Telcos’ Competitive Advantage in IoT

Some vertical markets or segments where it’s logical for telcos to enter and compete are quickly becoming crowded. Smart homes, for example, are also drawing investment from cable TV providers, home security ?rms, mobile device manufacturers and other tech behemoths, including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
However, telcos tend to focus too heavily on vertical solutions, underplaying their hand in two large, horizontal spaces where they enjoy the right to compete and win. First, only telcos have the necessary experience to deliver scale connectivity solutions at the center of the IoT. Second, telcos are also the only players with experience managing extensive directories and the life cycles of millions of devices. They also have a strong position developing and managing analytics at the edge of the network across a range of industries and uses. These strengths, combined with their trusted status, leave telcos uniquely quali?ed to facilitate the delivery of IoT solutions
Herbert Blum, Darren Jackson, Velu Sinha and Paul Smith

Notice anything about the list of advantages provided above? For a start, three of the four are very OSS/BSS-driven. You could potentially even argue that trust is also closely related to BSS due to the long billing history that subscribers have had with their service providers.

Secondly, those same four advantages are also applicable to other segments of the telco market (eg Internet access), but that doesn’t stop many services commoditising and the OTT (over the top) play from using vertical solutions to rake off profits.

I say telcos should be leveraging those four advantages (that’s a given) AND be creating the agnostic IoT developer platforms, thus providing vertical solutions / marketplaces to deliver value-add to customers.

Despite having a bad reputation in some quarters, OSS / BSS still (potentially) hold the competitive advantage key for most telcos.

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