The 2011 Federation of Communication Services (FCS) member survey carried out last month, showed a remarkable degree of optimism for the coming year. The majority predicted that the economic climate in the UK would deteriorate further in 2011 but two thirds expected their own businesses to grow.
There are however major issues blocking this growth. For the telephony markets:
Openreach performance and service delivery continues to be a major problem and better compensation is required for failures.
Access to next generation services for broadband and voice is becoming urgent.
To support their competitive portfolio resellers require better access to wholesale mobile products.
Improved number portability for geo and non geo numbers is needed so customers can access new services.
A lack of effective gaining provider led customer switching processes is inhibiting competition.
For the radio spectrum markets growth is anticipated from the range of new digital radio products and applications rolling out in 2011. Market demand is also stimulated as the end user community increasingly recognises that professional radio systems are essential. However in city centres spectrum is at a premium and more is needed either from Ofcom or released by the MoD; new ways of delivering 6.25 KHz spectrum for new digital products are keenly sought.
Jacqui Brookes, FCS CEO said, “For the industry as a whole, we can expect consolidation among smaller suppliers, but overall the market is likely to grow as customers become more dependent on their communication services. FCS members likewise rely even more on FCS as their representative body arguing their case to Ofcom and Government- 90% said this was the most important role for their trade body.
“In its 30th anniversary year FCS is beefing up its representation at all levels to make sure our sector is fully recognised in policy making.”