Faster time to market for new services continues to be top of mind for telcos, but service quality as well as network upgrades and convergence have surged back as their other main initiatives, according to the latest yearly Telecom Asia-Stratecast survey.
And as operators reinforce the heavy emphasis on "old" projects, the global industry's revenue landscape continues to call for a shift in priorities.
The persistent focus on network service quality and network technology updates may be a cause for concern, considering that these functions have been the industry's main focus for years, practically since it all started a century ago.
"With continued decreases in voice and text messaging revenues in all areas of the world, a trend toward less emphasis on the network and more on what can be done to improve the customer experience (and hopefully the willingness of customers to spend more) would be the order of the day," said Karl Whitelock, director of OSS/BSS strategy at Stratecast.
Survey results from the previous five years show that among telco initiatives, "faster introduction of new services" was the top pick (See chart 1) for the second year in a row, with 54% of this year's respondents putting it on top.
Emphasis on "service quality" jumped back to No. 2 (52%) after moving down to fifth in last year's survey. This initiative was top of list from 2009 to 2011.
"Network upgrades and convergence" jumped back to third after placing sixth last year. "Support for cloud services" was again listed at fourth.
Whitelock said the regained dominance of network technology initiatives is attributed to the intensified focus on competitive forces and the changing communications marketplace. As in the previous year, this is also seen as matching well with the need to better support customers with personalized service offerings.