Light Reading
Rural wireless operators say they're in the business because of the Tier 1s' shortcomings, but their main competition is in the cable camp.

Small Telcos Don't Want Your Pity

Dan O'Shea
6/19/2014
50%
50%

CHICAGO -- Light Reading's Big Telecom Event -- Small telcos have the big telcos to thank for their existence, but the cable TV companies to thank for their competitive spirit.

That's just one of the bits of understanding to come out of a surprisingly wide-ranging Wednesday afternoon panel, "Competitive Strategies for Smaller Telecom Operators."

It's often been often observed that the largest telcos don't put much effort into effectively serving small market consumers and small businesses, but Andre Cooks, director of business development at Comlink, put it succinctly: "All of us are in business because of the shortcomings of the RBOCs," he said. "If they were doing their jobs, we wouldn't be here."

At the same time, Cooks and his colleagues -- Darren Peterson, vice president of product marketing at Enventis, and Maura Mahoney, senior director of marketing and product management at FirstLight Fiber -- agreed that it is not the big telcos that they compete with most directly. Instead, it's the cable companies with their aggressive pricing to SMBs and local-level network reach, that are their main targets, a point worth noting because the cable guys for the most part feel they're doing battle with the big telcos.

"Cable sells cheap bandwidth, but we sell performance, reliability, latency, and the idea of being flexible to customer needs through locally based service and support," FirstLight's Mahoney said.

"Being embedded and invested in local communities matters," added Peterson.

While acting as the small, friendly neighborhood telco is something worth leveraging, being a small telco also comes with obvious challenges to overcome.

"We have a saying that no one ever got fired for choosing AT&T, but if they choose us, they are putting their job at risk if we don't deliver,” Cooks said. Mahoney also noted that size can be a disadvantage when wooing multinational business customers; it puts added pressure on small telcos to make good on their sales pitches.

The conversation then strayed far from the topic of competitive positioning to virtualization. Does it matter at all at the independent telco level?

ComLink's Cooks said it does and that his company is currently developing an on-demand services model. Yet, while the issue of virtualization is all-consuming of late at the large carrier level, Peterson noted that small telcos can come into the virtualization conversation later than most carriers, and still get what they need to out of it.

"We don't need to think as far ahead as some of the big telcos on virtualization because we can actually learn from what they're talking about, and then we're still fast enough that we roll it out before they do."

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 10:23:42 AM
Re-small Telcos owe cable TV companies
It is very true that the small Telcos should thank the big Telcos for their existence but they should even thank the cable TV companies more for their competitive spirit. I agree with the fact that the small Telcos do not directly compete with the big Telcos. It is also very true that despite the fact that cable sells cheap bandwidth, they also sell performance, reliability and flexibility. The small Telcos are normally faced with very many challenges, but the good thing is that they always find a way of overcoming them.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/19/2014 | 12:52:18 PM
small
That's a model for any smaller company. Don't focus on what you can't do but what you can as here: "we sell performance, reliability, latency, and the idea of being flexible to customer needs through locally based service and support,""
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed