What Mobile Operators Can Learn From Utilities

Date: June 22, 2010
Pages: 16
US$ 1,495.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: WF460B4D891EN

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What Mobile Operators Can Learn From Utilities
The mobile industry is now facing similar challenges to those that confronted the fixed telecoms industry five years ago. Gone is the sumptuous revenue growth in mature markets as data revenues only go so far as offsetting falling voice revenues. Instead, mobile operators are faced with slow growth or no growth at all as they battle the commoditization of their basic voice and data services, while struggling to find new revenue sources. Faced with this reality, mobile operators should tap into the experience of the utility industry on how to adapt to a slowly growing, but stable, cash-rich market.
Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
Industry structure
Structural/functional separation can unlock value in the network
Utilities have learnt how to rely on a single network
Femtocells and Wi-Fi offload break the operator’s ideological opposition to the utility model
Voice and data are mostly all that the operator has
Cross-selling can work occasionally, but for most players it won’t work
Stability and good cash flow excite investors
It is time to reassess the FMCG versus utility services model
The first role of new technology is to improve operational efficiency rather than create new revenues
Mobile assets should be profit centers and operators need asset management expertise
Two pronged pricing – rental plus usage
Voice is subsidizing data: a need to rebalance data pricing
The need to monetize incremental data usage
SIM-only risks commoditizing your revenue stream
Funding new networks – operators can drive a hard bargain
Realtime pricing could revolutionize wholesale pricing
Y-Comm can bring spot buying into the retail market


Figure 1: Lessons from utility companies
Figure 2: Types of network sharing and their benefits
Figure 3: SMART and LEAN player functions
Figure 4: Communication, not content, is king
Figure 5: Voice still dominates global mobile revenues
Figure 6: Telecom Italia Mobile traffic volumes by service plan
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