2013 predictions: <i>Capacity</i>'s wildcards for wholesale telecoms

16 January 2013 | Alex Hawkes


It’s that time of the year again when market watchers cast their predictions for the next 12 months ahead.

Predictions, as the name implies, typically tend to lean too far on the predictable side, which is exactly why this year the Capacity editorial team has decided to spice up its forecast for 2013 with something less conventional:

Prediction 1: The wholesale telecoms industry will continue to consolidate in 2013, most acutely in mature western markets. Expect many to be on the lookout for bargains as operators continue to exit all but their core markets. Capacity’s wildcard: 2013 could mark the beginning of a new world order. With Carlos Slim taking tentative steps into Europe through investments in KPN and Telekom Austria, and Japanese firm Softbank making a $20.1 billion investment for a 70% stake in US player Sprint, it appears Latin American and Asian operators are finding easy pickings in the western markets.

Prediction 2: Carriers will be driven to find more ways of monetising data-heavy services on their networks. Introducing class of service into networks could be a game changer for the carrier community and in the long term could lead to greater equality with OTT players. Capacity’s wildcard: There will be the first casualties from the war with OTT players in 2013. The GSMA maybe doing a valiant job in rallying the troops through its joyn brand, but it’s highly questionable how much further major telecoms operators should pursue offering OTT services.

Prediction 3: Major new opportunities are being opened up for carriers in areas such as M2M, big data and security. 2013 will see carriers pursue these opportunities with more gusto as they look to offset the decline in traditional voice revenues. Capacity’s wildcard: There may even be room for some cross pollination between M2M and big data. The latter is already being used in the M2M field to detect attrition in production facilities. Combined with machine learning algorithms, such applications will recognise more and more patterns and allow completely new insights into businesses.

Alex Hawkes, Editor
alex.hawkes@capacitymedia.com