Walk through CES 2018 and you can see the wireless industry continues to expand its footprint and grow in other industries. All of a sudden, we see pay TV is entering the wireless world. They are following the move of top wireless players like AT&T moving into pay TV. In fact, this transformation wave will continue in industry after industry. Let’s take a look at what is happening in these industries and others as well.
The latest entry is T-Mobile saying they will enter pay TV in 2018 using their “Un-carrier” strategy after acquiring Layer3 TV. The reverse is also occurring. Comcast entered wireless with Xfinity Mobile several quarters ago and Charter Spectrum is getting ready to do the same thing. Sprint also did two deals with Comcast and Altice recently.
To understand what’s happening, let’s pull the camera back and get a longer-term view of how wireless is transforming industry after industry. Why are all these companies are moving into a new space? One reason is growth. Another is stabilization of their customer base. Competitive advantage is a third reason.
AT&T Mobility, DirecTV NOW, wireless TV, pay TV
It all started years ago when AT&T Uverse and Verizon FiOS entered the pay TV space. Then a couple years ago, AT&T acquired DirecTV. This changed everything. It started another transformation wave.
This shook up the pay TV industry and started this whole ball of wax rolling. They created DirecTV NOW. Created more service choices. Created lower cost bundles. Then they started delivering their pay TV signal over the AT&T Mobility wireless network letting users watch TV anywhere in the USA on their iPhone, Android or tablet.
This was a game changer. AT&T success in pay TV and wireless TV is changing everything. And not just for them, but for countless other companies and other industries as well.
AT&T has been so successful, they are now number two in pay TV behind Comcast Xfinity. Charter Spectrum is now number three. They are still number two in cable television, but that is a shrinking segment. Pay TV is where the growth is.
Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications all in pay TV
Seeing the success of AT&T, Verizon says they are focusing on introducing something similar, maybe later this year. There are also other companies which compete in the space like CenturyLink, Frontier Communications which acquired certain Verizon FiOS markets, and more.
This is the expanding and changing marketplace we see T-Mobile entering with their pay television service later this year. They say users will get signal either over their wireless network or over the hard wire Internet in your home or office. This dual access is key to success for them.
Comcast Xfinity Mobile, Charter Spectrum enter wireless for sticky bundle
Comcast has also entered the wireless space, but not acting as a top competitor to AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint. Instead, they see wireless as a way to offer a new service at a competitive price, to lock in their customer base with a sticky bundle. This strategy seems to be working as they have signed up quite a few customers so far.
I think we can expect the same sticky bundle strategy from Charter Spectrum. They are finally starting to talk about their wireless strategy. They need to create a name for their wireless service. They need to build the brand. That takes time and effort. While I’m sure they will, I expected this to happen already and am not sure what they are waiting for.
Wireless in automotive, healthcare, retail and other industries
Either way, wireless seems to be a key technology that is being embraced by industry after industry. The automotive industry is rapidly expanding with their wireless offerings from in vehicle Wi-Fi to having access to your iPhone or Android screen on the dash board and more.
Healthcare is another industry that is rapidly transforming thanks to wireless, handset and tablet technology. This let’s doctors see and treat patients even when they are not in the same room. In fact, they can be hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Even surgeons will operate at that distance with this new technology.
Retail is another industry that is rapidly transforming. Consider stores like Kohl’s, who once used their own app and was not very successful. Today, they work with another company and use a more advanced app and are very successful blending wireless with their retail environment.
There are more examples than you can imagine, and it all centers around using wireless to enhance and build your competitive position and brand in your industry. Using wireless to create new ways to serve the public and improve every industry.
Who will lead the wireless transformation in your industry?
What about your company and your industry? Who will lead the wireless revolution in your area? Will you be a leader, follower or non-participant? These are all important questions that you cannot ignore.
You have the choice to either lead, follow or get out of the way. Like it or not, wireless will play an increasing role in the success of your company and the growth of your industry. You must take a pro-active position to put your company in play.
Wireless is an exciting place in industry after industry and 2018 will be a break-out year. It started in the last few years, but I expect it to explode this year. Are you prepared?
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