Billing Transformation & the Telco Obituary

February 1, 2016 - Openet

LinkNYC is rolling out free municipal 1Gbit/s WiFi in New York City. It will make its money from the advertising space on WiFi kiosks that are replacing the phone booths in New York. Google is deploying a low-cost WiFi-first MVNO in the US. Microsoft has said it plans to do the same, while Facebook could also follow suit. With data fast becoming a commodity, telcos could soon find their core business undermined and eroded by competitors they did not see coming.

Over the last couple of years, many telcos have started to evaluate what that business is. Are they selling a limited set of communications services? Or are they selling a wider range of digital services?

Last September/October, I ran a survey of more than 100 telcos on their plans for digital transformation. Pretty much everyone agreed that the move to digital is needed for survival and growth, and that to make this move telcos will have to sell more personalized offers. There was also a consensus that when it comes to interacting with customers telcos could learn a number of lessons from the over-the-top (OTT) players. On the one hand, they need to embrace the OTT companies, which are a good driver of data traffic and can provide content that will differentiate a telco's offerings. At the same time, telcos are learning to sleep with one eye open, as the OTT players also represent their biggest competitive threat. The telcos get this. They know they've got to change.

Read more at Telco Transformation


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