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The new digital operator

Telecom and cable operators have greatly benefited from the explosive adoption and utilization of mobile services.


However, digital is enabling new entrants to disrupt services traditionally monetized by operators. Accenture has witnessed a global demand for digital companies as alternatives to operators. Not surprisingly, in many cases, digital frontrunners are outperforming traditional operators.

We see six major digital trends having an impact on operators:

  1. Living services are customized to make each individual’s services experience unique by merging the physical and digital.

  2. Customers are shared, not owned, choosing to be served by a variety of different players.

  3. Providers with new technologies and business models are delivering endpoint connectivity and also collecting endpoint data.

  4. Companies are taking advantage of digital to increasingly decouple their services from their platforms.

  5. Nimble start-ups are stealing market share as distribution moves to lower cost, digitally-enabled models and channels and spend is flat or declining.

  6. Operating efficiencies through user scale are replacing average revenue per user as the key success metric for digital leaders.


Few market leaders have set up their organizations and capabilities to effectively support digital operations. Supporting each vertical and sub-vertical will require that operators have specific, flexible capabilities and platforms, including a common need for security, cloud and analytics.

There are seven core capabilities that must be mastered in order to evolve to an integrated digital service provider:

  1. Network 3.0

  2. Next-generation IT

  3. Digital channels

  4. Superior customer engagement

  5. Talent and open collaboration

  6. New product ecosystem

  7. New set of partners