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Balancing investment and
growth to deliver value
for the communications
industry through 2025
Pathways to
profitability
CSPs have an opportunity to drive revenue growth, deliver
products & services that delight customers, and improve
margins, all while elevating their role in tomorrow's digital
ecosystem.
Those ahead of the pack are adopting transformative
pathways to growth and profitability.
Pursuing profitable growth in
the new era of connectivity
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 2
Industry trends
A rapidly changing environment
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 3
We live in exponentially increasing
digital and connected world
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 4
• Data traffic is increasing 24%
per year, rising to 1.8 million
petabytes in 2026
(Analysis Mason Datahub based
on a sample of 27 countries)
• Smartphone penetration
globally in 2022 reached 81%
(GSMA Intelligence)
B2C
• 2.5T Cellular IoT connections
in 2022. Projected to double
by 2030 (5.3T)
(GSMA Intelligence)
• eCommerce market valued
at $5.5T in 2022
(eMarketer)
B2B
• Mobile share of internet
traffic increased 89% to 59%
between 2015 and 2022
(Statcounter)
• Projected metaverse-driven
data consumption is 20x
over the next 10 years
(Credit Suisse: “Metaverse:
A guide to the Next Gen internet”)
Telco as primary channel
However, the pressure on connectivity
service providers has never been greater
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 5
Traditional connectivity services
show moderate growth
Debt reach new heights
Returns on investment for Comms
companies are declining
Source: Analysys Mason DataHub (Business); Gartner, Forecast:
Communications Services, Worldwide 1Q22 (Consumer)
315 323
1,045 1,132
2021 2025
1.360
1.455
B2C
B2B
+1.7%
CAGR
Returns on capital globally are in
a multi-year decline
9.3%
8.8% 9.0%
8.2%
7.9%
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
-15.4%
Average Comms Pre-Tax ROIC
Source: CAPIQ, based on 36 largest Comms companies worldwide,
Accenture analysis, Link
2.6x
2.7x
3.1x
3.3x 3.3x
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
+26%
Source: CAPIQ, based on 36 largest Comms companies worldwide,
Accenture analysis, Link
Increasing debt loads to mask lackluster
growth is quickly approaching its limits
Net Debt /EBITDA
B2B and B2C connectivity show slow
annual growth
But a window of
opportunity exists
Businesses are seeking transformational
partners, customers are requiring a new
set of experiences and services, and
technology is enabling every aspect
of the industry transformation.
This presents challenges, but also
a window of opportunity for CSPs.
Evolving customer
expectations
Rapidly revolutionizing
technologies
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 6
New business models,
products, & services
New go-to-market ecosystems will drive growth
beyond connectivity, propelled by partnership,
shifting from vertical integration to open
ecosystems.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 7
New business models,
products, & services
200+
Partnership with Cloud
providers over the last
2 years.
(Analysys Mason public cloud
provider & CSP partnership tracker)
177%
Increase in digital
platforms’ 5-year market
capitalization
(compared to 3% for CSPs).
(CAPIQ)
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 8
Evolving customer
expectations
36%
of consumers expect to work
more from home in the future
than they have in the past
(Accenture Research)
Individual consumers are demanding a “connected
life” from home, to work, to play.
SMBs want partners they can trust to help them
grow their businesses, not just products & services.
Large enterprises are searching for ways to respond
to their customers better, faster, cheaper while
innovating for new connected industry offerings.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 9
Rapidly revolutionizing
technologies
$16B
Value of Network
Automation driven by
5G, WAN automation
and orchestration in 2027
(Analysys Mason Network
automation and orchestration:
worldwide forecast 2022–2027)
CSP Capex allocated to 5G across wireless and
wireline networks [USD bn] (Analysys Mason)
+12.7%
67
86
106 117
130 133 136
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
With added functionalities and an open approach,
5G will enable a range of services for enterprise as
well as deliver cost benefits for CSPs
Our point of view
Pathways to profitability
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 10
Pathways to profitability
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 11
Five scenarios to guide CSPs on their journey to grow revenue, deliver products & services that delight customers,
improve margin.
Future of networks
Establish the foundation
for a new era of
connectivity, leveraging
AI + analytics for
speed and value.
Connected consumer
Use data & consumer trust
to become the ecosystem
control point for the
“connected life”.
SMB growth
Become a true advisor
and business partner
invested in SMB success
through new services
& targeted offerings.
Large enterprise
orchestrator
Build horizontal & vertical
E2E solutions that
demonstrate the power
of 5G, connectivity,
edge, security.
Industry
restructuring
Create innovative business
structures to focus on
core & differentiating
capabilities & streamline
investments.
Every operator will have a unique path informed by strategic leadership decisions based on investment priorities, competitive landscape,
current and potential customer base, and partnerships.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 12
The future
of networks
Establish the foundation for a new
era of connectivity, leveraging AI +
analytics for speed and value
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 13
Connected
consumer
Use data & consumer trust to
become the ecosystem control
point for the “connected life”.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 14
SMB growth
Become a true advisor and business
partner invested in SMB success through
new services & targeted offerings.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 15
Large
enterprise
orchestration
Build horizontal & vertical end-to-end
solutions that demonstrate the power of 5G,
connectivity, edge, security.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 16
Industry
restructuring
Create innovative business structures to
focus on core & differentiating capabilities,
and to streamline investments.
Your position
An approach to execution
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 17
Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 18
But a window of
opportunity exists
Businesses are seeking transformational
partners, customers are requiring a new set of
experiences and services, and technology is
enabling every aspect of the industry
transformation. This presents challenges, but
also a window of opportunity for CSPs.
How to begin and
where to focus…
CSPs are unlocking growth with a
deliberate focus on four key
fundamentals. The journey will be
different for each telco, but the
foundations of these actions are
the same.
Build advanced networks
and deploy with speed.
Reduce costs to improve
margins and fund
innovation.
Create new offers and
transform go-to-market
to find growth.
Execute on necessary
structural changes to
unlock value and capital.
01
02
03
04
Plan your future.
Chart your pathway to profitability and growth.
19
Leaders
Andrew Walker
Senior Managing Director –
Communications & Media, Global
andrew.m.walker@accenture.com
April Wirtz
Managing Director – Strategy &
Consulting, Communications & Media –
North America
april.wirtz@accenture.com
Astha Bhardwaj
Managing Director – Strategy &
Consulting, Communications & Media,
Asiam
astha.bhardwaj@accenture.com
Brian Smyth
Director – Communications & Media,
Innovation
brian.j.smyth@accenture.com
Jeffrey Berry
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy,
Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity
jeffrey.t.berry@accenture.com
Sean Delaney
Managing Director – Strategy and
Consulting, Communications and Media
sean.delaney@accenture.com
Research
Mark Flynn
Senior Manager – Accenture Research
mark.flynn@accenture.com
Andrea Orlando
Research Associate Manager
andrea.orlando@accenture.com
Swati Vyas
Manager – Accenture Research, India
swati.vyas@accenture.com
Contributors
Ankit Dhamani
Senior Manager – Corporate Strategy and
Mergers & Acquisitions, Communications
and Media
ankit.dhamani@accenture.com
About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company
with leading capabilities in digital,
cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience
and specialized skills across more than 40 industries,
we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and
Operations services and Accenture Song—all powered
by the world’s largest network of Advanced
Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our
721,000 people deliver on the promise of technology
and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more
than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change
to create value and shared success for our clients,
people, shareholders, partners, and communities. Visit
us at accenture.com.
About Accenture Research
Accenture Research shapes trends and creates data-
driven insights about the most pressing issues global
organizations face. Combining the power of innovative
research techniques with a deep understanding of our
clients’ industries, our team of 300 researchers and
analysts spans 20 countries and publishes hundreds of
reports, articles and points of view every year. Our
thought-provoking research—supported by proprietary
data and partnerships with leading organizations, such
as MIT and Harvard—guides our innovations and allows
us to transform theories and fresh ideas into real-world
solutions for our clients. For more information, visit
www.accenture.com/research

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Pathways to Profitability for the Communications Industry

  • 1. Balancing investment and growth to deliver value for the communications industry through 2025 Pathways to profitability
  • 2. CSPs have an opportunity to drive revenue growth, deliver products & services that delight customers, and improve margins, all while elevating their role in tomorrow's digital ecosystem. Those ahead of the pack are adopting transformative pathways to growth and profitability. Pursuing profitable growth in the new era of connectivity Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 2
  • 3. Industry trends A rapidly changing environment Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 3
  • 4. We live in exponentially increasing digital and connected world Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 4 • Data traffic is increasing 24% per year, rising to 1.8 million petabytes in 2026 (Analysis Mason Datahub based on a sample of 27 countries) • Smartphone penetration globally in 2022 reached 81% (GSMA Intelligence) B2C • 2.5T Cellular IoT connections in 2022. Projected to double by 2030 (5.3T) (GSMA Intelligence) • eCommerce market valued at $5.5T in 2022 (eMarketer) B2B • Mobile share of internet traffic increased 89% to 59% between 2015 and 2022 (Statcounter) • Projected metaverse-driven data consumption is 20x over the next 10 years (Credit Suisse: “Metaverse: A guide to the Next Gen internet”) Telco as primary channel
  • 5. However, the pressure on connectivity service providers has never been greater Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 5 Traditional connectivity services show moderate growth Debt reach new heights Returns on investment for Comms companies are declining Source: Analysys Mason DataHub (Business); Gartner, Forecast: Communications Services, Worldwide 1Q22 (Consumer) 315 323 1,045 1,132 2021 2025 1.360 1.455 B2C B2B +1.7% CAGR Returns on capital globally are in a multi-year decline 9.3% 8.8% 9.0% 8.2% 7.9% 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 -15.4% Average Comms Pre-Tax ROIC Source: CAPIQ, based on 36 largest Comms companies worldwide, Accenture analysis, Link 2.6x 2.7x 3.1x 3.3x 3.3x 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 +26% Source: CAPIQ, based on 36 largest Comms companies worldwide, Accenture analysis, Link Increasing debt loads to mask lackluster growth is quickly approaching its limits Net Debt /EBITDA B2B and B2C connectivity show slow annual growth
  • 6. But a window of opportunity exists Businesses are seeking transformational partners, customers are requiring a new set of experiences and services, and technology is enabling every aspect of the industry transformation. This presents challenges, but also a window of opportunity for CSPs. Evolving customer expectations Rapidly revolutionizing technologies Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 6 New business models, products, & services
  • 7. New go-to-market ecosystems will drive growth beyond connectivity, propelled by partnership, shifting from vertical integration to open ecosystems. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 7 New business models, products, & services 200+ Partnership with Cloud providers over the last 2 years. (Analysys Mason public cloud provider & CSP partnership tracker) 177% Increase in digital platforms’ 5-year market capitalization (compared to 3% for CSPs). (CAPIQ)
  • 8. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 8 Evolving customer expectations 36% of consumers expect to work more from home in the future than they have in the past (Accenture Research) Individual consumers are demanding a “connected life” from home, to work, to play. SMBs want partners they can trust to help them grow their businesses, not just products & services. Large enterprises are searching for ways to respond to their customers better, faster, cheaper while innovating for new connected industry offerings.
  • 9. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 9 Rapidly revolutionizing technologies $16B Value of Network Automation driven by 5G, WAN automation and orchestration in 2027 (Analysys Mason Network automation and orchestration: worldwide forecast 2022–2027) CSP Capex allocated to 5G across wireless and wireline networks [USD bn] (Analysys Mason) +12.7% 67 86 106 117 130 133 136 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 With added functionalities and an open approach, 5G will enable a range of services for enterprise as well as deliver cost benefits for CSPs
  • 10. Our point of view Pathways to profitability Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 10
  • 11. Pathways to profitability Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 11 Five scenarios to guide CSPs on their journey to grow revenue, deliver products & services that delight customers, improve margin. Future of networks Establish the foundation for a new era of connectivity, leveraging AI + analytics for speed and value. Connected consumer Use data & consumer trust to become the ecosystem control point for the “connected life”. SMB growth Become a true advisor and business partner invested in SMB success through new services & targeted offerings. Large enterprise orchestrator Build horizontal & vertical E2E solutions that demonstrate the power of 5G, connectivity, edge, security. Industry restructuring Create innovative business structures to focus on core & differentiating capabilities & streamline investments. Every operator will have a unique path informed by strategic leadership decisions based on investment priorities, competitive landscape, current and potential customer base, and partnerships.
  • 12. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 12 The future of networks Establish the foundation for a new era of connectivity, leveraging AI + analytics for speed and value
  • 13. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 13 Connected consumer Use data & consumer trust to become the ecosystem control point for the “connected life”.
  • 14. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 14 SMB growth Become a true advisor and business partner invested in SMB success through new services & targeted offerings.
  • 15. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 15 Large enterprise orchestration Build horizontal & vertical end-to-end solutions that demonstrate the power of 5G, connectivity, edge, security.
  • 16. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 16 Industry restructuring Create innovative business structures to focus on core & differentiating capabilities, and to streamline investments.
  • 17. Your position An approach to execution Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 17
  • 18. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. 18 But a window of opportunity exists Businesses are seeking transformational partners, customers are requiring a new set of experiences and services, and technology is enabling every aspect of the industry transformation. This presents challenges, but also a window of opportunity for CSPs. How to begin and where to focus… CSPs are unlocking growth with a deliberate focus on four key fundamentals. The journey will be different for each telco, but the foundations of these actions are the same. Build advanced networks and deploy with speed. Reduce costs to improve margins and fund innovation. Create new offers and transform go-to-market to find growth. Execute on necessary structural changes to unlock value and capital. 01 02 03 04
  • 19. Plan your future. Chart your pathway to profitability and growth. 19
  • 20. Leaders Andrew Walker Senior Managing Director – Communications & Media, Global andrew.m.walker@accenture.com April Wirtz Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Communications & Media – North America april.wirtz@accenture.com Astha Bhardwaj Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Communications & Media, Asiam astha.bhardwaj@accenture.com Brian Smyth Director – Communications & Media, Innovation brian.j.smyth@accenture.com Jeffrey Berry Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity jeffrey.t.berry@accenture.com Sean Delaney Managing Director – Strategy and Consulting, Communications and Media sean.delaney@accenture.com Research Mark Flynn Senior Manager – Accenture Research mark.flynn@accenture.com Andrea Orlando Research Associate Manager andrea.orlando@accenture.com Swati Vyas Manager – Accenture Research, India swati.vyas@accenture.com Contributors Ankit Dhamani Senior Manager – Corporate Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions, Communications and Media ankit.dhamani@accenture.com About Accenture Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 721,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities. Visit us at accenture.com. About Accenture Research Accenture Research shapes trends and creates data- driven insights about the most pressing issues global organizations face. Combining the power of innovative research techniques with a deep understanding of our clients’ industries, our team of 300 researchers and analysts spans 20 countries and publishes hundreds of reports, articles and points of view every year. Our thought-provoking research—supported by proprietary data and partnerships with leading organizations, such as MIT and Harvard—guides our innovations and allows us to transform theories and fresh ideas into real-world solutions for our clients. For more information, visit www.accenture.com/research