What is the mental map you have of the telecoms sector? What is the lens you use to understand industry goings-on? How will the future of telecoms unfold?
After years of strategy consulting work for telecoms operators, regulators, investors and vendors, I am still surprised by how much thinking is short-term, incremental and tactical. My current role is
forcing me to think again about quite how all the pieces in the telecoms sector fit together. So I have decided to focus this blog (for now) on that.
Specifically, I want to look at how the techno-economic structure of the telecoms industry can help us to diagnose the difficulties the sector is enduring and find some ways forward towards sustainable growth.
Questions to help us think about the future of telecoms
I think it’s time for a fresh look at questions like:
- How should we think about telecoms? What metaphors are helpful?
- What is the value chain? What are the sources of competitive advantage at each layer? Should telcos vertically integrate or disintegrate?
- What is it that the telecoms industry sells? Are all products and services offered by telcos fundamentally the same, or do we need different approaches to different types of product?
- Are Over-The-Top players (OTTs) an opportunity or a threat?
- Is the broadband business model really broken, as is claimed? What will need to happen for the future of telecoms to be bright?
I have plenty of views and ideas on these topics, but I am looking forward to being able to discuss, debate and refine them with other interested parties, such as you, dear reader! Please do join the conversation.
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.