Every industry comes with its unique set of challenges. The telecom world is no exception to this rule. New advances, however, have made the telecom industry more prone to disruption than in the past. Here are four challenges telecoms must address to remain competitive.
Differentiating from Competitors
The telecom industry is complex. There’s a ton that goes into building such an enterprise — and it’s extremely difficult to manage these sprawling organizations. Beyond that, telecoms need to find ways to make consumers think they provide better services than the other, often similar, options out there.
Currently, telecoms are in a situation where they’re looking for ways make themselves appeal to customers. One strategy for this has been building strategic partnerships, or making strategic acquisitions. Content is a huge factor here. This is possibly most evident in AT&T’s massive purchase of Time Warner for $85 billion. The theory behind this is that Warner’s deep content library will provide AT&T with unique paths of monetization, such as streaming services and bundles.
No matter the differentiation, it’s essential that telecoms find ways to set themselves apart from others if they want to stay competitive.
Choosing the Right Investments
While the AT&T purchase of Time Warner is undoubtedly impressive when it comes to dollars spent, there’s no guarantee it’s going to live up to expectations. All that money is a massive investment. Even though management is relatively sure of their decision, it’s still too early to tell if the deal will ultimately benefit the telecom giant.
Going forward, it’s going to become increasingly crucial for telecoms to invest their money the right way. Why is this? Because telecoms can’t rely on their legacy businesses and investments to sustain them in the same way they did in the past. Think about this: Many telecoms have built up satellite TV and fiber optic Internet infrastructures. These were massively expensive endeavors that couldn’t have been taken on by smaller businesses. Big spends like this are much more likely to pay off if consumers don’t have a better option.
As technology continues to become more advanced at an evermore rapid pace, it increases the likelihood of big-spend investments becoming irrelevant. Therefore, telecoms need to ensure they’re making the right decisions every step of the way. This is one reason data analytics in the telecom industry is becoming even more integral to decision-making. With the power of data, telecoms can make better predictions about their investment returns and identify areas for improvement.
Staying Agile and Evolving, Even Though It’s a Challenge
As mentioned in the previous point, there’s an inherent challenge to telecoms in making smart investments for a few reasons. Telecoms gravitate toward a sort of behemoth-like nature. Their natural tendency is to have big, immovable legacy infrastructure. In the past, this was a huge advantage—but not so much in the world of today.
In the modern economy, telecoms need to find ways of staying ahead of the curve. They need agility and the ability to pivot like never before. To do this, telecoms need to be open to changes—both in terms of structure, and ow they make money altogether. Businesses such as Netflix, Amazon, and Uber have shown that disruption is the new normal. Telecoms need to embrace this idea in order to compete with the newest waves of change.
Getting Ready for the Internet of Things
Consumers and businesses are anxiously awaiting the full-blown arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT). This is going to lead to a huge change in how people interact with technology. But this kind of interconnectivity is also going to lead to challenges.
One of the big challenges is going to be ensuring that customers receive the connection and data speeds promised by their providers. The IoT is bringing about an unprecedented need for data usage and consistency. It’s the role of telecoms to accurately deliver what they promise so enterprise and consumer products work the correctly, expediently and securely.
Telecoms play an important role in everyday life. But things are in a state of flux in this industry. It’s important for telecoms to keep these concepts in mind when looking toward the future.