Total Telecom – Operators are not innovative but that’s OK – consultant

Operators in the main lack the scale and culture to drive innovation that would meaningfully move their topline upwards, claimed telco consultant Bengt Nordström.

Total Telecom asked him last week whether he had seen anything at Mobile World Congress that might change his mind, and he gave a typically frank response:

“No. N-O. Full stop,” he said.

However, he quickly added that operators should not feel embarrassed for struggling to come up with anything much more innovative beyond price plans and bundling services together.

“If you look at the whole nature of an operator business, you have in the back end, massive deployments of infrastructure – most of it passive – such as towers, power, cooling, and so on, which requires a lot of focus and attention, and is costly to run,” he explained. “They might not have the R&D budget, but they spend about 15%-20% of their sales in capex every year. So, they are infrastructure builders, which sets a certain focus and priority for their day-to-day operation.”

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