So far, 2017 has been an unprecedented year for M&A activity and speculation in telecommunications.
- Verizon bought both Straight Path and Yahoo for more than $7.5 billion.
- T-Mobile put up $8 billion at the Federal Communications Commission’s wireless spectrum auctions last April and walked away with the largest number of licenses, spending more than Dish Network and Comcast combined.
- The U.S. Justice Department is currently reviewing the $85.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
- CNBC recently reported the parent companies of T-Mobile and Sprint are in “active talks” about joining forces. An unnamed source told Reuters to expect an announcement by the end of October.
We may have found ourselves amid the most energetic period of telecom consolidation in history, but it’s no surprise given the state of communications leading into 2020. Mergers on the whole are safe, sensible reactions to the broad trend of revenue stagnation in wireless services. The bigger you are, the harder you fall, and diversifying risk prevents you from succumbing to unforeseen cataclysmic changes that seem to crash through this industry like tidal waves.
Moreover, 5G is coming. Subscribers expect it. But top-tier wireless providers cannot single-handedly foot the bill for its infrastructure without an answer to smartphone saturation and the looming threat of steep service-centered cost competition. After all, over-the-top content providers like Netflix and disruptive new market entrants do not make things easy for traditional providers. So for the future of telecom, concentrate they must.
Merging businesses? Then merge billing, too.
As communication service providers and media companies continue to consolidate their businesses in a mad rush, reconciling disparate billing and operations support systems is often an afterthought. Unifying disparate B/OSS processes will accomplish several things for providers:
- Maximize efficiency: With streamlined billing operations immediately following their mergers, majority owners will understand their immediate staffing needs in greater detail.
- Reinforce customer loyalty: A merger sends one of two signals to affected customers: expect the same or better service or expect growing pains. Which do you think providers prefer? Billing is a day-to-day contact point with customers that the complexity of consolidation could disrupt.
- Start with a clean slate: Consolidation shouldn’t be a Frankensteinian sewing-together of operations, but a chance to reinvent all aspects of the resultant enterprise, billing included. A partnership with an agile B/OSS provider such as IDI Billing Solutions places rating accuracy and open integration at the foundation of any new venture.
If your business is considering consolidation, don’t treat billing as an afterthought. Instead, download our e-book “5 Reasons People Choose IDI Billing Solutions” to learn how Billing as a Service empowers telecom service companies of all shapes and sizes as they adapt to their markets.