This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
ASEAN wireline and wireless service providers who have staked their business on voice and messaging revenue must now grapple with the harsh realities of a different market with different demands. This is driven by increased competition as the network infrastructure becomes more mature, opening new possibilities for consumers and new competitors.
Digital growth has opened the floodgates to a number of companies adopting the same role as telecom providers by offering similar packages of broadband, voice and messaging services. Digital has disrupted the market to the point where customers are no longer "owned" by a single provider but shared across multiple providers. With more competitors attempting to claim their share, the revenue such customers can generate for service providers is limited.
The challenges do not end there. Digital enables enhanced services. Digital "pure plays" who started from a digital foundation are better equipped to provide such services than incumbents who still rely on slow and inflexible IT architectures ingrained in their operations.
In addition, existing players face increased competition in some markets with new greenfield operators or mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) planning to launch operations. MyRepublic has applied for a license to operate as the fourth operator in Singapore, which might generate heavy price competition.
So what can telecom incumbents do to get back in the race? To thrive in this digital economy, operators must re-imagine their core businesses and find ways to turn this disruption to their advantage. Instead of vying with competitors head on, they need to help them succeed.
In the digital economy, the role of the incumbent has evolved into an Integrated Digital Service Provider (IDSP), operating as a platform for all things digital for their own services and third-party companies. IDSPs feed into the "Platform Revolution" trend in which companies use digital technologies -- social, mobile, analytics, and cloud -- to build a specific set of services that help other businesses develop and deploy their digital offerings.
There is tremendous growth potential for incumbents that embrace the IDSP role and move into digitally contestable markets. Take, for example, the Internet of Things (IoT) opportunity in which devices are interconnected in a network that collects and exchanges data. IDSPs should provide the bandwidth for that network and be the integrator that ties disparate IoT devices over a home WiFi or broadband network.
Integrating these devices makes it possible for manufacturers to create their own branded services on top of the platform from the IDSP. Potential audiences in IoT include home healthcare integrators, customised cloud providers, virtual interaction facilitators, and smart city providers.
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