International Wholesale Carriers - New Business Models & Growth Drivers in the Digital Transformation Era


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International Wholesale Carriers - New Business Models & Growth Drivers in the Digital Transformation Era

Summary

"International Wholesale Carriers - New Business Models & Growth Drivers in the Digital Transformation Era", a thematic research report by GlobalData, examines the changing dynamics, the new growth drivers and business models of the global international wholesale industry. It lays out, for international carriers, the critical considerations and strategic options for taking the journey to the wholesaler of the future, from the business model drivers to the necessary portolio evolution requirements.

Data and insights are derived through a mix of secondary research, qualitative primary research and GlobalDatas industry databases and expert analysis.

The report is structured as follows -
- Market Context: Winds of Change in the Global Telecoms Industry. This section provides an analysis of the current and future dynamics shaping the telecom industry, from data traffic explosion to IoT, cloud and virtualized networks.
- The Evolving Global Wholesale Market. Here we examine the impact of the changing telecom industry dynamics on the global wholesale market, in terms of revenues, margins, traffic and growth drivers. We also look at the evolving nature of demand for wholesale services.
- Positioning for a Wholesale Future: An Assessment of Strategic Options. This section defines the different wholesale carrier strategic groups - based on their portfolio breadth, network depth and business purpose - then assesses and lays down the different strategic options - in terms of business models and strategic actions- available to each group to position itself successfully for a wholesale future.
- The Changing Nature of Wholesale Service Portfolios. Along with the strategic positioning options detailed in section 3, here, we give an overview of how wholesale portfolios should evolve and expand to meet the new demand dynamics coming from traditional and new customers.
- Case studies: Telco approaches to digital transformation. We continue with a review of the strategies, positioning and product portfolio of a number of carriers that have started their journey to the wholesaler of the future, along with others that urgently need to.
- Key findings and recommendations. We conclude the report with a set of key findings and recommendations on the international wholesale industrys evolving dynamics, new growth drivers and business models, and we also provide strategic recommendations for international carriers to position themselves for growth.

Scope

- The global telecoms industry is in a state of transition, retail telco providers are seeing their models disrupted by a series of systemic threats and new digital opportunities. These winds of change are impacting global wholesale providers, as traffic fundamentals and traditional economics get upended and as the nature of the wholesale demand changes. Global wholesalers need to evolve towards new business models and service portfolio in order to unlock the new wholesale growth drivers in the digital transformation era.
- Traditional wholesale voice traffic margins have been in persistent decline over the past three years, this has put substantial pressure on carriers to accelerate their rollout of new services. The explosion of data traffic, by contrast, is breathing new life into the wholesale business. Network services and managed services segments have become strategically vital to the outlook of many players.
- Wholesale providers face sustained demand from traditional customers whose requirements are rising in complexity (e.g. pay-as-you go billing, dynamic bandwidth allocation). There is also the emergence of new demand channels from retail providers of various stripes (Cloud providers, MVNOs, OTTs, MNCs).
- As they seek to transform, the strategic options available to wholesale providers are a function of each individual players strategic position in the wholesale market, the depth of their product portfolio, the reach and depth of their network - and most critically, their overall business purpose.
- Depending on the wholesale carrier group, the strategic options may include actions such as portfolio expansion, M&As, reducing exposure to voice, targeted investments, units combination, new pricing structures. These are thoroughly detailed in the report.

Reasons to buy

- The report examines the changing dynamics, the new growth drivers and business models of the global international wholesale industry.
- The report provides valuable insights and recommendations for international carriers on the critical considerations and strategic options for taking the journey to the wholesaler of the future and position for growth.
- The reports case studies provide real examples of market approaches, postitionning, product portfolios and strategies being employed by a number of carriers that have started their journey to the wholesaler of the future, along with others that urgently need to.
Table of Contents
Table of contents 3
List of exhibits 6
Executive summary 8
Section 1: Market Context - Winds of Change in the Global Telecoms Industry 10
The global telecoms industry is in a state of transition 11
Data explosion and the OTT disruption 12
Migration to the cloud and virtualized networks 13
Getting ready for a new world: IoT growth 14
Section 2: The Evolving Global Wholesale Market 15
The global wholesale market is not immune from broader industry headwinds 16
A pervasive decline in traditional international voice traffic flows 17
Voice revenue is declining and margins are getting tighter 18-19
Roaming regulations have compounded the pressure on wholesale termination 20
The data bandwidth explosion is breathing new life into wholesale 21
The data segment is already driving wholesale business growth 23
Wholesale carriers are investing in subsea cable projects to respond to the data bandwidth explosion 24
The evolving nature of demand for wholesale services 25
From bulk transport to strategic wholesale solutions 27
Section 3: Positioning for a Wholesale Future - An Assessment of Strategic Options 28
Drivers of strategy: portfolio breadth, network depth and business purpose 29
Where individual wholesale units fall 30
Strategic options are a function of wholesale carrier strategic groups 31
Strategic options: the stand-alone wholesale voice focused provider 33
Strategic options: the stand-alone wholesale mobile data focused provider 34
Strategic options: the stand-alone wholesale network services focused provider 35
The support wholesale voice/data focused provider - overview of strategic options 36
The support wholesale voice/data focused provider - global scale means more options 37
The support wholesale voice/data focused provider - narrow scale means high-risk zone 38
Strategic options: the support wholesale network services focused provider 39
Section 4: The Changing Nature of Wholesale Service Portfolios 40
The new addressable base is forcing wholesale providers to expand their portfolios 41
LTE roaming - the next step 42
Network services - cloud transit 43
Network services - bandwidth on demand 45
Wholesale analytics 46
White label IoT solutions 47
Vertically-focused wholesale solutions 48
Section 5: Wholesale Carrier Case Studies 49
BICS 50
Tata Communications 54
Syniverse 58
Section 6: Key Findings and Recommendations 62
Appendix 66
Acronyms and definitions 67
Companies mentioned 68
About the authors 69
Contact information 70

List of Tables
Exhibit 1: Key retail telecoms industry trends 11
Exhibit 2: Global mobile broadband connections 12
Exhibit 3: Sample telco NFV plans 14
Exhibit 4: Global B2B IoT connections 14
Exhibit 5: Overview of key wholesale market macro trends 16
Exhibit 6: Average annual decline of international voice traffic - 2013-16 17
Exhibit 7: Quarterly revenue growth for sample global carriers 18
Exhibit 8: Voice margin for sample global carriers (2016) 19
Exhibit 9: EU wholesale roaming rates 20
Exhibit 10: Kenya used international capacity growth 21
Exhibit 11:Singapore 4G and fiber penetration 22
Exhibit 12: Singapore international capacity sold - 2011-14 22
Exhibit 13: Voice vs. data margin growth for sample operator 23
Exhibit 14: Data contribution to wholesale margins for sample operators 23
Exhibit 15: Sample wholesale carrier subsea cable projects 24
Exhibit 16: Evolution of demand dynamics 25
Exhibit 17: Wholesale services demand landscape 26
Exhibit 18: Key drivers of wholesale carrier strategy 29
Exhibit 19:Strategic mapping of global wholesale carriers 30
Exhibit 20: Key wholesale carrier strategic groups 31
Exhibit 21: Global wholesale carriers strategic options mapping 32
Exhibit 22: Overview of Telstras cloud gateway service 44
Exhibit 23: Overview of Microsoft Azure express route connectivity partners 44
Exhibit 24: COLT on demand - sample key usage steps 45
Exhibit 25: BICS - main sources of wholesale business margins (2015) 50
Exhibit 26: BICS - evolution of wholesale traffic 51
Exhibit 27: BICS - evolution of wholesale revenue & margins (2011-16 CAGR) 51
Exhibit 28: BICS - wholesale strategy 52
Exhibit 29: Tata Communications - structure of revenue (2016F) 54
Exhibit 30: TCL - voice vs. data services growth 55
Exhibit 31: TCL - voice contribution to revenue and EBITDA 55
Exhibit 32: TCL - structure of total addressable opportunity 56
Exhibit 33: Syniverse international presence build-up 58
Exhibit 34: Syniverse key roaming product lines (2016) 59
Exhibit 35: Evolution of Syniverse revenue 60
Exhibit 36: Syniverse LTE roaming coverage for GSM operators 60
Exhibit 37: LTE vs. non-LTE roaming traffic 61

List of Figures
Exhibit 1: Key retail telecoms industry trends 11
Exhibit 2: Global mobile broadband connections 12
Exhibit 3: Sample telco NFV plans 14
Exhibit 4: Global B2B IoT connections 14
Exhibit 5: Overview of key wholesale market macro trends 16
Exhibit 6: Average annual decline of international voice traffic - 2013-16 17
Exhibit 7: Quarterly revenue growth for sample global carriers 18
Exhibit 8: Voice margin for sample global carriers (2016) 19
Exhibit 9: EU wholesale roaming rates 20
Exhibit 10: Kenya used international capacity growth 21
Exhibit 11:Singapore 4G and fiber penetration 22
Exhibit 12: Singapore international capacity sold - 2011-14 22
Exhibit 13: Voice vs. data margin growth for sample operator 23
Exhibit 14: Data contribution to wholesale margins for sample operators 23
Exhibit 15: Sample wholesale carrier subsea cable projects 24
Exhibit 16: Evolution of demand dynamics 25
Exhibit 17: Wholesale services demand landscape 26
Exhibit 18: Key drivers of wholesale carrier strategy 29
Exhibit 19:Strategic mapping of global wholesale carriers 30
Exhibit 20: Key wholesale carrier strategic groups 31
Exhibit 21: Global wholesale carriers strategic options mapping 32
Exhibit 22: Overview of Telstras cloud gateway service 44
Exhibit 23: Overview of Microsoft Azure express route connectivity partners 44
Exhibit 24: COLT on demand - sample key usage steps 45
Exhibit 25: BICS - main sources of wholesale business margins (2015) 50
Exhibit 26: BICS - evolution of wholesale traffic 51
Exhibit 27: BICS - evolution of wholesale revenue & margins (2011-16 CAGR) 51
Exhibit 28: BICS - wholesale strategy 52
Exhibit 29: Tata Communications - structure of revenue (2016F) 54
Exhibit 30: TCL - voice vs. data services growth 55
Exhibit 31: TCL - voice contribution to revenue and EBITDA 55
Exhibit 32: TCL - structure of total addressable opportunity 56
Exhibit 33: Syniverse international presence build-up 58
Exhibit 34: Syniverse key roaming product lines (2016) 59
Exhibit 35: Evolution of Syniverse revenue 60
Exhibit 36: Syniverse LTE roaming coverage for GSM operators 60
Exhibit 37: LTE vs. non-LTE roaming traffic 61