Preparing for the content

Preparing for the content

Joseph Waring  |   February 08, 2010
Telecom Asia

New government licenses for spectrum have created a flood of new players in the mobile broadband space. In a short time, the cost of devices and services has come down tremendously, fueling uptake, traffic and a search for new pricing and business models.

Competition has never been fiercer, making economies of scale more critical than ever at every point in the value chain. With network and device costs tumbling, attention is shifting to applications that will drive usage and profitability.

For operators to move seriously into applications and sharing revenue they need to be able to target attractive customer segments and partner in new ways. This means sharing customer data with partners that bring more traffic and help you build customer relationships.

These were he key messages at Telecom Asia's Insight Roundtable, held in Kuala Lumpur last month, which pulled together a handful of operators and analysts to discuss "Capitalizing on the growth of mobile broadband". Participating in the event, hosted by Intec, were P1 CEO Michael Lai, GM for Celcom's broadband division Harcharan Singh, Frost & Sullivan's director of ICT practice for Malaysia Delesh Kumar, MD of Value Partners Hong Kong Jenny Ng and Damian Harte, Intec's senior strategist for content innovation and initiatives, group editor Joseph Waring was the moderator.

The mobile broadband market is in hyper drive across much of Southeast Asia. The industry had been playing out in similar fashion to the traditional mobile ecosystem, with two to three operators in most countries serving 20 to 30 million subscribers.

But that changed when governments started offering spectrum to new players to boost competition in an attempt to expand broadband penetration. The industry has seen new technologies like Wimax as well as a flood of new players. There are 12 players in Malaysia and a staggering 18 in Indonesia.

"We've never seen this level of competition," said Kumar from Frost & Sullivan. The issue moving forward is many don't have the scale to optimize ebitda margins, bargain with CPE and equipment vendors, and leverage backhaul assets. He noted that at every point in the value chain economies of scale matters.

 

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