MSP Today Expert Feature
October 15, 2014

Telstra Exec: Wholesale Carriers Must Innovate to Compete with OTT Services

The wholesale carrier market needs to innovate rather than stick to what’s worked in the past, according to Telstra global head of wholesale Peter Hobbs.

To succeed, carriers need to continue to support their traditional revenue streams while also embracing new, innovative services and customer types," Hobbs said while speaking at Carrier World in London. "While some may argue that the challenge for carriers is that their traditional operating models are not adapted to the more nimble Internet-orientated service experiences, it's undeniable that telecom wholesalers and technology go hand in hand."

Carriers are facing increasing competition from over-the-top services. While Netflix and Skype (News - Alert) have a lot of users, those users are giving money to services that could have gone to carriers instead.

One advantage that wholesale carriers have is that they can allow telcos to offer services quickly without a lot of up-front costs and spending time building their own infrastructure.

Doing this successfully means being agile and being willing to invest in disruptive technologies. Hobbs said that carriers should take stock of their assets and capabilities, figure out how to take advantage of them and that they should focus on their customers rather than just focusing on revenue growth.

“The ability to be creative and rethink processes, operations and business models has not always come easy to many large telecom operators," Hobbs said.

Hobbs pointed to Telstra’s (News - Alert) acquisition of video streaming and analytics provider Ooyala, saying it was a combination of Telstra’s global presence and experience with the energy of a Silicon Valley company.

Hobbs believed that there was room for carriers to innovate in a rapidly changing communications field.

“When looking at media services, carriers will be able to explore new forms of content and services as well as multi-screen integration," he said. "Also key is the enabling of technology platforms and business ecosystems, and extensive partnerships."

Edited by Maurice Nagle