Three forces reshaping the future of telecommunications

Keeping our pulse on industry shifts and evolution – both seismic and incremental – is one way that we here at VXI help prepare our clients for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. In the telecommunications space, I’m seeing a melting pot of rapid change, with both new and established players forging new alliances, business models and ways to engage customers.

2019 looks to be another year of change for the industry – and of course, there will be both winners and losers. Here are my picks of what you need to know to make sure you are in the former category.

The pace of mergers & acquisitions will shift back to slow gear

From established giants like AT&T and Time Warner, to Disney and 21st Century Fox, your competitors have been gearing up for battle. A PWC report announced that there were 876 U.S. telecoms and media M&As in 2017 alone - up 29% from the previous year. In 2018, the AT&T and Disney deals, combined with the Sprint/T-Mobile merger and Comcast’s purchase of Sky, were worth more than $200 billion.

Wall Street observers predict that the frantic pace of transactions will slow down until 2012, due to the need for a cool-off period and economic and political uncertainties. In the meantime, it’s a good time to consider either forging your own alliances or seeking innovative ways to double down on your market position.

Online streaming is going to get even more fragmented

Exclusive content is nothing new, however the ability to stream directly to a device has increasingly seen content aggregators come full circle to become content producers themselves – and there is no sign of this trend slowing down.

Industry pundits note that further fragmentation of the market is already underway with AT&T joining the likes of Apple, Facebook, Turner and Telefonica in launching their own over the top (OTT) platforms. With many players driving hard at specific segments of the market with highly targeted content, customers have never had so much choice. In such a crowded field, the race is now on for providers to stake out a winning “value-add” model.

The Internet of Things – opportunities and challenges

With Alexa and Google Home answering the question of what it would take to unlock the U.S. consumer IoT market, the way consumers find, select and buy from you (and your customers) is about to get even more complicated. Telcos have the well-established ability to connect millions of devices to complex networks, and the opportunities will only increase with the introduction of lightning-fast 5G networks.

Now consider: When everything is a potential channel, how do you ensure that you continue to deliver the experiences and journeys that your customers demand? Equally important, who owns the data that powers IoT – the customer, the telecom operator, app developers or device manufacturers?

Where to from here?

As your customers, your competitors and the diversity of your own product set continue to change, your ability to deliver a compelling customer experience in every “touch” with your organization is paramount.

More competition and more consumer choice mean the stakes have never been higher – but delivering throughout this change is no simple task. I invite you to contact me here at VXI to discuss how we can help you evolve and innovate your customer experience strategy.

 

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