Detecon Spotlight: Telco Mergers and Acquisitions in 2009

May 2010

A look back reveals that the economic crisis continues to persist. Financing mergers and acquisitions remains a challenge because, like other companies, telecommunication operators faced difficulties in gaining long-term funding.
Nevertheless, M&A has kept the market in motion and will continue to do so. Also, financing is not the only issue. Paradox as it may seem, one of the biggest deals ever to be expected was almost closed in 2009: the Merger between the Indian company Bharti Airtel and the South African MTN Group. Disagreements relating to the target structure and political interference put a halt to the process. But the example shows that the game goes on. Had that transaction been completed, the world’s third largest mobile operator based on subscribers, after China Mobile and Vodafone, would have emerged.

More than Lines and Boxes

Telecommunication Excellence – Structures, Processes and Governance for Telecoms in the 21st Century, pp. 29-34, 2009

To design appropriate organizational structures is a major success factor besides choosing the right strategy. Structures have to cope with idiosyncratic characteristics of a range of situational factors for every single operator – although a lot of functional requirements are comparable when looking at different carriers. Therefore structures have to be designed carrier specific to create sustainable and difficult to copy advantages.

Telco Process Performance Management

Telecommunication Excellence – Structures, Processes and Governance for Telecoms in the 21st Century, 2009, pp. 55-68

Effective and efficient processes are a competitive factor which no company can afford to neglect. Successful companies repeatedly realign their processes to conform with customer and market demands, thereby creating sustainable competitive advantages. In recent years, awareness that this realignment is a necessity has matured into a generally accepted principle. The challenge here, especially for the telecommunications industry, is implementing smooth-running processes for making products available, eliminating disruptions, and for trouble shooting. A current survey by the consumers’ organization in Germany, for example, has found that one out of five DSL customers has to wait for more than a month to have a new connection installed. However, experience from actual practice indicates that Telco Process Performance Management and governance is not keeping pace with the recognition of this principle.

Regarding Lions and Gazelles – Survival of the Fittest?

Detecon Management Report 02/2009, pp. 42-47

The financially strong giants of the telecommunications industry will soon feel like lions in a cage full of gazelles: while competitors are fighting for their lives in the economic downswing, the incumbents will be able to pick and choose the most delectable among them for acquisition. But the nap needed to digest the meal afterwards could turn into a serious problem for the hunters if smaller companies take advantage of the interlude to increase their agility and expand their market shares by means of innovation. Evolution teaches us that not necessarily the strongest will survive but the most adaptable.