Global telecommunications carriers dominate the revenue of the network service
provider (NSP) space of the xSP spectrum, to the tune of more than 70% in
2001, shrinking in share slightly to 66% by 2006, a study by IDC shows.
years ago, carriers began joint ventures with each other, which should
have given them the ability to leverage the disparate regional networks.
However, these partnerships have not done so well. Both Global One and
Concert are dead and Asia-based Reach is floundering, a sad testimony
to just how difficult joint ventures are, especially when they involve
large, international companies struggling with the cultural, regional,
and technical challenges of integrating their service offerings.
Carriers try to focus on what sort of services they can bring to these
MNCs at the best prices that can be offered and yet not undercut their
revenue to the point of being unable to maintain and upgrade their networks
for continued service improvement.
Many carriers (such as Equant) are looking to add more traditional consulting,
such as return on investment (ROI) analysis, network integration, and
technical support, to name a few. However, in order to deliver such services
effectively, it is wise for carriers to partner with companies that are
already skilled and experienced in delivering those services to customers.
This would bring back into play the required partnerships that carriers
will need to have, but it also offers them many challenges in the long
The next couple of years will be telling for the carriers. They have
to learn to work in partnerships at new levels. They still need to maintain,
manage, and integrate new networks and upgrade old ones, all the while
promising superior service level agreements (SLAs). We will probably see
fewer of them five years from now. And while a few may have an edge, it
is yet unclear as to whether they will keep it.