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What Is the Biggest Threat to Today's Major Telecom Equipment Vendors?

Ray Le Maistre
11/19/2019

With just six weeks until we usher in 2020 -- the year originally pegged for 5G's arrival, if you recall -- there are some fundamental, even existential, questions that need to be asked of the global communications industry.

Questions such as:

  • What is the biggest threat to today's major telecom equipment vendors?

  • Should telcos own media/video/TV companies?

  • Is it possible to get a decent cup of coffee at a telecoms trade show? (OK, so that last one is from my personal list, but I still think it's a key industry concern...)

    The people best placed to answer such questions are you, the Light Reading community. My colleagues and I have compiled a brief survey that I hope you'll find two minutes to complete, so we can get a sense of how this industry is feeling about itself right now.

    The survey is right here -- please click through to share your views.

    The results will be compiled during early December and we'll be sharing key findings initially with attendees at Light Reading's annual 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Vienna and then with the wider world shortly after that: All answers are anonymous, so there's no comeback or any chance of being hounded by related spam.

    I hope you'll share your view with us and check back in December to see what the broader community thinks.

    And in case you're wondering... yes, it is possible to get a decent cup of coffee at a telecoms trade show, as Adtran proved at the recent Broadband World Forum event in Amsterdam.

    Barista-in-residence Ali Bayram delivered coffee of quality at the Adtran stand during the Broadband World Forum event.
    Barista-in-residence Ali Bayram delivered coffee of quality at the Adtran stand during the Broadband World Forum event.

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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    aarti421
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    11/22/2019 | 4:52:41 AM
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    11/21/2019 | 9:15:39 PM
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    Huawei is now more than four times the size of Ericsson and spends $17B/year on research. China will add 150M 5G users in 2020, probably 2/3rds of the world total. Although China makes a point of including Ericsson & Nokia, the Chinese vendors will have the advantage.

    I don't have the answer, but certainly massive research funding - university and corporate - is part of the solution. That's even more true in the US.

    On the other hand, consolidation towards a monopsony gives the telcos enormous power over vendors. Verizon & AT&T squeezed US suppliers so hard many of the best went out of business.

    Finally, the unwillingness of most companies to respond to change remains a severe limit. Nokia in particular in failing in dealing with Innovator's Dilemma. 

    The question is, "What is the threat?" 

    The harder question is What is the answer? Some, especially AT&T, have decided to accept telecom is in decline and cut back. That isn't working particularly well, however.
    Kevin Mitchell
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    11/21/2019 | 11:08:38 AM
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    Good coffee at a telecom trade show? Only by standing in line for 45 minutes at the embedded Starbucks or finding a good espresso station at a vendor booth. Best to find your joe on the way into the show. 
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    rajesh_bhosale
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    11/21/2019 | 1:21:50 AM
    Humorous Appeal for Survey Response!
    Coffee cup....Humorous Appeal for Survey Response!

    Indeed, it's going to be insightful and imperative (for Telcos and Telco Vendors).

    Questions were thought-provoking. Responded....waiting for the final results. 
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