Foreword

Within this issue we have our first roundtable whitepaper looking at the merger of the Telecommunications Industry and Broadcast. Why?

Convergence has come to our mobile phones, laptops and TV screens. If we look at the UK, BT revealed it is considering buying the mobile network O2, and is also in early-stage talks with the UK’s largest network EE. Investment bankers are alert to the prospect that BT’s dive back into mobile, 13 years after spinning off the company that became O2, will trigger copycat mergers across the telecoms and pay-TV sector. The much-hyped concept of communication supergroups offering everything from Premier League football rights to internet on the go, already established in continental Europe, seems about to become a reality in the UK.

“The horse has bolted out of the stable door,” says Deutsche Bank’s telecoms analyst Robert Grindle. “The market now is going down a convergent route. The competitive forces have been unleashed and things are going to have to shake out.”

The landcape will change for consumers too. Not every household is interested in a “quadplay” bundle, which means buying TV, mobile, home phone and broadband from the same company. But customers could benefit in other ways. Firstly, analysts are forecasting a price drop: as well as giving away its BT Sport channels to customers that take its broadband, BT could soon be adding discounted mobile connections to that package. BT’s move back into mobile could also help those waiting for a faster internet connection as competitors retaliate. Rivals such as Vodafone and TalkTalk may choose to hit back where BT is strongest, by stepping up investment in their own superfast fibre networks.

QoS is the biggest issue for all providers, either for a content provider or as an infrastructure owner and we review this with the leading industry organisations and companies working in both arenas.
This is ahead of our Round Table meeting at IBC (www.ibc.org) in September, a video of which will be available to view.

What’s ahead for telecom providers in 2019/20? Fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies will be gaining ground quickly, unleashing the full potential of augmented and virtual reality, Smart Cities and IoT, we have interesting articles and commercial views on all these areas.

Moving forward we have updated our website and are working with more organisations to make sure the information is up to date and relevant in our ever changing industry.

Kind regards,

Rob

robert.alcock@intercomms.net

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