Julio Puschel of Informa Telecoms & Media writes:
> Although mobile operators still dominate the telecom retail market, they are facing increasing competition from independent specialist and mass-market retailers.
> Tablets and smartphones are opening a series of opportunities to independent retailers to innovate in this field. Operators’ current success in retail is still heavily based on the handset subsidies they offer. However, innovation is now required if they are to keep their leading position.
> Apple is an example to be followed. Its strategy illustrates how to create a good customer experience for trying new devices and features, finding the right balance in terms of creating a controlled retail space while at the same time driving sales at the operators’ stores.
Operators dominance under attack
Operators currently dominate the telecom retail market on a global level, accounting for around 61% of the total handset retail revenue (see fig. 1). This dominance is mainly a consequence of heavy handset subsidy policies and a strong investment in increasing their retail reach by opening a significant number of owned stores across their markets.
Fig. 1: Global, total handset retail revenue shares, by channel, 2010-2016
However, independent retailers are increasing their share in the market as the telecom handset market becomes a more…
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