Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Vodafone's S Europe troubles show 'bums on seats' still an issue that 5G won't fix

By Mary Lennighan, for Total Telecom
Friday 21 September 18

Just days before he takes over as Voda CEO, Nick Read talks through turnaround measures in Italy and Spain, but the situation in those markets shows that all telcos have a big issue to address: the lack of sticky services

European mobile operators are still chasing customers, because they are struggling to make money from anything other than connectivity, with efforts to push VAS revenue streams largely coming to nothing, and despite their best efforts to hype the promise of 5G, there is no evidence to suggest anything will change with the arrival of the next generation of mobile technology. This 'bums on seats' approach - to borrow an expression that was oft-used to describe the Internet giants a decade or so ago, with their vast 'customer' bases and free services - is a dangerous game. It leaves telcos exposed to any kind of market disruption, with the threat of a price war ever looming. Take Vodafone as an example. Voda is working hard to address its well-documented issues in Italy and Spain, two major European markets that have weighed on its numbers in recent reports. The difficulties it faces there stem almost entirely from the arrival of new competitors pushing prices down. Vodafone's CEO-elect Nick Read took to the stage at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia event late last week to discuss the business he will inherit when he steps into Vittorio Colao's shoes at the start of October…

European mobile operators are still chasing customers, because they are struggling to make money from anything other than connectivity, with efforts to push VAS revenue streams largely coming to nothing, and despite their best efforts to hype the promise of 5G, there is no evidence to suggest anything will change with the arrival of the next generation of mobile technology. This 'bums on seats' approach - to borrow an expression that was oft-used to describe the Internet giants a decade or so ago, with their vast 'customer' bases and free services - is a dangerous game. It leaves telcos exposed to any kind of market disruption, with the threat of a price war ever looming. Take Vodafone as an example. Voda is working hard to address its well-documented issues in Italy and Spain, two major European markets that have weighed on its numbers in recent reports. The difficulties it faces there stem almost entirely from the arrival of new competitors pushing prices down. Vodafone's CEO-elect Nick Read took to the stage at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia event late last week to discuss the business he will inherit when he steps into Vittorio Colao's shoes at the start of October…

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