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Independent Telcos: It's Time to Prepare

12:30 PM Smaller telcos can no longer put off product development, even if the regulatory climate is uncertain

February 25, 2011

1 Min Read
Independent Telcos: It's Time to Prepare

12:30 PM -- The independent telecom industry is sweating a bit these days, thanks in large part to the ongoing regulatory transition. The regulatory agencies are moving from rate-of-return regulation of voice services to some future scheme based on broadband. (See More Fear Than Loathing Among Rural Telcos.)

It’s a complex and convoluted process, full of uncertain outcomes, except for one important reality: The core product for local telcos in the next few years will be broadband and not voice.

That’s a certainty, and the time to prepare for that reality is now, not once the regulatory dust clears. One important factor of that preparation is building an innate ability to develop, market and sell new products.

In an IP-based broadband world, product development, a practice which currently doesn’t receive much attention, becomes paramount. All too often I see independent service providers pushing the role of product development onto an already overburdened marketing manager. That practice will need to change, and a standalone product development ecosystem needs to be built within the independent telco culture.

In a voice rate of return world (ROR), product development could be overlooked. While ROR has brought great stability to the independent telco world, it has also deprived it of this now ultra-important role. Products that include IP voice, broadband apps, enterprise/cloud capabilities and wireless integration will be the ones that engage and keep the customers of the future.

Is your company prepared and equipped to develop and launch them?

— Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Group , and Publisher, Telecompetitor

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