Survey: Where Will Operators’ Revenues Come from in the Next 18-36 Months?

Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Last month, Comptel and partners Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent led an interactive session at the Comptel User Group (CUG). (We also captured snapshots of it, as well as some of the presentations and attendee testimonials, in the following video.)

During the interactive session, we polled the approximately 100 telecom executives in attendance on their perceptions of new technologies, like cloud, LTE, M2M and third-party applications, and the consequential impact on communications service providers’ (CSPs) business models. After analysing the data, we wanted to share some of the interesting survey findings.

Nearly 60% of attendees considered LTE-enabled mobile broadband to hold the greatest potential for transforming CSP revenue models over the next 18 months. Interestingly, both the Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent representatives on the panel, when asked to comment, said that they see cloud and mobile data applications as the killer revenue drivers.

Meanwhile, some OSS/BSS industry analysts, like Teresa Cottam of Telesperience, made the point that the responses would be different if the CUG attendees were asked about the next 36 months.

So, we ran the vote again and saw that responses were much more fragmented; a third selected third-party applications and content, a little more than a quarter chose LTE-enabled mobile broadband, and only a share of votes went to M2M and cloud.

The conclusion from the panel and from other commentators was that LTE will lay the grounds for new business models, hence the short term (18 months) bet on it and the longer term belief in cloud, content and M2M.

Other feedback to the CUG survey revealed that:

  • In terms of revenue erosion, 60% of attendees thought that LTE-enabled mobile broadband will significantly wear down the revenues of fixed-line businesses, while 40% of respondents said that the impact would be marginal.
  • Three-quarters of respondents mentioned that they are either already working with third-party application and content providers (ACPs) or are planning to within the next 12 months. All respondents expected CSPs to be working with third-party ACPs within the next three to five years.
  • Finally, 97% of CUG attendees responded that cloud services will definitely generate revenues, but only 22% noted that these will be significant for CSPs. Most (59%) concluded that cloud services will result in relatively modest revenues for CSPs.

Overall, operators seem to be optimistic about the impact of new technologies but are unsure as to how these will translate into new revenue streams.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the CUG poll results—do you agree or disagree with any of the findings?

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