By: Michael Crossey
Each of the Big Four has its own unique weapons in its armory, and whilst they did not compete directly in the past, we are now seeing more and more examples of them making strategic moves into the othersâ€™ space; Google with its Motorola acquisition and the launch of Google +, Amazonâ€™s Kindle Fire tablet, Facebookâ€™s developments in Media, Advertising and Communications, and Appleâ€™s Cloud Services and Social Networking features within iTunes. But as these four giants continue to increase their dominance of the technology industry, what does this mean for the network operators?
Operators are not direct contenders in this war, but they are in a unique position, not only providing the connectivity that allows the Big Four to deliver and monetize their digital services, but also being the custodian of a wealth of information about customers as well as having direct billing relationships with, collectively, close to 6 billion consumers globally. The Big Four will continue to generate huge amounts of revenues from â€śover-the-topâ€ť (OTT) services, and no doubt they would like nothing more than for the operators to get out of the way and be relegated to the role of â€śdumb bit-pipe provider". To prevent this from happening, operators can leverage their capabilities in at least four key areas: