Monday, 14 June 2021

Telcos As A National Growth Accelerator

Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer, ABI Research
Monday 11 May 20

A Government Investment Strategy Blueprint At this challenging time, the role of the Telco has never been so important. They are key to retaining any semblance of normalcy in a COVID affected social and enterprise setting. More importantly, they are a key actor that will be crucial in enabling nations to manage the transition out of COVID-19 related stagnation but also in providing a resilient national infrastructure and stimulate GDP growth. There are numerous strategies that governments can utilize to invest in stimulating growth by strengthening the Telco position. This paper outlines some of those available levers. The Telco Pre COVID-19 The telco community globally has largely been the butt of less favorable regulation, lack of strategic governmental attention, and subject to the hostile intentions of webscale competitors. In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak it has emerged as a key asset that has enabled the continuity of many businesses and helped people remain engaged, stimulated, and healthy while in “lockdown” situations. Moreover, it could be argued that telcos could play a pivotal role in countries being able to rebound from the financial and productivity shock coming from COVID-19. Let us take stock of the challenges that Telco’s faced Pre-COVID which are myriad in nature and comprehensive in their impact. Over-The-Top (OTT) competitors have unfettered access to the critical assets telcos and burden the telcos with costs, without the prospect of reciprocal revenue. Telcos are also faced with punitive regulation that has significantly decreased their operating profits. Roaming fee abolition, religious adherence to net neutrality, and burdensome operating legislation with onerous stipulations all have contributed to an unhealthy and largely unintentional hostile environment. This is further exacerbated by spectrum licensing regimes that are largely &ldquo…

A Government Investment Strategy Blueprint At this challenging time, the role of the Telco has never been so important. They are key to retaining any semblance of normalcy in a COVID affected social and enterprise setting. More importantly, they are a key actor that will be crucial in enabling nations to manage the transition out of COVID-19 related stagnation but also in providing a resilient national infrastructure and stimulate GDP growth. There are numerous strategies that governments can utilize to invest in stimulating growth by strengthening the Telco position. This paper outlines some of those available levers. The Telco Pre COVID-19 The telco community globally has largely been the butt of less favorable regulation, lack of strategic governmental attention, and subject to the hostile intentions of webscale competitors. In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak it has emerged as a key asset that has enabled the continuity of many businesses and helped people remain engaged, stimulated, and healthy while in “lockdown” situations. Moreover, it could be argued that telcos could play a pivotal role in countries being able to rebound from the financial and productivity shock coming from COVID-19. Let us take stock of the challenges that Telco’s faced Pre-COVID which are myriad in nature and comprehensive in their impact. Over-The-Top (OTT) competitors have unfettered access to the critical assets telcos and burden the telcos with costs, without the prospect of reciprocal revenue. Telcos are also faced with punitive regulation that has significantly decreased their operating profits. Roaming fee abolition, religious adherence to net neutrality, and burdensome operating legislation with onerous stipulations all have contributed to an unhealthy and largely unintentional hostile environment. This is further exacerbated by spectrum licensing regimes that are largely &ldquo…

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