Market Trends Session Analyzes Impact of Consolidation on Wholesalers

While the industry evolves and major providers continue to consolidate, service providers are left to wonder what the future holds for wholesale services in domestic and international voice and data markets.

Todays general session, Wholesale Market Trends, will address those concerns and more. Moderated by ATLANTIC-ACM CEO Judy Reed Smith, the session will discuss shifts in the wholesale markets as well as developing trends, and provide advice for maintaining value in the telecom sector.

Reed Smith will be joined by presenters Jean-Marc Escallettes, vice president, carrier sales Americas, networks, France Telecoms Carrier and IT Division; Roy Hilliard, director of carrier sales for VSNL International; and Robert Russell, president of DCI Voice Solutions.

Reed Smith says she will discuss the size of the wholesale market and how ATLANTIC-ACM sees it changing between now and 2010. Panelists then will talk about what is pushing change in the wholesale market that IP services are the key drivers here should come as no surprise. Traditional circuit-switched voice is shrinking … [and] data lines are growing, says Reed Smith.

She also wants to look at the impact of recent mergers on wholesale carriers. Of greatest interest to wholesalers are the mergers between MCI Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., as well as AT&T Corp. and SBC Communications Inc., says Reed Smith. The

AT&T/SBC merger especially presents dilemmas, as WilTel Communications contract with SBC will run out in 2009. WilTel, the Oklahoma-based wholesale carrier, earlier this year feared it could lose business with its biggest customer SBC if the No. 2 local phone company bought AT&T.

To that end, Reed Smith wants to review the impact of the industry mergers, analyze the loss of revenue and offer insight for wholesalers trying to maintain value in an increasingly competitive sector. One of the best ways is to provide stellar customer service, she says, since ATLANTIC-ACM finds every year that wholesale customers want their providers to offer lower prices, rapid provisioning and responsive customer service.

Clearly the customers are tough and they expect a lot, Reed Smith notes. …[I]ts difficult to satisfy them, historically and currently, and, Im sure, in the future.

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