ATLANTIC-ACM US telecoms trends 2012

11 January 2012 | Judy Reed Smith


Stateside trends for the new year.

In a year of careful spending stateside, data services have proven wise investments for companies seeking cost containment, and many data services products hold promise for 2012. I offer twelve trends for 2012:

1. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory reforms of the Universal Service Fund, a system originated in 1937 and reformed in 1997 to keep rural voice services affordable, are disappearing as the new Connect America Fund evolves to support broadband across the country.

2. Changes in market needs, as well as investors wanting to cash out, will continue to drive consolidation in the ILEC/CLEC/fibre player space.

3. Continued growth in demand for fibre-based connectivity will drive investments in dark fibre, lit fibre, Ethernet-over-fibre, and more.

4. New demand emerging in the wholesale space has evolved with growing cloud service connectivity demand from software-as-a-service and other managed service platforms.

5. Mobile wholesale business models are finally moving to meet the needs of CLECs, foreign providers in the US, ILECs which don’t own wireless assets, cablecos, systems integrators and the like.

6. Machine-to-machine (M2M) continues to break new ground as providers search for the most rewarding opportunities.

7. Capital investment in networks will continue throughout 2012 as mobile providers finish 4G/LTE builds.

8. Systems integrators will emerge as greater competitors of major carriers, particularly as managed services abound.

9. The convergence of IT, data centres and telecoms will accelerate. Our 2011 prediction of mergers for such convergence proved true, with Verizon’s acquisition of Terremark, CenturyLink’s purchase of Savvis, and smaller deals. Look for more of these.

10. Mobile applications will shift business services to more integrated platforms as employers and employees aim to increase productivity.

11. Cable’s presence in both business and wholesale will continue to expand at a rapid rate.

12. Consumers will continue to drive bandwidth needs and thus wholesale needs with more data rich application, including video streaming, gaming and photos.

Judy Reed Smith is CEO of ATLANTIC-ACM. She can be contacted at: judyrsmith@atlantic-acm.com