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Operating from the middle: Integrated Digital

Telcom operators and wireless carriers must become enablers of the digital economy


Fierce competition, shared ownership of customers and often outdated business models are causing tremendous disruption for telecommunications operators.

The digital era offers an unprecedented opportunity for operators and wireless carriers. Now is the time to re-imagine their core businesses, become Integrated Digital Service Providers (IDSPs) and enable the digital economy by providing the network for other companies to deliver digital services and customer experiences.

To begin, telecommunications operators should evaluate their assets and strengthen internal capabilities to become as digital on the inside as the disruptors.

The expansion continues when operators become IDSPs that compete as disruptors in their own right—by moving into digitally contestable markets, monetizing assets and capitalizing on Internet of Things (IoT) integration.


"IDSPs operate as a platform for all things digital for both their own and third-party services."


Many industries view operators as potential platform partners in the digital era. These include:

  • Consumer home—Deliver home security, home automation or other home hub services.

  • Logistics—Intelligently move products and services.

  • Media—Provide content platform for on-demand video, TV and music.

  • Insurance—Convey real-time information to personalize auto, home and life policies.

  • Pharmaceutical—Help patients adhere to medical treatment regimens.

  • Retail—Leverage customer data to enable location-based marketing and tailored pricing.


IDSPs can operate in the middle of the digital economy and compete as disruptors in a number of ways:

  • Form business relationships across multiple industries and provide a palette of apps to deliver the outcomes that customers want.

  • Establish separate security or privacy-related businesses to enhance security across networks. Embed security into devices IDSPs sell and service.

  • Manipulate customer and usage data into real-time insights for other businesses to leverage.

  • Use data as a bargaining chip with new business partners. Exchange data with these partners in order to enable them to bundle products and services that appeal to consumers.

  • Provide a set of innovative services for consumers, enterprises and governments that leverage IoT devices and sensors. Examples include digital home integrator, customized cloud provider, virtual interaction provider, smart city provider or road tolling partner.


Tom Loozen

Tom Loozen

Managing Director
Accenture, Communications, Media & Technology, Communications Industry Lead
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Sumit Banerjee

Managing Director
Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media & Technology, Communications Industry Lead
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Bae Ed

Ed Bae

Managing Director
Accenture, Communications, Media & Technology
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