The economic downturn this year will drive industry consolidation and accelerate fixed/mobile convergence.
Since deregulation, the fixed line industry has become highly fragmented with the proliferation of new service providers in the B2B market.
A large number of small players have thrived despite lacking the scale and operating efficiencies to compete effectively.
These players will find it challenging to make it through 2009 without having to be acquired.
Meanwhile, the larger players will focus on maintaining their market share.
With ARPU coming under increasing pressure from mobile substitution and mobile broadband growth, they will need to offer compelling fixed/mobile bundled propositions within their niche markets.
The MVNO model will be the preferred route to market given its similarities to the fixed line business model.
Full article in Mobile News issue 430 (January 12, 2009).
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Anthony Karibian is chief executive at fixed line service provider XLN Telecom