The latest Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey reveals 65 percent of respondents believe more consolidation is needed among mobile operators.
Released on Monday, the global report was completed by 1,931 Telecoms.com readers, including a spread of 600 operator-based and 260 individual operating company respondents.
According to the telecommunications publication, pricing regulation was one of the surprising areas of outcome, indicating that the established sector competes head on with external players and newcomers that are penetrating the industry.
Despite operator investments, 35.7 percent of respondents believe single network mobile markets, in which operators compete at the service layer only, are commercially viable.
While more than a third of the industry believes in a single network market model, network quality was rated as the most effective competitive differentiator for operators.
“These kind of discrepancies are what makes surveys interesting, though. What they highlight is that the industry as a collective, just like the individuals that make it up, can at times be self contradictory and indecisive,” Mike Hibberd, Editorial Director at Telecoms.com, wrote in the introduction of the published survey.
Further statistics show that software vendors are the highest expected party to deliver a centralised billing system with a vote of 36.1 percent, over system integrators and equipment providers.
While competition among operators is deemed a healthy aspect by 56.8 percent, the majority of respondents (46.5 percent) believe specialist vendors will struggle to succeed because of operators’ supportability and maintenance requirement and 36.1 percent believe single network markets can be successful.
Considering Long Term Evolution (LTE) rollout, 56.1 percent believe the industry will be altered, while 63 percent of respondents agreed (17.9 percent strongly) that network sharing is “essential” to the profitability of LTE .
“This is the first time we have conducted a survey of this size, targeted at the industry as a whole and covering a broad range of industry segments,” Hibberd said.