2010: A year of change for operators

Given that operators in Western Europe saw their revenues decline by around 2.5 per cent in 2009, cost control will be at the No. 1 topic for management focus during 2010.

This effort to control or cut costs will hasten operators into making decisions that would have been considered heresy only a few years ago. The financial controllers within operators will dictate whether to outsource or share the network, services strategies will come under the spotlight, as will the ROI they generate, and more attention will be given to driving down the cost of delivering mobile broadband data traffic.

This does not herald the arrival of the dumb pipe, but is more about realising where profits can be generated, how the operator can add real value, and opening the network to third parties that can offer a better service than the operator is capable of providing.

One trigger to this change has been the evidence that MVNOs in Europe can effectively manage a customer base of around 500,000 with a staff of less than 20--and still be profitable.

The following predictions for the European cellular industry have been assembled with the help of Mark Newman, chief research officer for Informa Telecoms & Media.

Click here for FierceWireless:Europe's 2010 Predictions