& 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,Ē 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."

ó 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
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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.
LRTV Interviews
No Stopping Cable's Ethernet Gains

12|9|16   |     |   (0) comments


Vertical Systems' Erin Dunne explains why US cable operators, which now command a record-high 26% of the Ethernet market, will keep boosting their share.
LRTV Interviews
Fixing IoT Security Is an Ecosystem Challenge

12|9|16   |   05:34   |   (1) comment


Level 3 Communications' Chief Security Officer Dale Drew says service providers, manufacturers and even consumers must combine to halt massive DDoS attacks using IoT devices in botnets. The solution he has in mind includes reputation-based routing by the service provider but also more secure endpoint devices and greater consumer awareness.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Small Arctic ISP Caches Netflix in New Way
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/7/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.