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US carriers missing $16bn SME opportunity, says consultancy

TeliaSonera has confirmed that it is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and has also been approached by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to its operations in Uzbekistan

The US telecom industry could be missing out on as much as $16bn in annual revenues by failing to properly address the needs of SMEs, according to research released recently by consultancy Inzenka. The firm warned that telcos are not offering SME customers leading edge VoIP and cloud services that could enable the customers to improve their own efficiencies, at the same time boosting carrier revenues.

A survey of US SMEs involving 700 respondents found that only 27 per cent are currently using VoIP, with half of the remaining 73 per cent saying they would like to move to VoIP services within two years. And one third of respondents said they would consider buying cloud and other services from a provider selling them VoIP services.

Inzenka concluded that US service providers, while adept at selling packages into large corporate clients, have not developed their ability to craft offerings compatible with the 1.65 million US SMEs, which lack the sophisticated infrastructure and IT expertise of large enterprises.

Andy Katz, Inzenka co-founder, went so far as to suggest that, in failing to adequately address the SME market, US telcos could be stifling the US economic recovery. “SMBs deserve as much respect as larger companies, but they are also the engine of any nation’s economic growth potential,” Katz said. “So depriving SMBs of the advantages brought by new technology will inevitably weaken the US post-recession recovery, as well as impacting on the top and bottom line of US telecoms companies.“

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