The telecoms industry has reached a turning point and is shifting from a period of exponential growth towards optimisation. While many operators have implemented some form of value management, they have focused too closely on short-term results to capture the full benefits of these programs. Operators now need to implement new techniques and transform their business models around customer value. By doing so, they can generate two to five points of incremental margin and create long-term competitive advantage.
The Gold Rush began in 1848, after James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, California. News spread like wild fire and half a million people from around the world migrated to California in search of instant wealth.
By 1855, the big rush was over, yet it had generated substantial changes. San Francisco became a boom town, and other towns and infrastructures were built in California. The Gold Rush also stimulated economies around the world as the gold influx drove value creation, encouraged new investment and accelerated job creation.
The Gold Rush illustrates how, after the initial boom, more challenging conditions drove mining organizations to develop and implement new ways to extract gold in places that were less easily reached. Initially, individual miners had retrieved gold from rivers with simple manual techniques, such as panning. However, once the readily accessible precious metal had been exploited, more sophisticated methods were developed that allowed larger mining organizations to extract gold worth billions of dollars.
To some extent we believe that the telecoms industry is in the same situation today. Telecoms is rapidly becoming a mature industry with mobile reaching saturation, broadband hardly compensating for wireline decline and adjacent services generating real but limited gains to operators’ overall cash flows.