Telcos stay the course for 2014

Staff writer

Another year is done and dusted in the telecom sector, and that can only mean one thing: everyone will spend the last month of the year attempting to predict what's in store for telecom next year.     

Because it's tradition, you see. 

Telecom Asia is no exception, and once again we're leaving the predictions up to the experts - our readers - via our third annual Business Outlook Survey.     

Figure 1: Changes expected in next 12 monthsConducted online last month, we asked telecom players around the Asia-Pacific region to share with us their expectations for 2014 - what will drive their business, what changes they expect, the challenges ahead, and whether any of that leaves any room for optimism.     

The executive summary goes something like this:

As challenging as this year may have been, overall it hasn't dampened enthusiasm for 2014. That said, many concerns and challenges remain the same - namely, finding new ways to make money, putting customers first, fending off new competition and revamping the back office to handle all of that. 

Figure 2: How optimistic are you about the growth prospects of the telecom sector?Meanwhile, for many players, 2014 is going to be all about 4G, the cloud, Big Data, OTT and mobile commerce. It's not going to be about voice. But no matter what it is, most companies expect to make more money from it - or at least make as much as they did in 2013. And the plan to achieve that, for many, is to keep doing what they're doing and stay the course.

No doom and gloom

When asked how optimistic they were about the growth prospects in their respective telecom sectors, respondents expressed more optimism than pessimism, although much of that optimism amounts to "steady as she goes". Over 44% of respondents expect no change in growth prospects from the previous quarter. 

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