Uncommon Wisdom

Mar 26 2009   12:38PM GMT

EU telcos weigh economics of network management outsourcing

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

The EU says telcos there are weathering the economic storm so far, better in fact than most industry sectors. This contrasts with other stories that telcos are outsourcing network management to reduce costs.

We think that the truth of the situation is closer to the EU version. We’ve found no indication in our surveys that telcos see network management outsourcing as a major path to cost reduction, and if one thinks about the issue, it is clear that unless the outsourcer has better economy of scale than a telco, it’s doubtful that such a move could be a win-win.

What we think is happening is that telcos are realigning their business models based on their current conception of monetization opportunities and risks. In some cases, this demands focus on new areas, and in others it suggests that there are activities better outsourced to professionals. We think some of the big players making deals with Alcatel-Lucent and NSN fit this model. There simply is not enough money on the table to make an outsource-for-cost-reduction decision prudent. For Tier 2/3 providers, however, labor availability issues may make an outsource decision mandatory.

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