Wholesale carriers must create the future and not just protect the past, advises Telstra’s Global Head of Wholesale

Carriers must look to the future and transform their business models in order to compete and win in an increasingly competitive business environment, Telstra’s Global Head of Wholesale, Peter Hobbs, has warned.

Speaking at Carriers World, which is taking place in London today, Mr Hobbs described how the wholesale carrier landscape is “heating up” with new entrant customers including start-ups, social networking sites and OTT providers transforming traditional wholesale operating models.

He advised the audience on what to consider when responding to these emerging technologies, evolving customer needs and new entrant customers.

“To succeed, carriers need to continue to support their traditional revenue streams while also embracing new, innovative services and customer types,” said Mr Hobbs. “While some may argue that the challenge for carriers is that their traditional operating models are not adapted to the more nimble Internet-orientated service experiences, it’s undeniable that telecom wholesalers and technology go hand in hand.”

Despite the emergence of OTT video and media services, which triggered the data traffic explosion, Hobbs insisted there is a “success formula” for carriers and that shifting to a “service organisation” focused on the customer should be the number one priority.

This formula, he said, addresses distinct “battlegrounds” for wholesale carriers, including mobile voice and messaging and media services. Mr Hobbs continued by telling his audience that carriers should not underestimate their ability to shape each of these markets – it just may require a little experimenting.

“When looking at media services, carriers will be able to explore new forms of content and services as well as multi-screen integration,” Mr Hobbs explained. “Also key is the enabling of technology platforms and business ecosystems, and extensive partnerships.”

Hobbs named Telstra as an example of how a business can transform, revealing some of the strategies Telstra used to react to disruptive technology, differentiated digital capabilities and co-creation. This, he noted, did mean sometimes going against the norm.

“The ability to be creative and rethink processes, operations and business models has not always come easy to many large telecom operators,” he added.

“Our recent acquisition of Ooyala, a leader in video streaming and analytics, is a great example of how we are evolving our own business in a hyper-competitive market, combining Telstra’s global experience and presence with the intensity and agility of an independent Silicon Valley company.”

As he ended his presentation, Mr Hobbs left the audience with three tips for encouraging carrier success.

“Take stock of the considerable assets and capabilities you already possess; determine how you can leverage these assets and capabilities in order to compete against, or with, the new entrant customers; and keep your focus firmly on your customers, their needs and strategic priorities versus internal silos structured around subscriber and revenue growth,” he concluded.