Inside telecommunications: 3Q 2012 trends
The three months to September bear witness to an industry in transformation.
Many established players are looking for new ways to cater to consumers and enterprises by buying capability in new areas.
Migration to new network technologies in mobile is quickening, but such rapid evolution is putting pressure on regulators and policy makers to ensure an adequate enabling environment for new growth.
There are signs that regulatory policies are shifting with the times, and demands for harmonized 4G spectrum are being heeded at both regional and global levels. Long-term planning and consensus building are required if the benefits of 4G data speeds are to be accompanied by cost efficiency for vendors and international roaming capabilities for end users.
At the same time, network upgrades in the fixed broadband market have been conspicuous by their slow progress rate. Homes passed by new fiber infrastructure remain low, particularly in Europe, as incumbents balk at the level of investment involved.
While regulatory policies struggle to keep pace with technology evolution, operators continue to broaden their service offerings. The preferred route for many remains partnerships — and recent announcements have seen global players strike deals with regional operators.
Consolidation remains an important theme in the sector as many players eye more efficient market structures in their core business. In the mobile industry, in-market deals stretch beyond like-for-like mergers, with players holding spectrum assets also seen as attractive targets by mobile network operators.
Meanwhile, leading carriers in developed Asia remain keen on opportunities in adjacent technology segments, from mobile content to IT services. Fearful of relegation to the role of bit-pipe provider, many established players are looking for new ways to cater to consumers and enterprises alike by buying capability in new areas.
Senior Global Telecommunications Analyst