WASHINGTON-Research and consulting firm MTA-EMCI has moved with the times with the announcement last week of its new name-The Strategis Group. The 30-year-old company will continue to focus on telecommunications strategic planning, financial consulting, consumer and market research and telecom technologies in the wireline, wireless, satellite and cable television, and Internet arenas.
“This holistic understanding of the total telecommunications marketplace enables the firm to provide insight into the next generation of converging telecommunications services,” commented Andrew Roscoe, the company’s president and chairman.
Along with its new moniker, the company introduced a new white paper-“Telecommunications in the Next Millennium: Specialization in a Unified Market”-that introduced the premise that telecom companies during the next few years will have to strike “a delicate balance between specialization based on a firm’s intrinsic strengths and scale in an increasingly unified telecommunications marketplace.”
Strategis believes that paging and cellular services, which have been in growth mode during the first half of the 1990s, will stabilize during the last half, with a compounded annual growth rate of 17 percent for the combined cellular/personal communications services market and nine percent for paging. The firm also estimated that U.S. cellular/PCS subscribership will reach 80 million by 2000, and that paging will serve 60 million customers.
To survive competition from PCS carriers, cellular providers must decrease their emphasis on garnering new subscribers to refocus on extracting more revenue per subscriber; they also must build digital systems. New PCS players, overwhelmed by existing competition in the marketplace, could become partners or acquisition targets.
The paging industry, which Strategis said is “badly in need of a success story” following financial problems experienced by big players, faces a “critical” period of combining the addition of new, high-speed services with the continuing customer care of traditional subscribers.
To cut high customer-acquisition costs, Strategis believes carriers will have to consider bundling opportunities.
A national survey conducted by the company found that more than 80 percent of telecom consumers would buy a combination of telephony, video and Internet services if such deals were offered in an economical package. Two-thirds would buy two or three services from one provider and 14 percent would buy more than three. Strategis speculated that long-distance carriers by the end of the decade could provide the best bundling programs, which could include local and long-distance calling, high-speed data transfer, and mobile voice and data.