Research Notes

2013 in Review: 10 key research notes on the mobile telecom industry from Strand Consult.

For the last 18 years, Strand Consult has analyzed the telecommunications market. Working in many countries throughout the world, we have observed how trends are shared and evolve from one country to another. For example the Nordic countries have led in the area of MNVOs. The USA has been the hotbed of OTT activity. Many Asian countries have pioneered value added services.

In 2013 Strand Consult published a number of reports which it sold to operators worldwide. Additionally we regularly publish research notes based on our in depth analysis. Following are summaries and links to 10 of Strand Consult’s research notes from the past year. The stories provide knowledge to help you navigate a complex world.

Good mobile coverage is important and increasingly so in the future.
In many countries, there is focus on customer complaints about poor mobile coverage. Mobile operators are often blamed for this poor coverage. However in Denmark, Strand Consult has led a multi-stakeholder process to improve, not just mobile coverage, but the public opinion about mobile coverage. Here are some of the research notes we’ve published to help educate politicians, regulators, the media, the telecom industry, and other stakeholders about what makes good mobile coverage.

1. Do you experience network problems with your iPhone, Nokia, Samsung or HTC phone? Your choice of phone determines the quality of mobile coverage you experience. Phone manufacturers are running away from their responsibility to tell you about it. Read the research note.

2. Telecom regulators in 8 European countries launch a war against smartphones. They say that consumers demand transparency, and phone manufacturers need better disclosures. Read the research note.

3. Brazilian telecom regulator Anatel estimates what mobile operators could earn by providing better coverage and quality of service in Brazil. Strand Consult agrees with some of the estimates , but finds the conclusions oversimplified. Read the research note.

There are many debates about broadband, but too often the discussion is dominated by feelings, not facts.
There is no doubt that the internet drives change and transformation, but the discussion gets excessive when many describe high speed internet connections as the miracle drug to cure all the economic problems of society. The reality is that broadband is just one variable in a complex equation of economic development. Strand Consult has taken critical position on government involvement in the broadband market. This is at odds with some, but it’s our job to build a discussion on facts. That’s why we want to dispel the myths of the broadband debate. Here are some of our top stories about broadband

4. The 10 Myths and Realities of Broadband Internet in the United States. Read the research note.

5. The reason why the U.S. is one of the world’s most advanced telecom markets is not the result of smart decisions from regulators and operators. Rather it’s function of history and chance that can be summarized as as civil war and three lucky punches. Read the research note.

6. There is a big difference between the speeds of the internet subscriptions that consumers can buy and what they actually choose. Read the research note

Many talk about net neutrality but few know what it is -do you?
Strand Consult has analyzed the net neutrality debate over the years and delivers analysis on the topic to its customers. This debate shines an unnatural light on telecom operators while turning a blind eye to the other actors that discriminate including content and application providers, operating systems, device manufacturers, and most egregiously, governments. Strand Consult has created a unique report to add transparency to the debate.

7. When it comes to net neutrality, Google, Apple and Microsoft discriminate in many ways. Why don’t people talk about operating systems? Read the research note.

8. The net neutrality debate will explode in the coming months. Many telecom operators are not prepared. Here are the 30 arguments that proponents of net neutrality will use in the debate. Read the research note.

Regulators regulate the telecommunications industry but who regulates the regulator?
There is no doubt that telecom regulators worldwide face a crossroads. They need either to reinvent themselves to the new telecom reality or to close shop and let the competition authorities do their jobs. The public relies on regulators, but they can make mistakes, even with the best intentions. In the EU, the ambitious but singular focus on end-user prices has left the European telecom industry mortally wounded. To be sure, politicians and regulators want to do something good for consumers, but they fail to think through their proposals and to crunch the numbers. As a result, Strand Consult brought to light that the EU’s proposal for “roam like home” had unintended but dangerous incentives for arbitrage. Fortunately this proposal has been killed.

9. EU Commission proposal for cheaper roaming means the collapse of the European mobile industry. Massive cost-cutting programs will increase unemployment. The European telecommunications sector will stop investing. Read the research note.

10. “Roam like home” is probably dead. The EU Commission ‘s digital single market proposal raises more questions than it answers. Read the research note.

These are just 10 of the many stories that Strand Consult published in 2013. You can also read our predictions for 2014. Read the predictions for 2014.

If you want to know more about our research, strategic reports or workshop which we sell to operators around the world, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts has broad and deep experience in the telecommunications industry over a number of year many years. Our knowledge helps operators navigate in a complex world where the ability to make the right decisions is the foundation for success.

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