1/4/2011 6:56:00 PM
Financier predicts consolidation in channel
We expect to see an increased level of consolidation within the mobile channel with loyal partners potentially encouraged by the networks. A lot of deals will be driven purely by scale from existing mobile players with an increased level of funding available from private equity investors.
We also expect to see a number of deals from fixed line and IT players as they look to build expertise in convergent solutions.
This year will mark the start of true device convergence, with mobile terminals formally replacing wired telephones as the key voice device in the office (informally, this has been the case for most of us for years). Ironically, this is likely to be driven by routing traffic over the fixed line rather than mobile networks, which will begin to reverse the trend of traffic migration to the mobile networks. This could lead to an acquisition of a fixed line player by one or more of the mobile networks.
2011 could also see the demise of gateways. Mobile interconnect costs, one of the few areas where the mobile networks are regulated, are falling and in 2011 these costs will fall to the point where the cost of calling fixed to mobile on a PSTN line head towards parity with costs of calling from a gateway.