& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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,""
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments


It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


Light Reading talked to George McGregor of Citrix about the NetScaler Mobile Gateway - an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
Nokia & Facebook Push Undersea Fiber to 32 Tbit/s
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 3/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.