March 02, 2015

Communications Service Providers Are Well-Positioned to Play a Key Role in the Digital Ecosystem, Accenture Survey Indicates

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona; March 2, 2015 – The rapid growth in consumer demand for intelligent devices positions communications service providers (CSPs) to play a key role in the digital ecosystem, according to the Accenture report titled Engaging the Digital Customer in the New Connected World.

In Accenture’s annual global consumer survey, the respondents named telecom operators among the top three providers from which they would purchase a wide variety of intelligent devices today or in the future.

For, example, when purchasing smart thermostats, consumers view device-makers (52 percent), telecom operators (40 percent) and handset or PC manufacturers (39 percent) as their top providers. Consumers named device-makers (55 percent), handset or PC manufacturers (39 percent) and telecom operators (38 percent) as their leading choices for home surveillance systems. For in-vehicle entertainment systems, consumers view handset or PC manufacturers (53 percent), device-makers (52 percent) and telecom operators (47 percent) as the top three providers.

In addition, 79 percent of respondents indicated they would prefer a single provider to manage all of their communications and entertainment products and services.

“It’s clear that consumers are considering CSPs as their facilitators for the digital goals they want to achieve,” said Tom Loozen, managing director and global Communications Industry lead, Accenture. “A few years ago, it was thought that CSPs could succeed by expanding more aggressively to provide a broader range of digital offerings. Now, the complexity of the digital ecosystem is creating opportunities for CSPs to claim a holistic role as customer-centric digital facilitators, backed by their inherent strengths in local distribution channels and building and running high-performance networks.”

Challenges in navigating the digital ecosystem are also reflected in consumers’ experience with intelligent devices. As highlighted in the report, most consumers – 83 percent -- already using intelligent devices are finding it difficult to set them up, connect to the Internet, and manage their complexity. “Steering one’s way through the digital ecosystem can be a daunting task for consumers,” Loozen said. “CSPs who establish themselves as ‘trusted providers,’ enabling customers’ products to function effectively within this ecosystem are not only providing a valuable service, but helping drive digital for mass adoption.”

The survey results indicate that CSPs are still the top choice in voice and data services and are making progress as a trusted choice among consumers.

Thirty-three percent named CSPs as their first choice – along with banks -- to handle and protect their personal data. Sixty percent prefer CSPs for wireline voice services, and 54 percent prefer CSPs for wireline data. For wireless services, 53 percent prefer CSPs for wireless voice and 50 percent prefer CSPs for wireless data. In entertainment services, CSPs nearly match consumers’ rankings of TV broadcasters as providers of pay TV; 37 percent named TV broadcasters as their top choice, followed by CSPs at 35 percent. For video-on-demand, 31 percent of consumers picked CSPs as their top provider, with handset and PC makers at 25 percent, and TV broadcasters at 24 percent.

“Consumers’ preferences for a single, trusted provider also place CSP networks in the spotlight,” Loozen said. “That can be a distinct advantage for CSPs, because they can combine their expertise in building and managing IP networks with their increased capabilities to develop and deliver new, customer-focused services that incorporate data analytics for highly personalized services. As a result, CSPs are positioned to do well in the digital ecosystem.”

Loozen suggested that CSPs develop and operate a modular “stack” that incorporates devices, wireless networks and mobile services from which potential business partners can choose, using them to compete with technology giants progressively moving into wireless. He also recommended that CSPs accelerate the transition to software-defined networking for programmable networks that facilitate network flexibility, easier global connectivity and improved content delivery over mobile devices.

The survey was conducted online in October and November 2014, with 24,000 consumers in 24 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The sample size in each country was representative of the online population, with respondents ranging in age from 14 to 55 and over. The survey polled respondents about their usage, attitudes and expectations related to digital device ownership, content consumption, broadband constraints, digital trust and the Internet of Things.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is

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Barbara Burgess
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