An excerpt from LEAPING UP THE CARRIER VALUE CHAIN – Hot Telecom “The Five Asian Tigers”
The first thing to do is to get your mind-set right and to understand what this new world is all about in terms of new technologies, new competitors, new services and understanding what our customers’ customers are doing and are expecting. This is the first obstacle to leap.
Once this is achieved, then you have to work at positioning yourself effectively to tackle the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that are present in this new environment. This could mean that you need to self-cannibalise some of your products to leap forward, as there is no time for slowwalking anymore, the market is changing too rapidly now.
In terms of new services, Big Data and analytics is certainly a big opportunity, but the question is: Do carriers have what it takes to compete with players such as Google and some of the other big boys who own the applications?
This could be achievable if some carriers can focus locally where they already own customers and have the retail capabilities to mine data and try to monetize it. This is not necessarily an international carriers’ strength, but they could start playing in this field, either by partnering with specialised firms or by bringing in new people with these types of expertise.
Carriers will also need to decide what role they will play in the Internet of Things (IoT), which is basically Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, for which the current business model will not work, as this type of traffic requires cheap and extremely scalable transport with security assurance. This will require carriers to think completely differently and consider not only business models that are a world apart from what they are used to, but also maybe consider using virtualised transport network infrastructures that will enable them to support this new type of traffic cost effectively.
On the efficiency side, carriers should look at delivering their services quicker, cheaper and with less effort. They should therefore consider using self-service cloud applications and automation, which would equate to doing more with less people and changing the going-to-market process flow.
Finally, the boundaries between applications and infrastructure are changing, with different players working together to deliver the new types of services that are on the rise. Partnering will therefore become crucial to carriers’ survival and this is not necessarily something they have been very good at in the past.