The Australian telecommunications market will change dramatically over the next ten years. Accelerated by government policies in relation to broadband infrastructure and the National Digital Economy Strategy these changes will drive the transformation of the telecom industry as well as a range of economic sectors dependent on telecom infrastructure.
These developments will be further accelerated by a arrange of dependent sectors such as cloud computing, M2M and big data. The over-the-top (OTT) players are also becoming more and more prominent in the telecoms industry and this will start blurring some of the borders between infrastructure, IT and applications.
The NBN will become the predominant infrastructure, and as a utilities-based network it will also provide its services to other sectors, such as healthcare, education and business. With these sectors involved we will see the industry developing specific new business models around infrastructure, ICT and retail. IPTV and other media and entertainment applications will also begin to play a more important role.
The question remains – how successful will the telcos be in retail space?
They will have to decide where they want to play. Infrastructure will largely move to NBN Co, its contractors (eg, Telstra) and a few backhaul providers. Companies also have the opportunity to become the ICT providers to those other sectors. The larger sectors, in particular, will create a sizeable demand for value-added infrastructure services. The first of such contracts signed in the healthcare industry offers glimpses of such a future.
All of this will assist the industry to broaden itself and double its size to around $80 billion by 2020.
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