators to Build The Right Strategy
  7. Disrupting Mobile Telecom Industry With Circles X
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Circles partners unconnected.org to connect underprivileged children to education through digital connectivity


28 July 2023

Circles partners unconnected.org to connect underprivileged children to education through digital connectivity

Circles, a global telco technology company, partners unconnected.org, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging the digital divide and transforming lives through technology, to create a positive future for underprivileged children around the world.

A 2022 UNESCO data reported that 244 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 worldwide are still out of school. Quality education is crucial to help individuals and communities combat poverty, social exclusion and gender inequalities. However, access to education is greatly impaired by barriers such as lack of funding for education, schools and teachers.

In line with its mission to give power back to people, Circles provides funding and the donation of internet connectivity through its roaming and e-Sim service, Jetpac, to help unconnected.org accelerate its transformative programs, such as connectSTARS, to digitally connect underprivileged children who have little to no access to education, to online learning courses and programs through its education partners. The connectSTARS initiative not only provides internet connectivity to students in need but also fosters their digital literacy and skills development. To date, the partnership has powered over 300,000 lessons for underprivileged students in Indonesia and Africa.

Lawrence Corbett, Chief Operating Officer of Circles says, “Digital inclusion is crucial to help connect individuals and communities with equitable access to the internet, technologies and online learning. We are delighted to partner unconnected.org, which allows us to amplify our beliefs and services beyond the everyday work that we do and make a positive impact on the future of these children.” He continues, “At Circles, we are driven by a learner’s mindset and believe that if you ‘keep on learning’ you will ‘keep on growing’. At the heart of our business, we provide delightful digital experiences to people through reliable digital connectivity and innovative digital services, such as Jetpac. When we combine both, this partnership makes perfect sense in addressing our shared vision. Together, we look forward to digitally connecting more children to education, information and training, thus empowering them for a brighter future.”

Mea Thompson, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of unconnected.org says, “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Circles. With Circle’s generous funding and shared vision, we are now one step closer to realizing our collective goal of a digitally connected world. We believe that access to digital education is a fundamental right, and this partnership with Circles reinforces our commitment to making that right a reality for every child, regardless of their socio-economic background. Through this partnership, we are empowering young minds to reach their full potential and opening doors to a brighter future. Together, we will build a connected future that leaves no one behind.”

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KDDI Digital Life, Japan’s digital telco, achieves high customer satisfaction score with Circles


10 July 2023

KDDI Digital Life, Japan’s digital telco, achieves high customer satisfaction score with Circles

povo2.0, empowered by Circles X technology, delivers delightful digital experiences to the digital savvy users in Japan

Circles, a global telco technology company, announced high customer satisfaction of povo2.0, the digital telco brand that was launched in Japan with long-standing partner, KDDI Corporation, one of Japan’s leading telecommunications companies.

First launched in 2021, povo2.0, by KDDI Digital Life (KDL), adopted a transformative ‘clean sheet’ strategy leveraging Circles’ cloud native SaaS platform, Circles X, to develop and launch differentiated services rapidly. Built for ‘operators by an operator’, Circles X provides operators with a success playbook that equips them with the agility to market and provides digitally savvy consumers with best-in-class experiences.

povo2.0 was launched remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, from Singapore into the Japan market, in just 16 weeks. This is a first for any digital telco brand in Japan. Committed to the motto of ‘no more bill shock’, povo2.0 empowers customers with the freedom to tailor the services in their plans, based on their individual preferences and requirements.

This garnered KDL a net-promoter-score that is significantly higher than the average industry benchmarks, a key measure of customer satisfaction.

Toshitake Amamiya, Executive Vice President of KDDI Corporation says, “I am delighted to have Circles as our partner. They have the proven knowledge and capabilities to serve digital-native users, offering the simple and agile service experience we were looking for.”

Rameez Ansar, CEO and Co-Founder of Circles, says, “As the ratio of digitally savvy consumers increases, so does the need for more personalised digital experiences. It’s now more crucial than ever for telcos to innovate and deliver next-generation digital services to meet the demands of these customers. At Circles, we have the digital and operator expertise to help telco operators to accelerate their digital transformation plans based on the success of operating our own digital telco, Circles.Life, in Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.” He continues, “We are delighted to have a partner like KDL who is at the forefront of innovation and shaping the digital telco landscape in Japan. We look forward to bringing more innovative digital services and experiences to the people.”

Toshiro Akiyama, CEO of KDDI Digital Life says, “The ability to quickly develop and launch differentiated services with a solution that not only works with the KDDI ecosystem but also runs independently from the system, really empowered KDDI to take a bold leap forward with its first-ever digital telco brand.” He adds, “The Circles team runs side by side with KDDI tirelessly to ensure seamless execution of the project, removing the unnecessary hassle of having to manage multiple vendors. the people at Circles are truly its biggest asset.”

For more information, download the customer case study here.

About Circles

Founded in 2014, Circles is a global technology company reimagining the telco industry with its SaaS platform – Circles X, helping telco operators launch and operate successful digital brands.

Today, Circles is partnering operators in 14 countries with the mission to deliver delightful digital experiences to millions of people through our businesses.

With Circles.Life, our digital lifestyle brand, we empower and delight customers across the world by offering digital experiences that go beyond traditional telco services.

With Circles X, our digital telco technology empowers operators to launch digital telco brands from anywhere in the world. Built for operators by an operator, Circles X powers both Circles.Life and our partner operators’ digital telco brands.

Circles is backed by global investors such as Peak XV Partners, Warburg Pincus, EDBI and Founders Fund – renowned institutions with a track record of backing industry-shaking innovators.

Like what you read? Follow us for more news and insights from Circles.

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The smart city opportunity for telcos


28 June 2023

Circles Blog Article - The smart city opportunity for telcos

As urbanisation accelerates globally, smart cities offer solutions to resource challenges, creating significant opportunities for telecom companies in connectivity, analytics, and IoT integration.

Cities worldwide are on an inexorable growth trajectory, thus presenting numerous challenges. With burgeoning demands outpacing the available resources, urban planning will gain pivotal importance.

The United Nations projected that two-thirds of the global population will be living in cities by 2050, and at least 40 megacities will have a population of 10 million or more. Cities occupy less than 1% of the world’s land surface, but they use up to 75% of the world’s natural resources. For urban leaders aspiring to sustain liveable cities, tough decisions will be imperative. One promising solution lies in the integration of technology, transitioning conventional cities into smart cities.

To better serve their residents and businesses, smart cities need to harness digital technology to enhance the efficacy of traditional networks and services. Leveraging smart technologies and data analytics, a smart city’s primary objective is to optimise city operations, foster economic growth, improve residents’ quality of life, and conserve resources. Such initiatives include the modernisation of more advanced water supply and waste disposal systems, smarter urban transportation networks, and more effective building lighting and heating systems.

Smart cities, a multibillion-dollar opportunity

According to Grand View Research, a market research company, the global smart cities market size was valued at USD 1,226.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.8% from 2023 to 2030. This means the market size of the industry is estimated at USD 6,965.02 billion in 2030. With connectivity forming the core of a smart city, this market trend offers substantial growth opportunities for telecom players.

Telcos are set to play a pivotal role in this burgeoning multibillion-dollar sector, which leverages new digital service layers within smart cities. The network infrastructure collectively owned by telcos is ideally suited to delivering digital urban services to future generations. In certain markets, they are optimally positioned to offer end-to-end services directly to customers, alongside the technical platform necessary for future service delivery. Beyond technological capabilities, orchestrating diverse ecosystems is a critical requirement, a task telcos are ideally equipped to undertake.

4 competitive advantages that are unique to telcos

Telecom operators are well positioned to accelerate the emergence of smart cities, applying their established expertise to expedite this urban progression. There are readily attainable opportunities these firms can seize. However, it’s crucial for them to innovate and adapt if they aspire to unlock the full potential of this landscape. This transformative journey can be a reality if telcos successfully navigate these four aspects:

  • Notably, they are significantly advanced in data management, control existing network infrastructure and platforms, and have expertise in managing public-private collaborations.
  • Besides providing high-speed connectivity – a fundamental requirement for smart cities –, telcos can expand into adjacent service domains, such as analytics, cloud, and mobility.
  • Owing to a range of key competencies, telcos are well-placed to branch into related sectors and offer data and cloud-related services to local authorities. These competencies encompass solid customer billing relationships, a substantial retail presence, and significant brand equity.
  • Additionally, telcos are well-positioned to penetrate the big data analytics market. They sit on an abundance of valuable data, and their ability to gather and integrate vast volumes of data from heterogeneous sensor networks, creating intelligent data sets, is a valuable asset. They can leverage this skill to broaden their suite of smart city offerings.

For the Internet of Things (IoT) plans to be successfully implemented, broader services offered by telco companies are vital and crucial, especially in initiatives involving smart buildings and smart cities. The fact that no one stakeholder or organisation can dominate this market is becoming increasingly clear, and telcos should be seen as the glue that binds the ecosystem’s many players together.

This article was originally published by Marcel Benjamin Tabin on LinkedIn. Like what you read? Follow us for more news and insights from Circles.

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Culture: the missing piece in digital transformations that fail?


07 June 2023

Culture - the missing piece in digital transformations that fail?

Aiming for digital transformation success? You can’t do it without an innovative culture that dares to take risks.

Digital transformation (DX) was the buzzword 10 years ago. It was roughly the same time we conceived the idea of building Singapore’s most disruptive telco – that’s when Circles.Life took shape. At that time, Circles.Life was considered a misfit. While the telco industry tried to figure out the right digital transformation strategy, Circles.Life had already built a never-before-seen customer experience so innovative that many found it incredible.

DX success highly dependent on culture

Fast forward to 2023, and as the telco industry evolved, it borrowed concepts and strategies from adjacent industries like finance, media, hospitality, and transportation. While the others grew by leaps and bounds, telcos became the laggards. Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU) continued to decline, Net Promoter Score (NPS) challenges abounded, and capital and operating expenditures climbed to all-time highs. As business leaders braced for worsening year-on-year bottom lines, everyone wondered how to escape this predicament.

Innovation then became the go-to solution for troubled carriers. Many leveraged existing partners or vendors to fulfil this fantasy of getting a bigger chunk of the pie. Some tried building development teams within their organisations. In a lot of cases, both failed. Why? The answer lies in the same question as to why digital transformation initiatives failed for many of these telcos: culture.

How culture shapes a company’s future

There is a popular saying: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The problem with culture is that it can never be changed overnight. It takes years to build but only a few bad hires to destroy. Culture is a living, breathing organism that takes shape as the company grows. The spirit of innovation must be carefully nurtured for the culture to breathe life into the various disruptive ideas the company can monetise in the future.

As with all future-forward projects, the company will not be able to see the outcome or benefits in the short term. Hence, it is important to keep the innovation team lean, agile, cost-efficient, ambitious and ambiguous. Significant investment is necessary to sustain innovation in the company; as such, it would be preferable to undertake fewer large projects in favour of small ones.

However, one common mistake many companies make is banking on big bets without failing fast, which we usually see in projects involving development houses or system integrators. Business models are typically constrained around delivery and not failing fast; hence, projects tend to bloat and scope creep hounds timelines.

Game-changing innovation takes guts

Successful innovation requires execution teams from commercial, product, and engineering to be able to fail, learn, and iterate as quickly as possible. There is little space for processes and formalities. This spells trouble for control freaks like telco governance.

A typical innovation flow consists of going through a couple of research and ideation stages followed by a validation stage which involves low code or no code implementation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to prove interest among a target cohort. If the validation stage checks out, the idea will go through a series of iterations to try to reach Product Market Fit (PMF). This is when prototypes are built to test different hypotheses. Once PMF is hit, the idea then go for scaling where it gets released as a full-fledged product.

When Circles initially launched Circles X, it resembled more of an audacious innovation experiment. The team, driven by a clear problem to solve, embarked on a journey even though there wasn’t a well-defined product roadmap. Along the way, numerous products and solutions were born, only to be ruthlessly killed or meticulously evolved as we relentlessly pursued growth. This relentless pursuit of innovation not only shaped Circles into what it is today but also imbued it with a remarkable ability to adapt and thrive.

One of the challenges in adding an innovation function to a company serving live customers is how to do this with the least risk exposure. Carving out a safe environment for experimentation is required along with a creative team of motivated people to anchor the charter.

Strong attachments to projects are not allowed; out of ten projects, nine will be killed, and if the team is lucky, one will reach the MVP stage. Nevertheless, it is always fulfilling to see that one MVP change a whole industry.

This article was originally published by Kelvin Chua on LinkedIn. Like what you read? Follow us for more news and insights from Circles.

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Case Study: How award-winning telco KDDI Digital Life achieves groundbreaking NPS with povo2.0


05 June 2023

Circles x KDDI Success Story - Digital Telco Brand povo2.0

When faced with the challenge of lowering mobile charges and competing with new, low-cost challengers, KDDI Digital Life, by KDDI Corporation, sought to innovate and create a truly digital experience for its Japanese consumers. With the help of Circles X, it was able to quickly deploy personalised offerings that exceeded customer expectations and set them apart from the competition.

Breaking new ground with unmatched agility

KDDI Digital Life’s povo2.0 is defined by a completely digital service, deployed with the help of Circles X’s cloud native SaaS platform. This enabled KDDI to bring new products and features to market in just 16 weeks, an impressively swift feat compared to the traditionally protracted months-long development cycle, and a first for a digital telco brand in Japan.

povo2.0 empowers customers with greater freedom

povo2.0, KDDI’s first-ever digital telco brand, broke new ground by introducing a “0” JPY base plan, empowering subscribers to tailor their plans by opting for their preferred “toppings”, such as the DAZN entertainment service. Committed to the motto of “no more bill shock,” povo2.0 empowers customers with the freedom to choose their own plans.

povo2.0 achieves an impressive NPS of +30 points

povo2.0’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a key measure of customer satisfaction – stands impressively at +30 points. As the trend of digitally savvy users switching to povo2.0 persists, the collaboration between Circles and KDDI continues to captivate customers with an unrivalled digital experience and personalised services.

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Circles wins SBR’s Technology Excellence Awards for its cloud-native telco platform


26 May 2023

Circles wins SBR’s Technology Excellence Awards for its cloud-native telco platform

(Left to right) Sridhar Vedaprasad (Group Product Owner), Anant Gupta (Director, Product Management), Nicholas See (Cloud FinOps Lead), Rachel Wong (PR & Analyst Relations Lead), Akanksha Gupta (Principal Engineer), Terri Tan (Head of Strategic PMO), Indrika Hikkaduwa (SRE and Architecture), Sarath Chandra Kummamuru (Head of Global Engineering SaaS), Benny Varghese (Head of Country Launches SaaS) and Rakesh Yadav (Principal Architect).

Built for operators by an operator, Circles X’s technology empowers mobile operators to launch digital telcos that delight customers around the world.

The telecommunications industry has one of the lowest industry net-promoter-score (NPS), with ratings in the negatives. Tech disruptors such as Netflix and Amazon have raised the bar for digital experiences, and customers now expect more from businesses to deliver similar seamless and personalised experiences from their services.

On the mission to transform the telco industry by delivering delightful digital experiences, Circles built Circles X, the world’s first cloud-native, full-stack digital telco SaaS platform. Built for operators by an operator, Circles X empowers telco operators to launch digital telcos from anywhere in the world.

Recognised for their recent product updates to the Circles X technology platform, Circles was conferred the Cloud – Telecommunications category by the SBR Technology Excellence Awards. The awards programme recognises exceptional companies in Singapore that are riding the digital disruption wave and leading the technological revolution and digital journeys of their respective industries.

To build a technology stack like no other in the market that could address the industry and customer pain points required a total reimagination of the product capabilities. This led Circles to the innovation of the Circles X technology, a digital platform which unifies marketing tech (martech) and telco tech capabilities beyond the traditional digital business support system (BSS).

Being a 100% unified SaaS platform enables mobile operators to deploy digital telcos from anywhere in the world, run lean operations with 10x less people and launch promotions in minutes, not days. This frees up the operators’ resources and allows them to allocate more towards creating compelling products and experiences instead of worrying about building core services and managing infrastructure.

Today, Circles X is powering millions of delighted customers across 13 countries through their digital telco, Circles.Life, and their partner operators. Powered by Circles X, operators can deliver business results that surpass industry standards, such as a 36% increase in average revenue-per-customer, growing market share and higher NPS ratings.

“Circles has set a new standard for digital innovation and customer experience in the telecommunications industry. By identifying the industry’s pain points, Circles disrupted the telco industry with a unique technology innovation that simplifies operation workflows and equips telco operators with the business agility to go-to-market. This has earned Circles the Cloud – Telecommunications Award at the 2023 SBR Technology Excellence Awards,” said Tim Charlton, Chief Editor of Singapore Business Review.

The SBR Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine.

This article was originally published by Singapore Business Review. Like what you read? Follow us for more news and insights from Circles.


Circles clinches the Cloud – Telecommunications award at the SBR Technology Excellence Awards 2023 for its cloud-native SaaS platform

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Circles and e& international form a joint venture to provide best-in-class digital telco experiences


24 May 2023

Circles and e&_Partnership Announcement Banner

(Left to right): Rameez Ansar, CEO and Co-Founder of Circles; John McEvoy, CEO of the Joint Venture; and Mikhail Gerchuk, CEO of e& International, come together for the momentous joint venture signing ceremony, marking the beginnings of a transformative collaboration in the telco industry

e& international today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Circles, a global technology company, to bring best-in-class digital experiences to customers across its operating markets and beyond.

e& international, part of e&, that is responsible for growing the international portfolio of world-class modern digital telcos, has formed a joint venture with Circles to empower its network of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other operators based in the region to launch digital telco brands that deliver delightful digital experiences for the digitally savvy generation.

Circles is a global technology company that’s reimagining the telco industry with its SaaS platform, Circles X, and helping operators launch and operate successful digital brands. Having pioneered a successful blueprint for disrupting the telco space in Singapore, Circles has since launched its own digital telco, Circles.Life, in partnership with M1 in Singapore, Chunghwa in Taiwan and Optus in Australia. Circles has also partnered with other national MNOs such as XL Axiata in Indonesia to launch Live.On and KDDI Corporation in Japan to launch POVO 2, enabling them to accelerate growth and capture market share within a short period of time.

The agreement will enhance e& international’s position as a pioneer in bringing broad-spectrum technologies to the region, as it will benefit from Circles’ digital expertise and global operations across 13 Asia Pacific and European markets, bringing the best in digital solutions to e&’s footprint across 16 markets and beyond. It will also leverage Circles’ cloud-native, digital SaaS platform called Circles X, which allows MNOs to deploy digital telco brands from anywhere in the world and unlocks an agile digital-first revenue growth engine, at a fraction of the operating cost by a traditional telco. Built for operators by an operator, Circles X empowers MNOs to drive seamless and personalized digital experiences, thus achieving a net-promoter-score (NPS) that is higher than industry standards.

This partnership is in line with e&’s transformation journey into a global technology group as announced last year, which is backed by its ambitious strategy to accelerate growth through its specialist business verticals. It provides e& with the world-class digital capabilities to grow the telco business as well as adjacent digital businesses with cutting edge customer experience.

Mikhail Gerchuk, CEO, e& international said: “As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever for telcos to innovate and deliver next-generation services to meet the demands of digital native subscribers. At e&, we have doubled down on our efforts to surpass customer expectations by ensuring we make our services accessible anywhere, at any time, and from any device. To make this possible, we have worked tirelessly on enhancing the digital journey of our customers. Through our transformation from a reputed telco giant to a global technology and investment group, we are confident that we will continue to enhance our customers’ digital journey according to their needs. Our partnership with Circles is solid proof of our commitment to heralding a new digital era, one that is filled with limitless possibilities where we can collaborate and accomplish more for a brighter, digital future.”

“We are delighted to embark on this journey with a partner like e&, who shares our common vision of an empowered digital future. Our Circles X technology demonstrates our continuous commitment to help the MNOs connect with the digitally savvy generation and deliver the delightful digital experiences that they want and need. Our operator and digital expertise from powering successful digital telcos allows us to transfer our knowledge and experience to our partnership with e&. We look forward to deepening our partnership with e& to accelerate digital transformation across their markets,” said Rameez Ansar, CEO & Co-Founder of Circles.

John McEvoy is appointed as the CEO of the joint venture. He said: “Our joint venture will enable us to leverage their expertise in digital technologies and our own strengths in telecom to deliver cutting-edge solutions to meet the evolving needs of the global mobile operator community. Together, we will create new opportunities for growth and success, while providing unique propositions to support these operators in launching independent digital brands and benefiting from distinctive commercial models. The objective is to provide unparalleled value to MNOs especially with the rise of digital native subscribers making it critical for them to adapt and innovate, while also driving growth and profitability.”

About e& international

e& international is responsible for growing a vast network of modern, world-class digital telcos. We operate in 16 countries and strive to be a leader in customer experience by providing our customers with the best connectivity, the most inclusive financial services, the richest entertainment, and seamless business transformation.

With a growth mindset, we are accelerating the development of an exceptional customer experience, building leading digital capabilities, and seizing opportunities to expand in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe through acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

To learn more about e& international, please visit: https://eand.com/en/international-telecoms.jsp

About Circles

Founded in 2014, Circles is a global technology company that’s reimagining the telco industry with its SaaS platform, Circles X, and helping operators launch and operate successful brands.

Today, Circles is partnering operators in 13 countries to deliver delightful digital experiences to millions of people through our businesses.

With Circles.Life, our digital lifestyle brand, we empower and delight customers across the world by offering digital experiences that go beyond traditional telco services.

With Circles X, our digital telco technology empowers operators to launch digital telco brands from anywhere in the world. Built for operators by an operator, Circles X powers both Circles.Life and our partner operators’ digital telco brands.

Circles is backed by global investors such as Sequoia, Warburg Pincus, EDBI and Founders Fund – renowned institutions with a track record of backing industry-shaking innovators.


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