A cold dose of reality

John C. Tanner
20 Dec 2012

With 2012 now fading in the rearview mirror and the world unsullied by apocalyptic doom, the telecom sector is already looking ahead to 2013 – as are we. And while there’s much optimism about the year ahead, it’s going to require a lot of innovation, a lot of change and a cold dose of reality regarding the ability of telecoms players to accomplish both.

So says our second annual survey of telecom players in Asia Pacific that asks that perennial year-end question: what’s in your crystal ball for next year?

Last month, we asked telecom players in the region to tell us in an online survey what they were optimistic about, where the big growth drivers will be, the internal and external pressures they’ll face, and the biggest changes they expect to see. We asked top industry analysts to tell us the top trends they’re predicting for APAC next year. We even polled delegates of our Telecom Asia 2013 Insight Summit at the end of November in Kuala Lumpur.

The results are below, but here’s the upshot:

There is general optimism about the coming 12 months, data is the biggest deal and OTT players are the biggest competitive force. But there were also more concerns about managerial strengths – particularly in regards to planning and skill sets.

Also, 2013 looks like it will be the year that telecom operators will knuckle down on upgrading their networks, both inside and out – provided they can do it without spending any more money than they have to – as market pressures force them to either innovate, cooperate or get out of the way.

Oh, and Big Data? It’s going to be … well, big.

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