Telco M&A predictions forget the little guys


Telco M&A predictions forget the little guys

Over the weekend KPMG's telecoms head Joe Gallagher said that the sector is in for a wave of M&A activity over the next two to three years.

"Big ticket players will be looking to joint ventures and partnerships just as much as acquisitions," he said.

"Nokia's recent announcement to partner with Microsoft is one flavour of change. Sharing of heavy network assets is already underway.

"Without doubt, responding to and driving sector convergence is leading to fast-change in an old industry," said Gallagher.

KPMG (at heart a corporate audit firm) paints high-level strategic partnerships and big-ticket acquisitions as the way forward for our sector. But it forgets that there are lots of more local deals going on that, in their way, are just as important.

Take comms provider Daisy, for example, which today announced the latest in a long-string of comms acquisitions, snapping up Bucks-based data and network services outfit O-bit Telecom, which has built a successful business in the SMB market.

The SMB sector in our 'nation of shopkeepers' doesn't really care whether or not Nokia's Windows 7 smartphone comes now, six months down the line, or (entirely possibly) never.

But the UC services provided by firms such as Daisy and its reseller network are high on their agenda and critical to the success of their businesses.

Big ticket acquisitions are all well and good, but KPMG should not discount the importance of the little guys in building out the telecoms industry into the future.

This was first published in February 2011

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