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Podcast: CSG's Haifa El Ashkar on the 'perfect storm' for mobile industry disruption

The cord-cutting trend continues to be a concern for cable operators and a similar kind of industry disruption may be headed to mobile operators as well. In the cable industry, consumers are taking more control and picking their own à la carte services. MNOs could face a scenario where customers (and devices) join and leave bandwidth providers much more quickly based on their needs and price elasticity, not long-term contracts.

On this podcast, CSG's executive director of managed services, Haifa El Ashkar, talks with Light Reading's Kelsey Ziser and Phil Harvey about the broad industry impact we can expect from the intersection of mobile identity, blockchain, eSIMs and IoT. If those four trends line up in just the right way, customers could become less dependent on traditional cellular providers.

"At CSG, we don't just see and notice trends, but we connect trends and look at the implications of when multiple trends converge and collide. That's where the bigger threat is, particularly for MNOs," says El Ashkar. "There are a bunch of technologies – each one in its own right is powerful, carries threat and opportunity – but it's the culmination of them that'll drive disruption and create a new set of opportunities and threats."

El Ashkar provides background on how the simultaneous convergence of technologies such as eSIMs, IoT, blockchain, machine-to-machine communication and more could create new "flexibility of choice" for customers but make MNOs "more susceptible to churn than ever before."

Despite the potential for churn, El Ashkar says MNOs can learn lessons from the airline industry on the importance of maintaining the customer experience even while business models are in the process of changing.

The Light Reading podcast is available on Google Play, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and SoundCloud.

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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