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finance & economytelecomMarch 4, 2021

Flagship Report From Arthur D. Little Urges Telcos to Accelerate Growth by Embracing New Services and Reconfiguring Network Assets


Arthur D. Little (ADL) today released a major telecoms report that identifies key strategies to unlock the value of network assets, diversify product offerings, and succeed in a 5G world. Entitled “Time to accelerate growth” and based on a global survey of over 100 C-level executives, it looks at the ways in which telcos can meet the challenge of soaring data-traffic demands while moving beyond traditional connectivity and legacy services.

The report identifies three main areas that telcos should concentrate on going forward:

  • Maximizing 5G’s potential. To further enhance customer experience for B2C, telcos and media companies need to form alliances and use 5G as a means to create new and compelling products for consumers – for example, premium bundles that combine content, experience and devices in novel and exciting ways. To provide solutions to B2B customers beyond connectivity, mobile private networks (MPNs) and network slicing offer key opportunities for 5G monetization. To capture wholesale infrastructure business opportunities, telcos should also consider structural separation into ComCos and NetCos.

  • Moving beyond core services. Telcos have attempted to diversify their offerings for decades, often without any significant ROI. Looking at various “beyond core” options, the report identifies how to diversify successfully and recommends four main priorities – target a market which offers both sizable growth and revenues; build a multi-model approach that combines both internal and external resources; work with a “start-up” mind-set and in private equity mode; and adopt a phased and agile approach for roll-out that sequentially prioritizes key concepts.

  • Reconfiguring telco assets. Maximizing 5G’s potential in the core businesses of B2C and B2B, kick-starting new wholesale infrastructure businesses, and moving beyond core imply an appropriate reconfiguration of underlying assets and ownership structure. While asset reconfiguration is not new, there is a growing tranche of opportunities that telcos should consider – for example, the TowerCo model promises further options for monetization. Asset reconfiguration can drive value creation by lifting financing constraints, increasing asset utilization, de-risking investment, strengthening the wholesale value proposition, increasing management focus on distinct core businesses, and preempting unfavorable regulatory decisions.

Karim Taga, Managing Partner in ADL’s TIME (Telecommunications, Information Technology, Media & Electronics) Practice, comments: “The ‘scissor effect’ of a widening gap between revenue and investment means that the pressure on telcos’ cash flow has never been so intense. Executives must deliver growth while juggling both increasing capex and investors’ unwillingness to cut back dividends. And the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly not helped matters.

“However, the telecoms industry still has a very bright future ahead if it is willing to embrace the opportunities that exist and move beyond its traditional comfort zone. We hope that this latest edition of our flagship report provides both inspiration and guidance for executives currently strategizing ways to move their company forward.”

The report is available for download here: www.adlittle.com/TimeToAccelerateGrowth

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210304005022/en/