Wholesale and enterprise telecoms channels set to clash in 2014

Ovum’s Wholesale Telecoms 2014 Trends-to-Watch report urges wholesalers to exploit these trends by differentiating from or partnering with new entrants, minimizing internal channel conflicts, becoming more responsive to customers, and exploring emerging alternative models for voice interconnection.

• Competition will grow in national wholesale markets. Traditional wholesalers must not consider existing revenue streams to be safe. Instead they should actively compete with new entrants. Established players should also seriously consider partnering with new entrants that have lower costs, greater quality, or other advantage over their own capabilities.

• Conflicts between wholesale and enterprise channels will increase, says Ovum. It expects carriers to continue turning their standalone wholesale units into lines of business (LOBs) reporting into their enterprise counterparts. To reduce enterprise-versus-wholesale channel conflicts, carriers should clearly define and strictly enforce customer segmentations, with accounts assigned to one channel or the other.

• Voice interconnection will show signs of structural change. For the first time, regulatory, retail, and wholesale trends are all pushing in the same direction. 2014 will see the beginning of changes in pricing regimes for voice interconnection as retail telcos look to reset their voice cost base. However, the time has come for wholesalers to dust off those alternative pricing models and start testing which are and are not fit for purpose.

“Despite its reputation for being rather traditional, unexciting, and averse to change, the wholesale telecoms market continues to evolve," says David James, Principal Analyst, Wholesale Telecoms, Ovum. “Since the turn of the millennium wholesale has transformed from a sleepy backwater that few discussed into a valuable source of revenue for many telcos.”

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