Monday, December 05, 2005

Beyond the quadruple play

The Centrica story alluded to below has started me thinking: once all the hot-ass quadruple play business plans have been executed, what's left for telcos? Well, I think for smart ones it will probably be something which seeks to amortize the costs of multiple other domestic services across a common customer base and set of functions, as Centrica has attempted to do (let's face it, no one cares how good your VOD offering is if they're freezing butt with a broken boiler, or if they're at the mercy of the fluid work schedules and opaque pricing of one of this country's many fine independent builders). At c.10%, operating margins in this business are lower than EuroTelcoland is accustomed to (but interestingly, are more than double that of Centrica's traditional core business). Then again, what are we working towards here, glamor or survival? I wonder how many telcos have considered this as a realistic option for the future, and how many would consider it beneath them somehow?

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