Telecom giant Telia and Estonian robotics company Cleveron team up to bring self-service pods to Estonia’s small towns

The Nordic telecom giant, Telia, and Estonian robotics company Cleveron are teaming up to bring self-service pods that carry Telia’s most popular products to Estonian small towns where having traditional service officers is not viable.

According to a statement by Cleveron, Telia will set up a self-service pod in a small town, where the company’s clients can connect with customer service through a Cleveron self-service screen, pay for their goods on-site, and receive the items from the connected Cleveron parcel robot. “The pilot aims to bring Telia’s services closer to its customers in areas where having traditional service offices is not viable anymore due to the small population and increasing costs,” the company said.

According to Katre Liiberg, Telia Estonia’s head of sales and customer service, the company has searched for a sustainable way to ensure the availability of its services in Estonia’s small towns and villages for quite some time.

“Regional representation is important for both us as a company and for the community, but the traditional solutions for providing services locally are not reasonable from a business perspective,” she said in a statement.

“We see that Cleveron’s solution would help us take our services and support even closer to our customers and also enhance the digital competencies of the public. The self-service pod is our way of solving structural problems innovatively and sustainably. In the future we are planning to automate this solution even further so that Telia’s services would be available in the self-service pod 24/7,” Liiberg added.

A high-tech vending machine

The solution will have an outer structure, created by Telia, which will ensure the customer’s privacy. Once in the pod, the customer can contact customer service through a video call via Cleveron’s self-service screen. The customer can pay for goods or services using the payment terminal added to the screen.

The pod also contains a small Cleveron parcel robot, which is pre-filled with the most popular products. The customer will receive the purchased item after completing the payment. If the item is not available, the courier will deliver it to the parcel robot and the customer can collect the purchase the next day.

“A parcel robot is an automated solution to hand over all kinds of items, and they can easily be pre-filled. We created a self-service screen as an additional feature that helps expand possibilities – the screen and robot combo can be a service station or a complete store, almost like a high-tech vending machine,” Cleveron’s project manager Arti Kütt said, adding that the automatic store’s upkeep will be several times lower than for a regular store.

The unit also helps provide services without direct human-to-human contact, which in today’s world is very important for the safety of the staff and customers, Cleveron pointed out.

The cover image courtesy of Cleveron.

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