BMI View: The constantly changing telecoms market is undergoing a profound metamorphosis onnumerous levels. Traditional business models are no longer sufficient to meet consumers' needs andexpectations and technological improvements render large parts of the infrastructure and service ecosystemobsolete. While 'accesses' and 'connections' will still be an important part of the competitive landscape, it isservice diversity and convergence that will determine which players will survive in the new epoch; physicalnetworks are best left to specialised players better placed to monetise investments in these capital-intensiveassets. Content (Netflix), devices (Apple, Samsung), financial/commerce-orientated services (Amazon,Alibaba, PayPal, M-Pesa), content distribution (Level 3) and the Internet of Things (Alphabet/Google) are -and will continue to be - the key areas of focus over 2017-2021.
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'Service Anywhere' connectivity will be the telecoms industry's principal goal for the next five years.Mobile technologies will be the great facilitators for the spread of such services and we anticipate 3G/4Gsubscriptions growing from 3.891bn in 2016 to 5.673bn by 2021. We do not expect 5G technologies to becommercially available before 2020, so there will be continued investment in supplementarytechnologies, such as vectoring, G.fast, fibre, DOCSIS 3.0/3.1, small cells and low power wide areawireless.