TMT Foresight

Our latest thinking on creating competitive advantage through telecommunications, media, and technology industries.

Current issue

Wireless commoditization | A tale of two telecoms | Supporting the drone economy

The telecom industry's leaders descending on Barcelona for Mobile World Congress next week face a challenging business environment. Markets are saturated, fickle customers expect more and more data, regulators are promoting competition, and vicious price wars are becoming commonplace. In short, capturing value and generating growth is getting harder and harder.

Our second annual analysis of these pressures, “Grasping at differentiated straws: Commoditization in the wireless telecom industry,” succinctly describes the extent of the problem, and offers specific strategic solutions for breaking out of the commoditization trap.

We approach the same problem very differently in A tale of two telecoms: A look into the industry’s future, an imaginative yet highly detailed account of what the industry might look like in 2025, and how two telecom providers succeeded in transforming themselves along the way.

For another look into the future, turn to Telecom operators in the age of drones: Preparing for the new era. The commercial use of drones is growing fast, and telecoms can benefit in two ways: capturing and processing the data captured by drones, and helping manage drone traffic.

Featured Foresights

Commoditization in wireless telecoms
Strategy& viewpoint
Around the world, mobile service providers are fighting for market share and average revenue per user is declining in every market around the world. Our second annual study of commoditization in the wireless industry offers a detailed picture of this growing trend, the pricing and regulatory factors putting pressure on industry players, and the strategies they are using to maintain market differentiation and the overall value of their product and services offerings.
A tale of two telecoms
Strategy& viewpoint
What will the successful telecom operator look like in 2025? This fictional account follows the steps two telcos took to set themselves up for the future. The first, called BaseLink, chose to focus on providing the connected infrastructure that would power the digital economy in several markets. The second, called DigiLife, succeeded by transforming itself into a ubiquitous global data platform and digital lifestyle and experience brand. Taken together, they offer important strategic lessons for every operator contemplating its path to future growth.
2017 Entertainment and Media Trends
Strategy& viewpoint
Telecom companies have an important role to play in the growing commercial use of drones. On the one hand, they should seek to support the use of drones by other companies, partnering with them in areas such as drone procurement, data processing, and data delivery. On the other, they could help to establish traffic control centers for drones that would promote greater control of drone operations, and ensure compliance with regulations on drone use.

TMT Foresight archive

February, 2015
Our articles are linked by an overriding theme dominating strategic thinking among telecom operators: digitization.