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What Does the Future Hold for Telecom Resellers?
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Telecom resellers are companies that resell voice communications services that originate from other carrier networks. As in all modern business, technology is changing every day. This requires an open outlook and ability to see when changes are needed. At times it can be challenging to keep cost and production in the right proportions.
Things began to change five years ago when the industry had to eliminate half a million jobs. In spite of this, the number of telecom suppliers has not drastically changed. The customer base has shrunk even more after the merging of several large carriers.
What Caused the Crash?
Some may think the industry grew too fast and did not anticipate the lack of growth in some areas. For instance: voice and legacy data which are profitable, but not growing in demand. On the other hand, IP data service is growing but is not profitable. Also a hindrance in profits has been the cost of provisioning new customer services. To that end, some companies are working toward making the networks more self-service by using multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and automated switches.
Who is the Competition?
Because of globalization, the industry has had to share its profits with the world. The biggest growth has been seen in the Chinese industry because of their desire to be a respected competitor in the world's markets. They offer cheap labor and mass production to help them achieve their goals. But even with that, their production does not seem to have taken jobs from their western counterparts. The only way to win more business is to continually advance in the services to the customer.
The other threat to the business is the heavy regulation of the industry. Some would say that no other industry has its own set of agencies and bodies of law to routinely regulate technologies, frequencies, etc. The United States has a U.S. Trade Representative review that will boldy point out countries they believe are trying to unfairly block competition. At this time, the biggest battle is in Europe where there has been a proposal to eliminate roaming charges. However, to avoid clumsy regulation, some are proposing the reduction of rates to consumers. Other countries involved in telecommunications are Mexico, Japan, India, Germany and other European countries.
Who Needs the Services?
These services are used both personally and by businesses. Business uses include services for every day business and help in generating new business. Small businesses can readily benefit by using the services to promote their image on search engines, solve security and technical challenges, and serve their customers more efficiently. With this technology they can now compete on a larger scale which before would have been too costly. The fastest growing and most successful companies are using technology to respond to the needs of their customers.
Businesses can also use the services to take advantage of keeping up with the stock market, exchanging currencies, booking air travel and hotels and other needs associated with their business. Small businesses especially benefit from the wide range of services by keeping their personnel focused on the needs of the customers. Any business should have a plan on what it needs to grow their business while managing the costs of operations.
Personally, music, video, personal communication and security are the biggest uses. Helping people enjoy their hobbies, helping them to look better as they age or filling their gas tanks are some of the many ways we take advantage of today's technology. Many times services are used in dual capacities.
What Changes Should be Made?
The challenge is to prepare now for the future growth, competition and technological improvements. Network operators need to continue developing new technologies, yet keep the rise in costs minimal while continually addressing operational problems.
To see marked growth there needs to be an increase in services. Targeting new customers will keep the industry growing and allow the operators working capital to plan for expansion and maintenance.
In the United States, almost half of the homes in the country have some kind of working office. Only a small percentage of these homes are using any voice service. With over 100 million homes just in the U.S., this is a big market and would be worth developing. Making services practical and available would be of huge benefit both to the server and the consumer.
Developing data services that would be profitable must be seen as a necessary step forward; however, they would have to be used with innovative technology to allow the network operators to offer these services while making a profit.
Every business or organization has to change and adapt to the needs and changes in the industry. For telecom operations in the future there will need to be expanded services, technological updates and cost-efficient operations.