Summary: Declining revenues from core businesses and increasing competition from OTT providers mean operators need to move to new markets and business segments to stay competitive and profitable.
Lim May-Ann, research director at TRPC, elaborated further on the competition between operators and OTT players, saying the discussions around net neutrality and “free” data offerings were industry developments in 2012 that will continue to play a significant role in how the two camps engage each other.
With net neutrality upheld, all online services and content will need to be treated equally and this means Internet service providers cannot discriminate against OTT services by blocking or throttling bandwidth. Bandwidth throttling is something which third-party providers have often complained about in the past as it leads to compromised quality of their services, she noted.
In turn, telcos will have to figure out how to engage with OTT players. Many of them have partnered companies such as Facebook and Twitter to offer “free” data access to these services as part of a postpaid cellular plan, Lim noted, adding there are more such opportunities for the two camps to capitalize on in the year ahead.
Lim said some notable incidents of such nature in 2012 include Japan’s Softbank acquiring U.S. carrier Sprint, and the U.S. government deeming China’s telecom equipment vendors ZTE and Huawei Technologies as a national security threat and urging businesses to reconsider doing business with the two companies.
Given past events, these make the opening up of Myanmar’s telecommunications industry an interesting market to monitor in 2013, Lim said. “Myanmar can stand on the shoulders of the wisdom from different countries that have gone before them in its telco management.”
Full article online available here: Competition to force Asia’s telcos to diversity faster, 17 Jan 2013