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Telcos in Retail - Beyond Network Connectivity: Targeting retailers with holistic concepts, IoT and security solutions

Telcos in Retail - Beyond Network Connectivity: Targeting retailers with holistic concepts, IoT and security solutions


Telcos in Retail - Beyond Network Connectivity, report evaluates major telcos’ positioning in retail, including various areas from network and communication technology to smart store concepts, IT security and analytics. A scoring for major telcos compares their retail-specific capabilities and positioning. The report also provides advice for IT vendors as well as the telcos.

Telcos tend to be the leading network and communications services providers to retailers, but are increasingly under pressure to innovate and go beyond their core business. They look to diversify by launching retail-specific solutions and holistic store concepts that include IoT, analytics and security solutions.


  • Telcos need to offer holistic solutions with a clear and innovative vision which differentiates from existing concepts by competing vendors without being too prescriptive on the technology.
  • They need to showcase retail-specific case studies. Many telcos struggle to gain a foothold with retailers beyond their existing business areas because they cannot prove their credibility with high-profile retail customer cases.
  • Telcos should learn from their partners before starting to compete with them.
  • Innovative retail solutions providers are likely to be partners in some areas; and telcos need to ensure that they understand retailers’ challenges in detail before risking a clash with these providers and systems integrators.
Reasons to buy
  • Gain a deeper insight into telcos' retail strategies and their positioning in retail-specific areas that go beyond network and communications services.
  • Understand how telcos can compete for leadership in digital retail through concepts that include IoT, analytics, security solutions.
  • Retailers' challenges and vendor choices are discussed, and useful advice provided for telcos and other IT vendors regarding targeting retailers and competitively positioning their offerings.

1 Introduction 3
2 Retailers’ Digital Transformation is Accelerating 4
2.1 Retail IT spending shifts to digital technologies 4
2.2 Retailers seek the connectivity of everything 6
2.3 Retailers are looking for holistic technology approaches 8
3 Telcos Face a Range of Challenges 9
3.1 Diminishing profit in connectivity 9
3.2 Lack in adaptability to new dynamic market conditions 10
3.3 Retailers tend to prefer systems integrators 10
3.4 Strong competition for scarce talent 12
4 Telcos Need to Leverage their Advantages 13
4.1 Network Connectivity 13
4.2 Security 14
4.3 Cloud Services 15
4.4 Technology Partnerships 16
5 Telcos’ Retail Solutions 17
5.1 BT (Score 3.75/4) 19
5.2 Telefonica (Score 3/4) 20
5.3 AT&T (Score 2.5/4) 21
5.4 Verizon (Score 2/4) 21
5.5 Deutsche Telekom (Score 1.75/4) 22
5.6 Vodafone (Score 2.25/4) 22
5.7 Telstra (Score 2.5/4) 22
5.8 Sprint (Score 2/4) 23
5.9 Swisscom (Score 2/4) 23
5.10 SK Telecom (Score 3.5/4) 23
5.11 Other Telcos 24
6 Retail Use Cases 25
7 Enterprise Communications Market 26
8 Key Findings 28
9 Advice for Telcos 29
10 Appendix 30
10.1 Further reading 30
10.2 Contact the authors 30
10.3 Contact Us 31
List of Tables
Table 1: Global retail spending on digital technologies and telecommunication ($ millions) 5
Table 2: Comparison of telcos’ overall retail expertise rating 17
Table 3: Global retail spending on enterprise communications services 1 ($ millions) 26
Table 4: Global retail spending on enterprise communications services 2 ($ millions) 27
List of Figures
Figure 1: Global retail spending growth and market size ($ billions) - digital technologies and telecommunication 4
Figure 2: Retailers’ ICT budget changes last year vs. this year 6
Figure 3: ICT budget spending by vendor category 11
Figure 4: Cloud computing solutions currently in use and planned for the next 2 years 16
Figure 5: Telcos’ retail expertise rating by technology, positioning, offering and use cases 18

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