Monday, February 23, 2009

Trends impacting service providers in 2009

Several factors in 2009 will make the service provider industry more diverse and competitive:

>> The commoditization of voice and bandwidth — voice is evolving from a service to an application, and consumer bandwidth cost per Mbps has decreased by roughly 60-70% in the past five years

>> The growth of bundled services — major carriers around the world are trying to fulfill consumer needs for data, voice, mobility, and video with quadruple-play packages

>> The growth of over-the-top service providers — companies such as Google, Hulu, the major broadcasters, and others are threatening service providers

>> Convergence of platforms and networks — companies are building Internet protocol into core and edge networks as well as a wide array of consumer devices, promising new ways of delivering consumer services

This market will reward creativity in service design and forethought while maintaining (and even increasing) the emphasis on customer service. Competition will come from new entrants and previously unseen market sectors, but service providers should be able to overcome and thrive in this environment. They have existing billing relationships with consumers, networks and platforms that provide better Quality of Service and other features, multiple touch points in the home, and existing relationships with content and application service providers.

CONNECTIONS™ sessions throughout its 2009 conference will analyze these advantages and how providers can best leverage these factors to build success. For one, current market conditions require service providers to transform into experience brokers, something new for them but a role that can develop naturally from the advantages cited previously.

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