Welcome to the 19th edition of Inside Telecommunications. Our regular sector review draws on EY’s deep industry knowledge to provide unparalleled market intelligence on critical issues affecting the telecommunications sector worldwide.
Operators continue to expand their service propositions across different domains. TV and video services remain firmly at the forefront of telco growth strategies, with 47% of industry executives in our report Digital Transformation for 2020 and beyond citing them as a top driver of incremental revenues. As telco service offerings evolve, some are now moving into production of original content.
Smart home initiatives are also evolving in new directions. Digital assistants help provide an intuitive interface for a range of in-home capabilities, and telcos are striking partnerships with technology vendors while developing virtual assistants of their own.
On the technology side, network virtualization strategies are progressing, with tier-one carriers leading the way. A holistic mindset is vital: long-term transformation will hinge on the success of phased, incremental initiatives. In terms of the access network itself, operators recognize the potential of 5G, but low-power, wide-area networks, particularly Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), are now a near-term priority for many.
Global telecom M&A activity in the first half of 2017 — 215 deals — was down from the previous year, which saw 273 deals in the first half of 2016. Regulatory scrutiny of in-market deals remains pronounced, yet consolidation is still a strong theme, as underlined by the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. At the same time, private equity firms are showing ever-greater interest in infrastructure assets, with a number of US$1b+ acquisitions announced this year.
Against this backdrop, we hope you find this material useful. Please do not hesitate to share your feedback with me or any of my colleagues at EY.
Global Telecommunications and Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications Emerging Markets Leader, EY
Prashant is the Global Telecoms and TMT Emerging Markets Leader within EY. With over 20 years of experience, Prashant is a seasoned industry expert and has been providing Assurance and Business Advisory services to clients in the telecoms and broader TMT ecosystem. Prashant is a qualified Chartered Accountant and fellow member and rank holder from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Lead Analyst, Global Telecommunications EY
Adrian is Lead Telecommunications Analyst at EY, responsible for thought leadership and insights. With 17 years of experience, he leads our industry and consumer research programs in the sector, while also advising companies on market issues.