03/06/2018 – News / Telecommunications / Mobile Service Providers / MSPs / UK

Mobile service providers must shake up business to seize $5.3bn opportunity in Utilities, says ABI Research

Mobile Service Providers (MSPs) will remain solely connectivity providers if they do not shake up their business, advises ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies. MSPs need to think as an ‘UnTelco’, which ABI Research defines as activities, strategies, and opportunities beyond MSPs’ traditional connectivity business.


The utility segment is prone to disruption, ripe for digitalisation, and forecasted to present a US$5.3 billion opportunity by 2022. To capitalise on this, MSPs must use UnTelco strategies now, rather than wait on the promise of 5G, the research firm advises.


MSP are at a turning point


MSPs are at a turning point: to stay competitive they must use UnTelco strategies to capture new revenues and opportunities. “The energy utility market is in the midst of major digitisation, with new technologies, players, and market opportunities that are disrupting the traditional status quo. MSPs must act now and target adjacent areas from the smart home to off-grid energy generation,” said Pablo Tomasi, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “MSPs must use their network expertise to help utilities manage and connect their dispersed networks, they must deliver solutions that support utilities’ digitisation efforts in smart workforce and security, and they must partner with utilities to create synergies in new growth areas such as the smart city. 


“MSPs connectivity can be an entry point but cannot be the end goal,” he warned. “Otherwise, they could miss out on the expansion of related opportunities as happened with the explosion of over-the-top (OTT) services.”


Early movers – Orange and Turkcell


Some MSPs are beginning to understand the need to innovate and implement UnTelco strategies and are already moving beyond their traditional connectivity limits. “This is encouraging for the sector,” notes Mr Tomasi. “For instance, Orange delivers off-grid energy solutions across several of its African markets, creating a new customer channel, building an ecosystem, and expanding the use of its mobile money offering. Turkcell provides another example as the MSP eyes the energy retail market to strengthen its position in the highly potential smart home market.” In the smart home, MSPs can bundle their energy offerings along with other traditional or digital services, increasing customers’ ARPU and loyalty.


The need to act now, not after 5G deployment


With competition in the digitisation game increasing, MSPs need UnTelco business models now, not when 5G will be widely deployed, the research firm argues. If MSPs wait for 5G, they will be too late to lead the digitisation of the markets as other players will already be established by then. MSPs should use whatever technology is available to them today and understand what internal processes are needed to implement an UnTelco business model.


The findings are from ABI Research’s ‘UnTelco in Utilities: Telco Opportunities and Market Activities report, which can be accessed here: https://www.abiresearch.com/market-research/product/1030602-untelco-in-utilities-telco-opportunities-a/?utm_source=Cision&utm_medium=AN-4972

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