In broadband and telecommunications speak the answer is yes; financially it is anyone’s guess.
Looking at the consolidation that took place over the past few years with the major mobile carriers moving into broadband I believe it has shown an even bigger difference between the services businesses demand and those consumers receive. Because of this there should be more opportunities this year to provide businesses with a truly innovative connectivity solution.
Unfortunately for those providing services to consumers and SMEs the going has been tough during the turbulent times as the big boys force prices down and some like have had to call it a day. Personally I think the days of ultra cheap services are gone, especially with the high take up of IPTV services such as BBC’s IPlayer and Channel4’s 4OD. This will impact wholesale costs as the average usage for such lines increase. If you are buying for home the cost of broadband will probably be removed and integrated fully into a complete communication bundle (mobile, home phone etc) making it harder to see what you are actually playing. This in turn will allow the broadband only providers to stabilise pricing and look after the niche client base who put quality of service high up on their requirement list.
For those of us who like to offer something different, like we have done with Fluidata then I think the opportunities are great. Already we are seeing a high number of very high profile client’s review their telecommunication spend as business scrutinise expenditure. It gives us more of an opportunity to show these customers what they have been missing and how much new technology is available to increase speeds and reliability while keeping the Finance Director happy and driving down cost.
I can see this happening not only across our industry but across most others – at least this recession will give those smaller companies which have innovated and have a great business the opportunity to shine against larger competitors.