2017 Business Outlook: The future is bright and challenging

Vision 2017 Supplement

With 2016 just about over, the telecoms sector is already looking ahead to 2017 - as are we. While there’s much optimism ahead, it has faded somewhat from last year. Capitalizing on the opportunities available will require significant IT and network upgrades. Telcos are also going to face numerous challenges while striving to tap the business opportunities driven by 4G, IoT, enterprise and the cloud.

So says our 6th annual Business Outlook Survey, which was conducted in October and November.

Asia’s telecoms are as optimistic as they were about 2016, and a lot of that hinges on the possibilities of 4G, IoT, cloud services, enterprise services, among others, to help drive new revenue sources. They are also looking for ways to revamp their back-office infrastructure and upgrade their existing networks to handle the increasing demand for data. And as always, customers remain king, and competition from non-traditional players and competitors as well as security will be the issues keeping them awake at night.

See Also

Vision 2017 Supplement Dec 2016
Vision 2017: key drivers for change in the telecoms industry

Optimism remains high

Similar to last year, our survey finds telecoms players continue to express optimism in the sector’s growth in the near future, but that optimism appears slightly more muted this time around.

Nearly 45% of respondents said they were more optimistic about the growth prospects for their corner of the telecoms sector compared to the previous year. Over 12% said they were “very optimistic”, while close to 21% said they expected no change in industry growth from the previous year (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: How optimistic are you about the growth prospects of the telecoms sector where you are based?However, compared to last year, it does suggest a slight downtick in optimism. In last year’s survey, 18% said they were “very optimistic” about market growth (compared to 12% this year) and 15% said they were “less optimistic” (compared to 19% this year). Even so, respondents with growth expectations still outnumbered pessimists.

Also similar to last year’s survey, the same pattern is found when it comes to operators’ optimism for financial growth within their own companies (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: How optimistic are you about the financial prospects of your own company?

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