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Telcos must be aware of the existential threat that tech giants present—this goes way beyond over-the-top revenues; this is about connectivity
Increasingly everything, including voice, is data. Over the past two decades, beleaguered and consolidating telcos upgraded their networks at an extraordinary expense, enabling digital natives to slurp revenues over-the-top (OTT) and out of telco pockets. We see displacement across the telecoms landscape from cable and satellite operators losing share of wallet to Netflix to Facebook’s WhatsApp replacing mobile operators’ once highly popular and profitable SMS service. In the current era of hyper-connectivity, the emerging possibilities for connecting the last mile could well change the game completely. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has described connectivity as a “human right.” The potential for disruption and disintermediation is high and telcos need to look beyond cost cutting and innovate their offerings and operations.
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