Since the widespread adoption of smartphones and social media, methods for engaging customers and customers’ expectations from the brands they interact with have changed considerably. Customers now expect more real-time interactions. Consequently, many telcos are putting customer experience at the heart of their digital transformation initiatives.
Mobile messaging is fast becoming a key platform for digital commerce, mounting a challenge to Google Search, Amazon’s Marketplace and other two-sided platforms. As Facebook gears up to take advantage of this opportunity, some of the world’s largest telcos are working with Google to develop and deploy multimedia communications services that will work across networks and will replace SMS. But will it be too little, too late?
The spread of 3G and 4G mobile networks in Africa and developing Asia, together with the growing adoption of low cost smartphones, is helping Facebook, YouTube, Netflix and other global online entertainment platforms gain traction in emerging markets. But some major international telcos, such as Vodafone and MTN, also have well-established and multi-faceted online entertainment offerings in Africa and developing Asia. How robust are these telcos’ entertainment services? Can they fend off the mounting challenge from global Internet players? What is working for Vodafone India and MTN and what needs a rethink?
Some of the world’s largest telcos see the fast-growing demand for online entertainment as a golden opportunity to shore up their revenues and relevance. BT, Telefónica and Verizon are among the major telcos pumping billions of dollars into building end-to-end entertainment offerings that can compete with those of the major Internet platforms. But how well prepared are telcos to respond to the forces set to disrupt this fast-changing market?
Messaging services are increasingly enabling interactions and transactions between consumers and businesses. Largely pioneered by WeChat in China, the growing integration of digital communications and commerce services looks like a multi-billion dollar boon for Facebook and a major headache for Amazon, eBay and Google. It also poses a strategic dilemma for Apple and telcos: Can they turn their communications apps into shopping channels while championing privacy and security?
In 2014, AT&T launched its Domain 2.0 Programme to virtualise 75% of its network functions by 2020. So how is it going, and what are the lessons for others on the complex journey to the virtualised / agile Telco 2.0 digital vision?
Digital commerce continues to be held back by the lack of straightforward and consistent mechanisms for consumers to authenticate and identify themselves, share information and complete transactions with merchants. Telcos could address this fragmentation by creating a single framework through which individuals could interact with merchants, content companies and other service providers. Such a move would shore up telcos’ relevance and could ultimately increase their revenues. We show how, and review case studies from Deutsche Telekom (DTAG), Vodafone and KDDI.
Online entertainment is increasingly dominated by 5 big platforms but 6 forces are likely to shape the market going forward and could have profound effects on the dominant platforms. We analyse the relative strengths and weaknesses of each player and explore the potential opportunities for telcos to compete and collaborate.
Huawei’s business performance in recent years has been impressive, based on sticking closely to what its customers wanted and making the results easy to buy. But fierce price competition will challenge near-term profit ambitions, and Huawei’s 5G vision is ahead of the market. So could things be about to change?
Over 5 years, BT Group’s share price has more than tripled, outperforming Apple’s and Google’s, while its revenues have shrunk. Why, and what can other telcos learn from its success?
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. What impact will Xiaomi have in Western Europe and North America? DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, could become an anchor for a major ecosystem in the consumer robotics arena. But several obstacles may knock DJI off course.
Both Alibaba and Tencent have created formidable Internet ecosystems within China. However, the increasingly competitive Chinese economy is now slowing, and their continued growth depends on weakening the control of Google, Facebook and Amazon over the global digital commerce market. In the first of two reports on China, we examine Alibaba and Tencent’s services, business models, and aspirations, and explain how and why telcos should support their international expansion.
As they seek new sources of revenue, many telcos around the world are attempting to disrupt adjacent markets, such as digital commerce, IT, entertainment and financial services. While many of these moves have proved to be too little, too late, several disruptive plays have had a significant impact on both the telco’s revenues and relevance. These include NTT DOCOMO’s Smart Life portfolio, Globe Telecom’s GCash service and KT’s media business. Why do some disruptive moves by telcos succeed and others fail?
Although telcos aren’t generally associated with disruption, many operators around the world have attempted to disrupt adjacent markets, such as digital commerce, entertainment and financial services. In some cases, telcos have even disrupted their core broadband and communications markets. While many of these moves have fizzled out or have flown below investors’ radar screens, several have had a major impact on both the telco’s revenues and relevance. These include SK Planet, M-Pesa, Au Smart Pass and BT Sport. Why do some disruptive moves by telcos succeed and others fail?
Many companies are struggling to build a mobile commerce business case that generates significant incremental revenues in the next five years. But some will ultimately use digital wallets to create a valuable platform that bolsters customer loyalty and produces substantial revenues from location-based marketing, advertising and the management of personal data. What are the barriers, how can they be overcome, and what are the key actions for telcos, major internet players, banks and payment networks?
We were surprised to hear Huawei’s objective of becoming the world’s No.1 Smartphone maker at last year’s Mobile World Congress, and somewhat dubious whether it would achieve that goal. However, at this year’s show Huawei demonstrated impressive progress, and we consider it is no longer a question of if, but when it will achieve its goal. In this analysis we explore industry scenarios and their consequences. (March 2013, Executive Briefing Service).
Huawei Ascend Smartphone
HTML5 will have a profound impact on consumers’ and businesses’ interaction with the web in coming years. In particular, HTML5-compliant smartphones may lead to a reduction in the power of closed app platforms such as Apple iOS and Google Android. While this seems broadly positive for telcos, there may also be negative side-effects of the increasing capability of standardised (and often free) Internet capabilities.