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  • BDO 2015 International Telecommunications Risk Factor Report

BDO 2015 International Telecommunications Risk Factor Report

22 September 2014

This report is the first comprehensive analysis of the risks in the Telecommunications sector across the world, including South Africa.





Global telecommunications has witnessed widespread and disruptive change in recent years. Our research among 60 of the leading global telecoms companies reveals no section of the market is immune from game-changing forces such as technology change, competition and consolidation, and changing customer behaviours. Each of these factors have the potential to reshape the relationships telecoms companies have with their customers, suppliers and other value chain partners.


The 2015 Telecommunications Risk Factor Report identifies the most significant and immediate risks and the approaches are telecoms companies taking to manage and mitigate these risks? And have they got their priorities right: do the risks they identify align with the challenges that are likely to have the most impact on their future performance?

To answer these questions BDO has investigated the risks self-reported by 60 of the largest fixed line and mobile telecoms providers across 13 different global markets in their most recent annual results statements. Our analysis of their risks highlights an uncertain future ahead, but a willingness among many telecoms companies to embrace risk in pursuit of greater opportunities.

The report, which researched sixty of the leading global telecoms companies across thirteen different global markets, suggests fives areas where there is greatest uncertainty:

  • Intensive competition: A majority of telecoms companies (58%) say increased competition is a risk. Many of the companies researched describe clear risk arising from market consolidation. Whilst merged companies benefit from greater brand awareness and a stronger financial position, established competitors face margin pressure as customer prices drop
  • Financial: Financial risk is high on the agenda for almost all telecoms companies. 74% highlight cash-flow as a risk and more than three-quarters (76%) report access to credit as a risk
  • Regulation: New and unfavourable regulation is cited as a risk by over half (55%) of the companies involved in the research. Because regulations vary significantly by geography, it caused global firms problems when implementing consistent growth strategies
  • Cyber and data security: Maintaining data privacy is cited as a risk by almost half (48%) of the telecoms companies researched. As the quantity of data held grows, so does the risk. Large quantities of data necessitate the use of outsourcing and cloud computing, but these services are not without risk.
  • Supply chain risk: It's not unusual for telecoms companies to have relatively short supply chains which rely on a limited number of suppliers to deliver products or services. This over-dependence was highlighted as a risk in almost half (47%) of the annual reports surveyed

For any questions on the report, please contact Nina Chesterton or on +44 20 7893 3141

Click here to download the full report