Telecoms companies are increasingly having to focus on building customer relationships rather than just trying to sign up as many people as possible, according to IDC.
The analyst firm predicts that as the market matures the number of telcos will shrink through acquisitions, and companies will have to focus on keeping customers happy with value added services rather than just looking at network coverage.
"The landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically," Pim Bilderbeek, European vice president of telecoms research at IDC, told vnunet.com.
"There are too many telcos today, and the numbers will have to reduce. Companies need to compete on value to the customer, not on network coverage or technology."
Bilderbeek pointed out that, while a minority of network operators would continue to offer just voice services, those with growth plans were having to get into the services side of the business.
Customers would have to be developed with new value added services like infrastructure management or managed web services.
Spending on telecoms services was up four per cent on last year, according to IDC, but it is the eastern European countries that are driving this spending, with 10 per cent growth for the region compared to two per cent for western Europe.
Sergio Giacoletto, EMEA executive vice president at Oracle, said: "All the operators are moving from network-centric to customer-centric networks.
"They need to have multiple systems and channels ready for customers. Mobile telephony is also a good way to increase data services."
However, there may be some established operators which are not able to make the transition.
"It's not difficult to think customer-centric, it's just difficult to change, " warned Bilderbeek.
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