Global Digital Players - Threat and Opportunity Update
2016.12.22   |   27 pages   |   Direction, Strategy and Brand Differentiation

Author:
Robert Harrison


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New and established digital players have launched messaging, voice, video and enhanced social media services for mobile use, resulting in a massive increase in data traffic alongside a decline in MNOs’ revenues from their own messaging and voice services.  The companies offering these additional services have added significantly to MNO costs, but contributed nothing directly to their income.

Some of these OTT and social media service suppliers have grown into major global digital companies.  These players are investing heavily in new technologies that both facilitate the delivery of their services and increase their geographic availability, further threatening MNO legacy revenues.

Between them, the major global digital players now have a presence in all aspects of MNOs’ business activities, including communications infrastructure, fixed and mobile telecommunications networks, voice, messaging and video communications services, music and video content, IoT products and services and consumer devices. 

So far companies like Alphabet (Google) and Facebook have chosen to work together with MNOs, forming agreements and joint ventures as appropriate.  However, while they generate a large part of the business that MNOs rely on, they also pose a potential threat to the mobile industry.

This report reviews the activities of the five largest global digital players (GDPs), Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, and assesses the potential opportunities and threats they present.

 

Companies: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, X, AT&T, Verizon, WhatsApp, Netflix, Spotify, Deezer, Telstra, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom, Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, Hulu, Sky, Time Warner, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular,

Countries: US, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Peru, Indonesia, Global, Angola, Benin, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Aruba, Barbados, Bolivia, Bonaire, Colombia, CuraƧao, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada,

Keywords: coverage, Digital Life, Balloon, YouTube, Project Fi, Streaming Video, IoT, Text, Titan, Social Media, Echo, Loon, Smat Home, SkyBender, Apple Music, Google Fiber, Nest, OTT Services, Streaming Music, Voice, Amazon Prime, HomeKit, Aquila, Centaur, Messaging, Alexa, Drone,

1

Overview

1

2

Introduction

2

2.1

Background to the Report

2

2.2

Report Content

3

2.3

Currency and Conversions

3

2.4

Further Questions and Feedback

3

3

Global Digital Players

4

3.1

The Industry

4

4

OTT Digital Services

7

4.1

Introduction

7

4.2

OTT Voice, Video & Messaging Services

7

4.3

Facebook Free Basics

8

4.4

Streaming Audio and Video

11

4.5

IoT Services

14

5

Infrastructure, MVNOs & SIMs

15

5.1

Introduction

15

5.2

Existing Technologies – Improving Coverage

15

5.2.1

Alphabet’s Project Fi

15

5.2.2

Google Fiber

16

5.3

Innovative Technology - High Altitude Base Stations

17

5.3.1

Overview

17

5.3.2

Loon

18

5.3.3

SkyBender

19

5.3.4

Internet.org

21

5.3.5

Implications for MNOs

22

6

Conclusions and Options

23

6.1

Services

23

6.2

Networks

23

6.3

Threats or Opportunities

24

6.4

MNO Options

25

7

Recommendations

27

 

Appendix – Feedback Questions

28

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