Communications Today

The communications sector has seen more change

in the past decade than in the last ten combined.

And from its foundation up, the industry continues to evolve.

In 1999, only 15% of the world's population

had access to a mobile phone.

By 2009, nearly 70% were connected.

In 2010, the number of wireless subscriptions

worldwide exceeded 5 billion.

Today, an effective communication system is a key

component of economic and industrial growth,

and an integral facilitator of socio-economic advancement.

Broadband is becoming the great equalizer.

Tremendous leaps in bandwidth allow richer

content and greater connections.

From healthcare to government,

transportation to education, our complex systems

are increasingly dependent upon communications.

But how does an industry at the backbone of an evolving

system continue to thrive?

Changes in technology and

customer behavior are reshaping

the communications landscape

Long established business and technology

platforms aren't delivering the necessary

revenues to keep up with the industry's evolution.

Today, customers and companies expect pervasive,

reliable connectivity.

Smart phones are driving up Internet traffic,

which has increased tenfold in the last four years.

Developing markets, once ripe

with opportunity, are now saturated with competition.

And large Internet companies have claimed

a considerable share of the market by launching

innovative commerce, collaboration and

productivity services at minimal

costs to customers, dramatically increasing Internet traffic

but returning little to no revenue to service providers,

who must maintain the costly underlying infrastructure.

In fact, 70% of communications executives say

that over-the-top providers like these

are their biggest threat.

To compete, service providers will need to

embrace an emerging, broader definition of

communications, and provide innovative

service for subscribers on whatever device

they choose, wherever and whenever they want it.

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Three Smarter Strategies

In recent years, our communications have fragmented

onto a growing number of platforms:

from fixed and mobile voice and data services

to online alternatives like email,

instant messaging and social networking.

In a very short time, we've moved increasingly from

person-to-person communication to variations of

one-to-many and many-to-many.

But it's not only people doing the talking.

Today, devices talk to hospitals,

buildings talk to the grid.

From toasters to telephones,

everything has something to say.

And although revenues from broadband and IP services

are steadily growing, they don't

yet compensate for the decline in revenues

from traditional fixed-line services.

To compete in this changing environment,

communications providers must broaden their offerings

to respond to dynamic customer demands.

But how will they do it?

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The Elements of Success

Some providers will opt to enhance

existing capabilities, becoming a network provider

that offers network facilities to businesses,

customers, and other companies.

Some will reinvent themselves entirely,

becoming complete service providers,

focused on offering innovative

communications services, such as

information and entertainment applications.

Still others will emerge as winners in both,

owning the network and offering a

richer portfolio of high value services.

Whichever strategy is adopted,

a few components are essential.

Service providers must more effectively

tap into partners and content providers

providers in the expanded ecosystem and

adopt new technologies that enable them to better

leverage the value of network and systems assets

to help improve their competitive position

by generating new revenues faster.

Customer experiences must be

differentiated, relevant and personalized,

supported by modernized customer portals

and back-office systems that provide

improved customer interactions and experiences

to attract subscribers and reduce churn.

To ensure agility, improve profit margins,

and fund innovation, operations must be made

optimally efficient by deploying new technologies

such as cloud to reduce capital expenditures,

simplify processes, and update systems

to lower operating costs.

Strategies like these help make

our communications industry smarter.

And Smarter Communications help build a Smarter Planet.

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