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Telco vs TechCo – the new battlefield for the future of ICT1
here is no doubt that the success of telcos will require that they become one-stop diversified technology service providers and change attitudes towards what
have been traditional functions. This change will ensure that telcos participate across different market segments and sell a range of technology, professional and managed services across on-premises and cloud technologies.
The opportunities are better today than ever before for industry players that embrace disruption, reimagine their network services capabilities and drive growth.
The challenge for players like MTN is to transition to the delivery of new services and products in the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) spaces.
Essentially, the change will involve becoming a ‘one- stop shop’ by adopting technologies and creating bespoke applications for B2B and B2B2C, and assuming the role once
occupied by ICT companies that developed applications that were then flighted on the telco network.
At the same time, a disciplined approach to change is needed. There are many examples around the world of telcos that entered the ICT services sector too hastily, and in their efforts to satisfy their clients’ expectations, they
underestimated the complexities of the change. They ended up incurring high costs and, unfortunately, failed not only themselves, but disappointed their customers too.
The focus should have been on a hybrid model, including the traditional on-frame approach with that of the hyper- scalers. There’s space for both. As many telcos have found that the move into the terrain of hyper-scalers has not been
successful, they must now look to their investments in the traditional hosting and core location centres, together with the cloud.
The challenge for telcos is now to see how they can transition out of the situation caused by hastily trying transformation without ensuring that all the required support elements were in place as was required. In the meantime, MTN continues performing pioneering work to introduce change and upgrade its network. This activity has involved modernising the radio network and upgrading transmission and core networks.
All of this will further boost the abilities of telcos to diversify and expand their ranges of products and services – setting the course for the next logical step – the shift from telco to ‘TechCo’.
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