Disruptors Research

What are the threats, opportunities and lessons from telcos from disruptors’s business strategies?


February 2023

The state of telco transformation

Nine change stakeholders describe their experience of telco transformation, providing insights on the change process and learnings for others that are remodelling their organisations for the future.




November 2022

Empowering hybrid working

The world is entering the post-pandemic era of hybrid working. This report dissects enterprise perceptions of hybrid working and argues that operators have a crucial role to play in building a thriving hybrid working environment for enterprise customers.



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

September 2022

Pursuing hyperscale economics

We evaluate the role of disaggregation and cloud native infrastructure and key breakthrough opportunities for network operators.




August 2022

Beating the crash: What’s coming?

There are troubling signals in the business environment. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low due to inflation, conflict, Covid and climate change. What are the consequences for telecoms, and what should telcos, vendors, policymakers and others in the ecosystem do? In the first of two reports we examine the macro forces and outline three key steps to reshape priorities and the strategy agenda.




August 2022

Will web 3.0 change the role of telcos?

In recent years, the web 3.0 movement, which seeks to fundamentally change the economics of the Internet, has gained significant momentum. For many telcos, the disruption caused by a shift to web 3.0 could open up opportunities to rebuild relevance and revenues in the consumer market.



Rakuten Google Amazon telecoms strategy

May 2022

The three telco Metaverse strategies

Beyond just connecting it, there are three broad telco strategies for the Metaverse that are being developed and led by Verizon, Telefónica and SKT.



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

May 2022

Why CFOs must drive telecoms business model change

Since we first published this report in 2019, telcos have made significant investments in 5G, but value continues to shift towards service differentiators. Transformation remains at the heart of most telecoms operators’ strategies but change has been painfully slow. This report explains why agility and innovation – the goals of transformation – will remain elusive until CFOs adopt new resource allocation models at their organisations.



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

March 2022

Telco edge platforms: Balancing speed vs value

Despite the hype around edge computing, telcos have been slow to commit investments amid competing priorities for networks teams. How can they work with partners to get the right balance between cost, speed of deployment and developer needs in a fast moving competitive market?



Rakuten Google Amazon telecoms strategy

January 2022

Telco plays in live entertainment

Live entertainment is evolving fast, as greater connectivity and digitisation allows for new experiences for both the audience at the venue and the people watching online. How can telcos play a more valuable role?



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

January 2022

The new telcos: A field guide

Telecoms is too important to leave up to traditional fixed and mobile operators. Thanks to the “democratisation” of shared spectrum, virtualised networks, fibre and cloud – plus the demands of industry, government and local communities – a plethora of new service providers are emerging to fill the gaps. This report is intended as a “spotter’s guide” to the categories of network owners and operators.



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

December 2021

Forecasting capacity of network edge computing

There is much debate in the industry on the topic of telco edge computing, but little clarity for players within the telecoms industry and potential customers on how much capacity will be available. This report forecasts the capacity of network edge data centres from 2021-2025.



Reliance Jio

December 2021

Edge computing market sizing forecast

Edge computing: the US$500 billion opportunity, modelling total edge computing addressable revenue 2020–2030.



Rakuten Google Amazon telecoms strategy

November 2021

Lessons from AT&T’s bruising entertainment experience

Why did AT&T buy, and then sell, DirecTV and Time Warner after only six years? This report looks at AT&T’s decisions, actions and their consequences, and the lessons for others attempting adjacent market moves and M&A.



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

November 2021

The Coordination Age Companies: The First Release

Which companies are bringing the Coordination Age to life, and how can the telecoms industry learn from or partner with them? This is the first report in a series outlining companies that we think are lighting the path on the journey to the Coordination Age. Its goal is to deepen understanding of the Coordination Age and to inspire innovation and engagement in this crucial transition.



Reliance Jio

September 2021

Why and how to go telco cloud native: AT&T, DISH and Rakuten

As telecoms operations become increasingly softwarised, network functions are getting broken down into their individual parts, and reassembled as an essential part of the IT stack for industry-specific applications and services. In this disaggregated telco value chain, is there anything left that is distinctively ‘telco’?



Rakuten Google Amazon telecoms strategy

July 2021

What can telcos learn from Silicon Valley?

Many telcos have visited the Valley in search of new and “open” innovation opportunities, but the returns often seem fleeting. We talked with a 20-year veteran of the circuit to understand why, and what needs to change if they are to embed and operationalise such innovation.



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

July 2021

Private networks: Lessons so far and what next

We explore the recent developments in the private network market, regulatory activities and policies on local and shared spectrum, and the different deployment approaches and business cases for traditional telcos and the expanding range of other stakeholders.



Reliance Jio

April 2021

2020 in review and focus on North America: How should telcos do cloud?

5G is now the main driver of VNF deployment. But can telcos be cloud-native without being hyperscaler-dependent?



Rakuten Google Amazon telecoms strategy

February 2021

Commerce and connectivity: A match made in heaven?

Will many other digital commerce and content companies follow Reliance and Rakuten into the consumer connectivity market?



Microsoft affirmed metaswitch telecoms

January 2021

Microsoft, Affirmed and Metaswitch: What does it mean for telecoms?

Our in-depth analysis of Microsoft’s play in the telecoms market, why it acquired Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, and what telcos should do about it.



Reliance Jio

October 2020

Reliance Jio: Learning from India’s problem solver

In a market written off by many as too competitive and complicated, Reliance Jio has risen extraordinarily quickly to be the leading operator in India, playing a major role in the delivery of Digital India. How did it do it, and what can others learn?



Apple glass 5G

September 2020

Apple Glass: An iPhone moment for 5G?

The delivery of ‘mixed reality’ experiences through various forms of AR / VR ‘glasses’ is improving, and Apple may be planning to enter the fray alongside other heavyweight players such as Amazon and Google. We review the realistic timescales, and the opportunities for telcos.


telco edge hyperscaler partnership

August 2020

Telco edge computing: How to partner with hyperscalers

Both telcos and hyperscalers want to capture the value at the edge, but they need to work together to deliver of edge computing solutions and generate demand among customers. How can operators collaborate with hyperscalers while strengthening their role beyond connectivity?


fraud consumer authentication

June 2020

Fighting the fakes: How telcos can help

As public suspicion about the veracity of online information increases, telcos could use their behavioural data to help Amazon, Google, Airbnb, Uber and others counter fraud, identity theft and fake reviews.


January 2020

Cashing in on the end of cash

The global shift away from cash opens up a variety of potentially lucrative opportunities for telcos. What should telcos do to capitalise on the synergies between telecoms and financial services?

January 2020

Softbank: An overstretched telco or unique innovator?

As a conglomerate with growing investments across the Internet of Things and AI value chains, SoftBank is a unique and intriguing player in the telecoms industry. What exactly is SoftBank’s strategy, and does it give its telecoms businesses a competitive advantage?

November 2019

Cloud gaming: New opportunities for telcos?

How telcos should be preparing for the seismic shift in the video games market signposted by Google’s new Stadia cloud gaming service.

September 2019

How telcos can flex their physical strength

Amazon provides telecoms operators with a playbook on how to combine physical and digital assets into a compelling customer proposition. This report discusses how telcos can learn from and partner with Amazon.

February 2019

Can telcos help cities combat congestion?

How telcos can partner with disruptors and innovators, such as Uber, Bird and Lime, to carve a role for themselves in urban travel and address the myriad challenges facing cities.

July 2018

Uber and Tesla: What telcos should do

Uber and Tesla are at the forefront of a new age of personal transportation in which wireless connectivity will play a major role. Both of these disruptors could be important partners for telcos, while offering lessons about consumer engagement, relationships with regulators and strategic thinking.

March 2018

Can Netflix and Spotify make the leap to the top tier?

What the leading on-demand entertainment specialists – Netflix and Spotify – will need to do the mount a serious challenge to GAFA in the top tier of Internet platforms and how telcos can help them make the online world more competitive.

November 2017

Telcos and GAFA: Dancing with the disruptors

Telcos and the major Internet platforms increasingly rely on each other. What kinds of agreements should operators enter into with Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and what should they avoid?

August 2017

Facebook’s Telecom Infra Project: What is it good for?

Facebook set up the Telecom Infra Project in 2016 to drive open source standards in core telecoms hardware and network operations. In this report we examine the implications of this project for telcos and other industry players, and recommend how they should respond.

June 2017

Apple’s pivot to services: What it means for telcos

With iPhone sales apparently peaking, Apple is looking to double its revenue from services over the next four years to approximately US$50 billion, taking it deeper into adjacent markets, such as entertainment, financial services and communications.

September 2015

Baidu, Xiaomi & DJI: China’s Fast Growing Digital Disruptors

Baidu, China’s answer to Google, is one of the world’s leading Internet companies by market capitalisation. But can Baidu break out of the Middle Kingdom? Fast-growing smartphone maker, Xiaomi, is building a multi-faceted ecosystem and a tribal brand among young people.

February 2012

Dealing with the ‘Disruptors’: Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft/Skype and Amazon (Updated Extract)

An extract from our 284 page, 124 chart, strategy report that analyses the business models, markets, objectives, strategies and modus operandi of the major adjacent players, and their current and future impact on the telecoms industry.