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Competitive Local Exchange Carriers
CLECs are wireline carriers that are authorized to compete with ILECs to provide local telephone services. They often package their local service offerings with local toll, long-distance, international, Internet access, cable and/or video services. Generally CLECs are not required to duplicate ILEC local service offerings. They can choose which customers to serve (business, residential or both) and what services to offer. CLECs provide telephone services in one of the three following ways or a combination thereof:
• building network facilities needed to connect themselves to their customers’ premises;
• purchasing telecommunications services from another carrier (typically an ILEC) at wholesale rates and reselling those services to their own customers at retail rates; and
• leasing parts of the ILEC network, referred to as ‘unbundled network elements’ (UNEs).
Some ILECs also operate as CLECs outside their original service territories. Wireless Carriers
Wireless carriers, also called cellular and mobile service providers, are those involved in provision of cellular or mobile telephone services. These carriers also provide high-speed Internet service using mobile wireless technology.
UNDERSTANDING DIVERSITY: SERVICE PROVIDERS
Internet Service Providers
ISPs are independent network operators or ILEC or CLEC subsets involved in provision of Internet services. ISPs also deliver broadband services, generally by purchasing unbundled local loops and providing their own electronics at each end to provide a DSL service to customers. ISPs traditionally have not provided voice services, although some are now offering VoIP telephony.
Cable companies provide broadband services over their coaxial cable networks. Cable providers are generally granted exclusive franchises by the jurisdiction in which they operate. Cable broadband providers serve primarily residential customers, since many homes across the nation already subscribe to cable video.
Satellite broadband providers
Satellite providers can deploy a broadband service to customers in almost any part of the world. Customers must install a satellite dish with a clear line-of-sight view of the southern sky. So far, it has been a popular choice for customers in rural and other areas lacking an existing broadband infrastructure, where deployment costs are often too high for other broadband providers to enter the market. Deployment costs are substantial, as they involve placing a new satellite into orbit. Satellite providers often set limits on data downloads, with surcharges applied if a customer goes over his or her quota.
Wireless Internet service providers
Some ISPs are now providing high-speed Internet using wireless solutions and are referred to as wireless ISPs. These operators provide highspeed Internet services using fixed or mobile wireless solutions. Fixed wireless technology can offer services to large geographic areas with a modest investment. It is a particularly attractive form of broadband in rural areas, smaller towns and remote areas.
STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS: SERVICE PROVIDERS
Broadband overbuilders are a new type of telecommunications provider. Unlike local telephone and cable television companies, which have adapted their existing networks to provide broadband, these providers focus on a core business strategy of building new fibre-optic networks which they use to provide local telephone, cable television and highspeed Internet services.
10.2 STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
The traditional tools for strategic analysis are not adequate for the task because the challenges that must be modelled today are not static. The problem is not in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of a given technology today. The problem is in anticipating what those wireless technologies will become in the future.
These urgent challenges demand a powerful and illuminating theory to guide decision-making and action. The challenges faced by telecommunication companies of all stripes indicate the need for a strategic framework which can be successfully deployed in a variety of business contexts, providing profound insights into the nature of innovation, competition and industry transformation.
New entrants have typically been the victors when it comes to exploiting disruptive innovations of all colours. As new entrants start generally with a handicap, they need to be more innovative and are inclined to explore business or technology disruption in order to make space for themselves. So the success strategy here is simple: keep doing what successful new entrants have always done.
That is not to say success will be automatic. For example, many CLECs fell into the trap of targetting large, lucrative enterprise customers - the very same enterprise customers the incumbents had to retain to ensure their own survival. Eventually, the incumbents did retain these enterprise customers (by bullying competition in some cases), while entrants burnt their fingers. In essence, the CLECs picked a bar fight with an opponent in adverse conditions.